TIMOTHY NOAH SEPTEMBER 28, 2011
I have fallen hard for Ry Cooder's song, "No Banker Left Behind," even though I don't entirely approve of its politics, which flirt (inadvertently, I think) with Tea Partyism.
I won't dispute that bankers' privileged treatment in the 2008 crash merits populist scorn. But unfortunately, without a bank bailout, there probably would have been a worldwide depression. Why not a Woody Guthrie-style protest song about how these behemoths need to be broken up before they resume their reckless behavior and force us to bail them out again? Cooder could call it "Too Big To Fail Is Too Big For Me." A kind word for re-regulation and a plea for Republicans to stop trying to eviscerate the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill would be much appreciated. Perhaps Elizabeth Warren could have a word with him.
Meanwhile, "No Banker Left Behind" sure is a great song. I can't deny that.
Update: While I'm celebrating Guthrie-esque protest songs written during the current economic troubles by aging folk rockers I mustn't fail to praise Loudon Wainwright III for having the genius to recognize that "Cash For Clunkers" was (among other things) a born song title: