Customers want banks to lend them money at a competitive rate of interest, and support them in their business activities. Shareholders just want banks to make fat profits so that they get big dividends and increased share value and the executives just want fat bonuses for making the most money.
The wife and kids want the man of the house to go out and earn a good wage to get food and warmth and clothing. The man of the house just wants to get as much money as possible for as little work as possible.
No wonder gambling is so tempting........
So the customers get better rates of interest and the wife and kids get the odd present from the winnings. And then they want a bit more, and a bit more, and a bit more......
And then the bubble bursts, for, as we all should know, the house always wins.
BUT: the banks get bailed out by the taxpayer, while the gambler gets slung in the debtors prison. Meanwhile in both cases the foolish ordinary people left behind lose everything.
There is a new book out by Richard Sennett, an American sociologist who rose to prominence with a book called The Fall of Public Man (1977). In this new book, Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation (2012) he writes about (from the blurb):
Sennett contends that cooperation is a craft, and the foundations for skillful cooperation lie in learning to listen well and discuss rather than debate.
Sounds very much like a description of Quaker practice wouldn't you say? Might be worth a look.