a bank is entrusted to guarantee the security of your deposits, and in some cases, to provide interest on them. the hypothetical bank doesn't place a condition on this - you put your money into the bank, and you're supposed to be able to get your money back out - no matter what.
however, in our modern society, a person's bank account can be frozen, seized, and redirected by court order.
what organization has this power, that it shares with no one else? the 'government' - whether federal, state, or local.
so in other words, the people that we entrust to handle our money - the 'value-carrying' assets we spend our lives collecting, and wish to guarantee the absolute security of, since they provide our means to survive and live - these banks, credit unions, or any other group that hold our money - they will simply stop agreeing to hold the money we entrust to them, and will simply give it to somebody else - only if that other group says it's mandated by the laws that same group makes. that is the special arrangement the 'government' has managed to work out with our modern banks.
so banks will guard your assets with the utmost security - unless the people who are, realistically, in charge of the banks' safekeeping of assets, decide to take them.
you may wish to safeguard your assets from being confiscated for 'taxes', so that they may be spent on war, 'bailouts' of those same banks, corporate subsidies, oppressive 'policing', domestic surveillance, or any of the other million objectionable roles of 'government' - but domestic banks, who came into existence only to safeguard our funds, will simply give up your funds in that event. they will say, 'sorry, it is mandated by court order that we hand over your funds.' their organization, in other words, have devised a procedure that means you can't take back what you gave to them for safekeeping.
replace the 'government' with any other group, in the example. a local pawn shop, a local gas station, a local ice cream store, a local music school. the local ice cream store ordered the bank to hand over your money to them, and so the bank played along, and the $100,000 you spent your entire life earning is now gone?
that's where we're at today, in our modern, enlightened, just, 'free market' society. we cannot earn money and even come close to guaranteeing that we get to keep it. people whose entire profession, historically, has been to keep our money safe for us, will hand our money to somebody else.
should we accrue unlimited wealth for our personal wants? of course not. if we are more than financially secure, and somebody else is in need, it's a moral and social obligation to share our resources with them. attempting to live life tolerating knowledge of misery elsewhere results either in anguish or maniacal suppression of empathy - that's a simple fact. it's good for everyone to have a more-or-less equal amount of resources at their disposal, and it's a sign of an enlightened society that people receive what they need, and give what they can.
but this does not excuse this form of 'collusion' between governments and banks.
even indoctrinated Republicans and Democrats recognize that poor people suffer, and find themselves forced to pay 'government', while richer people safeguard their funds overseas. 'government' simply does not use this power to fix class divisions - the educated know that the government, through its twisted creations of 'property law' and 'corporate law', are, in essence, solely responsible for class division in the world, and all of the suffering that carries with it. they designed the society.
that's no surprise, really, when you notice that there are billionaires paying 15% capital gains taxes on their income, or even less, while poor people barely have enough money left after taxes to pay their rents/mortgages and utility bills - taking into account sales taxes, income taxes, withholdings, and others, that adds up to over 50% of what they earn.
but is it really a surprise that there's horribly rich people, and poor people living paycheck-to-paycheck, in this society - where a 'government' will invent 'corporations' into law*, put a fraction of the people of that 'corporation' in charge of determining everyone's payment, and then turn a blind eye to the monstrous fortunes - $1,000,000-$100,000,000 a year - gained by the people in charge, while raiding every place the workers, getting paid $16,000-$60,000 a year, try to stash their money?
it would seem, in that case, that the rich people in the country wrote all of the laws - and judging by the outcome, where the government has the final say in who owns what, and where some of us (often with government connections) are monstrously rich, while the vast majority are sinking deeper and deeper into poverty - it would seem that they took total advantage of that power. somehow, the millions of people manipulating the legal control of our society have crafted a country where the vast majority spend their entire lifetimes being ripped off, and a tiny minority is ripping everyone off.
and if the rich didn't simply run the government - how else could this have happened?
but there's one more big issue - it gets even worse.
as you can see from this graph, the actual base currency in our economy - unadjusted for fractional reserve practices - has skyrocketed in size in the last century. we see that it hit 100 billion in 1976 - when our population was ~218,035,164. as of 1998, it was 270,298,524, and the currency in circulation had hit 500 billion. so the currency increased to 5 times its previous size, while the population had only grown 23.97%!
where did this money enter the economy? we were not mailed the money, we didn't get the money as oversized tax refunds, or Social Security payments, or anything. the money entered the economy as under-the-table, unaudited payments made to banks, mutual funds, and other groups that 'invest' in so-called "Treasury bonds" - the "investment" that is profitable because it sucks value out of all of the rest of the money in the economy when the government prints money to back it up.
this practice certainly has extreme potential for insider trading - and predictably, we see a massive consolidation of control in the banking market as a result:
and, as a review of the shareholder lists for any major corporation will show you, these same banks have also managed to include massive corporate ownership into their holding portfolios.
so what is a modern bank in the United States? it is a complex, Frankenstein monster of an institution, which the government uses to micromanage the personal finances of everyone in the economy, and which the ruling class uses to funnel money out of the government, and out of corporations, into their personal accounts and trusts. banks - including investment banks - are the junction where the ruling class destroys the non-ruling class.
* if you don't believe corporate structure is reinforced by 'government' agents, such as police, watch what happens when the workers of a company attempt to take it over without the consent of 'management'.
the myth of efficient and humane 'government'