Why Ben Bernanke Is Actually Jack Nicholson

It has come to our attention -- thanks to some bored banker friends of ours -- that the ongoing letter-writing campaign to the federal government from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, regarding the bullying tactics of the Federal Reserve, uncannily echoes the plotline of "A Few Good Men," which was about a letter-writing campaign to the federal government, regarding the bullying tactics of the Marine officers stationed at Guantanamo Bay.

Which is nice, because we haven't watched the above-linked monologue in a while, and it's one of our favorites. So here's the skinny that justifies our whiling away hours on YouTube:

In real life, Cuomo is blowing the whistle on some untoward demands from high up the food chain: that Ken Lewis, the CEO of Bank of America, was ordered to acquire Merrill Lynch even though it was a bunk investment that caused his shareholders to hemorrhage cash. Lewis now says he did so only because Henry Paulson threatened him -- if he didn't comply, he was outta there. And now Paulson is saying that he only threatened Lewis because Ben Bernanke told him to. (This is a developing story; some of those involved are changing their tune).

Aaron Sorkin's plot in "AFGM," meanwhile, is also about blowing the whistle on some untoward demands from high up the food chain: an underperforming private in the Marines named William Santiago was administered a CODE RED -- an abusive, physical reprimand for poor performance, which caused him to die. Through a lot of typically Sorkin chattiness/legalese and a pee-your-pants courtroom scene, we discover that the technically illegal CODE RED was ordered by the boss man himself, the commander of Gitmo (a riveting and Oscar-nominated Jack Nicholson), who allowed it to trickle down through the ranks.

Our tweaked casting:

  • The dead Santiago = Bank of America shareholders
  • = buying Merrill Lynch
  • Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America= James Marshall, Pfc. Louden Downey
  • John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch = Wolfgang Bodison, Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson
  • Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary = Kiefer Sutherland, Lt. Jonathan Kendrick
  • Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve = Jack Nicholson, Col. Nathan R. Jessep
  • Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General of New York = Tom Cruise, Lt. Daniel Kaffee
  • Neel Kashkari, Interim Asst. Treasury Secretary = J.T. Walsh, Lt. Col. Markinson
  • Tim Geither, Treasury Secretary = Kevin Bacon, Capt. Jack Ross
  • Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General = J.A. Preston, Judge Julius Randolph
  • Jim Cramer, of "Mad Money" fame = Christopher Guest, Dr. Stone

Satirical video team: weigh in!