Jan 6, 2021

Bob Dylan Opens a New Bank Account

A fictitious exclusive transcript crosses our desk

By Ed Goldman

Shortly before the close of 2020, legendary songwriter and Nobel Prize winner for Literature Bob Dylan sold the entire catalogue of his songs to Universal Music Group for a sum said to be close to a billion dollars. 

Actually, I’m the only one who said “close to a billion dollars.” If I’m off by a few million bucks, I’ll apologize in the way that a politician would: “Was a mistake made? Possibly. Do we regret it? If anyone was offended. It was certainly not our intent.” (Young students of public affairs: Note that when an elected official introduces a program that pans out, he or she alone takes credit. And when something goes haywire, “I” suddenly morphs into “we” and “our.”)

Edgy Cartoon

Chillin’ With Dylan

As it turns out, my undercover assistant, Eve Strop, has managed to get her hands on the transcript of Mr. Dylan’s trying to open a post-sale savings account at Deutsche Bank, famous for its roster of celebrity customers who have no intention of ever repaying a single loan, not even if you validate their parking.

BANK VICE PRESIDENT (Looking over a sign-in waiting list and approaching a uniformed female bus driver): Zimmerman?

CUSTOMER (Barely looking up from her cellphone) It ain’t me, Babe.*

BOB DYLAN (rising from his chair and walking over): I’m Zimmerman.

BANK VICE PRESIDENT (Gasping in wonderment): Oh, my God, you’re—

DYLAN (Smiling modestly): Yeah, it’s—

BANK VICE PRESIDENT: Tom Petty! I thought you died!

DYLAN (Rolling his eyes): Yes, poor Tom died. (Smiling to himself) I’m one of his surviving band mates from The Traveling Wilburys.

BANK VICE PRESIDENT: George Harrison! — No, wait. Also dead. Roy Orbison!—No, wait. Super-dead. Oh, I know: Jeff Lynne!

DYLAN: Dylan, idiot.

BANK VICE PRESIDENT (Looking at the sign-in sheet): Your name isn’t on here, Mr. Idiot.

DYLAN: I’m Zimmerman. That’s my real name.

BANK VICE PRESIDENT: Well, which is it going to be, sir: Zimmerman or Idiot?

(Several minutes later, the confusion is ended and the two sit in a private office)

BANK VICE PRESIDENT: So you wish to open a savings account with Deutsche Bank? How much would you like to deposit? We have a minimum requirement of $15,000.**

DYLAN: About 486 million dollars.

BANK VICE PRESIDENT (Thinking he’s joking): That’s all?

DYLAN (Smiling to himself): I want to save some for my Uber ride home. (He withdraws a cashier’s check from his black leather coat pocket) Here’s a check for 700 million dollars. I figured you could give me change. (Appears to calculate) That’d be 214 million dollars. Mainly in 20s and 10s, if you can swing it.

BANK VICE PRESIDENT (Stands, indignant): Sir, to coin a phrase, I think it’s time for your boot heels to be wanderin’!***

DYLAN: ???

BANK VICE PRESIDENT: Leave at your own chosen speed!****

DYLAN: ???

Push Pin Travel Maps

BANK VICE PRESIDENT: Look, Mister Jones*****, we don’t hand out that kind of money as change. We only give that kind of money to high-credit risks like Donald Trump. It’s how we roll here at Deutsche Bank.

(Suddenly, the bank president, having heard part of this exchange, rushes to the office, firing the vice president on the spot.)

BANK VICE PRESIDENT (Stung): Well, okay. But can I get a letter of recommendation? 

BANK PRESIDENT: Certainly. We understand today’s HR, where even a convicted arsonist can get a glowing letter, if you’ll pardon the pun. We just write that he proved during his tenure here that he had talent to burn, if you’ll pardon another pun. They’ll probably pardon the arsonist, too, once they see his letter of recommendation. (The bank vice president smiles, says thanks and leaves the office) Now, then, Mister Dylan, please accept my sincere apologies. We’ve actually been looking for a way to ease him out since he approved a series of loans for the Trump corporation.****** You could say he left us tangled up in red.*******

DYLAN: What was the problem?

BANK PRESIDENT: He just didn’t listen to the regulators, who constantly warned him about Trump.

DYLAN: Ah. Well, how many ears must one man have?********

BANK PRESIDENT: No kidding. (Shakes Dylan’s hand gratefully and impulsively) I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes and just for that one moment I could be you.*********

DYLAN: Yeah, everyone says that.

*Dylan song title and refrain lyric
**This really is the bank’s requirement.
***From “Mister Tambourine Man.”
****Also from “It Ain’t Me Babe.”
*****From “Ballad of a Thin Man.”
****** “Since around 1998, the bank has lent Trump at least $2 billion,” according to forbes.com
******* One of Dylan’s most famous early songs is “Tangled Up In Blue
******** From “Blowin’ in the Wind
********* From “Positively 4th Street

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President and CEO, Golden Pacific Bank

photo by Phoebe Verkouw

If you’ve been waiting for clear instructions about the new round of  the federal Payroll Protection Program, please take a number. Some of us community bankers are feeling as confused this time as we did the first time.

In the CARES Act.1.0 last spring, large banks whose past performances had caused regulators to put caps on their lending capacity found themselves having to turn away customers both big and small. Some banks tried to help only their existing clientele and still fell short. Then the authorities sort of apologized, lifted the cap it had placed on us and gave us the go-signal to do the loans. But by then, the fund was drying up, resulting in damage to longtime bank/client relationships as well as the public image of banks.

Through the PPP, an allocated $4.89 million in forgivable loans were made, totaling more than $521 billion. Community banks made 28% of the loans, or $148 billion. Golden Pacific Bank ended up funding a record number of PPP loans to small businesses in the first go-round. We’d like to continue to offer PPP. But let’s find out more details before we march to the front of the line and say, “We’re next!”   

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