July 14, 2024

I suppose there’s a case to be made for “If you’re going to waste time and money, you may as well have fun doing it,” but that won’t carry much water with the people of the nation who have money in any of the country’s banks (so, almost everyone) — and it shouldn’t. This is a lesson that should be laid right on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as we see now how many of them have been engaged in booze-fueled peccadilloes in the workplace.

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Employees and supervisors at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are at the center of a brewing media firestorm after The Wall Street Journal released an in-depth report on the agency’s “party culture.” 

“A male Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. supervisor in San Francisco invited employees to a strip club,” The Wall Street Journal revealed in a recent story headlined, “Strip Clubs, Lewd Photos and a Boozy Hotel: The Toxic Atmosphere at Bank Regulator FDIC.” 

“A supervisor in Denver had sex with his employee, told other employees about it and pressed her to drink whiskey during work,” the report continued. “Senior bank examiners texted female employees photos of their penises. The agency tolerated a heavy drinking culture.”

Ever been involved in a party like that? A real humdinger, which usually results in a raid by the cops and, the next day, a few divorce lawyers being called? Well, seems like at the FDIC, they are an “…accepted part of the culture.”

“It was just an accepted part of the culture,” Lauren Lemmer, a former examiner-in-training, told The Journal. 

Lemmer “quit her job in 2013 after three years in which she said she was denied opportunities to advance, followed back to her Dallas hotel room by a male colleague during training, invited to a strip club in Seattle by other bank examiners, and sent an unsolicited naked photo by a colleague.”

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Supposedly these people are in positions of considerable responsibility, which makes their behaving like a bunch of frat boys during a particularly drunken and reckless spring break on South Padre Island all the more unacceptable. And what kind of jerk sends a woman an unsolicited photo of their male appendage? Much less “senior bank examiners?” In what universe has that ever resulted in the woman in question texting back “Hey, looks great, what are you doing Friday night?”

Now the FDIC, of course, is a “United States government corporation” and not a direct branch of government. Its operations are funded not directly by taxpayer dollars, but by dues paid by member banks, who then (of course) pass the expense in one form or another back to the taxpayers. Their purpose? In a nutshell, to protect the U.S. citizenry from losing everything in the event of a bank collapse, which at the time of the FDIC’s Great Depression-era founding, was an issue that was on a lot of people’s minds.

Of course, these kinds of misbehavior aren’t limited to “United States government corporations.” Even presidents have been implicated, with speculations as to what certain former chief executives may have been doing on certain private islands, just to name an example. It seems odd that this is still going on, though, in an era where people are so hypersensitive that a misstep in language can result in a sentence to a re-education course.

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Be it elected officials, bureaucrats, hired staffers, government corporations, or whatever, these are supposed to be people that the country should be able to rely on to take the right action in the event of a crisis. Clearly, these FDIC staffers aren’t taking their responsibility seriously, and there’s just plain no excuse for it. Heads should be rolling at the FDIC.

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