A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 27, 2009
Bankster (banker + gangster)

"Bankster” (banker + gangster) has been cited in print since at least December 22, 1931, when it was described as “a combination of banker and gangster, expressing French opinion of American bankers.” The term quickly became popular in the Prohibition gangster era of the early 1930s.

“Bankster” gained renewed popularity during the financial crisis of 2008 that led to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. A popular 2007-present spelling of “bankster” has been “banksta,” with the plurals “bankstas” and “bankstaz.”


Urban Dictionary
1.  bankster
A portmanteau or blend word derived from combining “banker” and “gangster.” Usually referred to in the plural form “banksters” to refer to a predatory element within the financial services industry, such as those offering “too good to be true” adjustable mortgage rates for home buyers
“The banksters just foreclosed on my mom’s Mcmansion, and now she’s living in her SUV.”
by Neil Ogism Mar 5, 2008

2.  Bankster
A portmanteau of the words “banker” and “gangster.” These are intergral to the capitalist system. While the nightly news might have you believe that young black and latino men with 9mm’s are the biggest threat to your life, banksters are far more dangerous. While a gangster might steal your posessions with a knife or a gun, a bankster will steal your possesiions with a pen, paper and “legal” (read “unjust") mumbo-jumbo snakeoil bullshit.
Bankster: Any member of the financial services industry; primarilly interested with the welfare of the capitalist class and their lackeys.
by muigikalash Mar 23, 2009

3.  Bankster
A portmanteau of “Banksy” and “gangster” meaning a person who engages in graffiti for artistic or personal reasons rather that gang related motives. Banksters usually use stencils rather than ordinary bombing. The Bankster is a subcategory of the vandal.
“Did you see the stencil that got put up on Dickson?”
“Yea it was straight up Bankster!”

by Longinus Fortunus Jul 10, 2008

22 December 1931, Portsmouth (OH) Chronicle, “U. S. ‘Banksters’” by Arthur Brisbane, pg. 1, col. 1:
CYRUS H. K. CURTIS receives from Paris information that American bankers are called “banksters” in high French financial circles.

A “bankster” is supposed to be a combination of banker and gangster, expressing French opinion of American bankers.

New York bankers may reply that in dealing with the more clever of the distinguished French bankers a little of the gangster quality would not come amiss for purposes of self-defense.

24 December 1931, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, “A New Word, Banksters” by Arthur Brisbane, pg. 4, col. 5:
(Same as above—ed.)

Time magazine
Bankster Jailed
Monday, Sep. 05, 1932
After ten weeks of stormy trial, Chicago’s John Bain, 64-year-old founder of a chain of twelve small banks that failed at one crack last year (TIME, June 22, 1931), was last week convicted of conspiracy to defraud depositors. Scottish immigrant, onetime plumber, Bankster Bain had prospered in real estate, then branched into banking.

OCLC WorldCat record
American boobs, complete text of the great British satirist’s New York address treating of banksters, 100% Americans, orators, constitutions, private czars, dictators, Hollywood, Mormon polygamy, politicians, newspapers, stock brokers, lunatics, war debts, Russian communism, racketeering, and many other live topics ...
Author: Bernard Shaw
Publisher: Hollywood, Calif., E.O. Jones [1933]
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The banksters
Author: Robin Moore
Publisher: New York : Pinnacle, 1976.
Edition/Format:  Book : Fiction : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Banksters, bosses, and smart money : a social history of the great Toledo bank crash of 1931
Author: Timothy Messer-Kruse
Publisher: Columbus : Ohio State University Press, ©2004.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Gawker
The ‘Bankster’
By Nick Denton, 11:18 AM on Fri Oct 10 2008,
It is time for an addition to the Gawker glossary. We need an abusive term—a new one—for banker. The financial slang of the last twenty years has been begrudgingly admiring. Big swinging dick carries an undertone of arrogance; but also swaggering status. Any respect has been lost of course in a few months of bank collapses and the last few sickening days on the stockmarket. Bankers now draw the opprobrium they did during the Depression. So it would be timely to revive a word from the 1930s used to describe a hybrid of banker and gangster: the bankster.

AlterNet
CounterPunch / By Pam Martens
How the Banksters Made a Complete Killing off the Bailout
It’s going to take about 20 years to repair the damage from the huge rip off created under the guise of “free market” capitalism.

October 21, 2008
In 1897, when 8-year old Virginia O’Hanlon posed her Santa Claus query to the New York Sun, she received a heart-warming editorial response reassuring her that “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Banksters : how a powerful elite squandered Ireland’s wealth
Author: David Murphy; Martina Devlin
Publisher: Dublin : Hachette Books, 2009.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (1) Comments • Monday, April 27, 2009 • Permalink


I heard Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur use the term “banksters” in a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzDjojFim9c&eurl=http://dailybail.com/home/marcy-kaptur-gets-her-bailout-rant-on-fed-gets-lambasted-cli.html&feature=player_embedded

Checking the word, I found it in the Urban Dictionary. The scale in definition #1 appears to be too small. I think the definition would have to be expanded beyond the “predatory element” to include the interbank scams and financial instruments of mass destruction.

I suppose we could have local banksters and mega-banksters.

Posted by Tom  on  07/29  at  03:03 PM

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