I Will Play the Banker

Let’s say you want your child to be a banker. Actually, let’s say that you don’t just want to give your son a fighting chance at becoming a banker bro, you want to guarantee it. You want to be certain that in his early 20’s he will be slaying in the world’s most hated profession – building pitch decks and spreadsheets by day and screaming into a pillow at a Ramada Inn by night. What can you do to ensure he’ll be living that models and bottles lifestyle? Tell him to work hard and dedicate himself? Hilarious. Banking is an attitude, and how better for him to gain both the critical financial acumen to build a CDO and the necessary levels of rampant conceit to lie his way into selling it to millions of unsuspecting customers than by having him play Monopoly?

Monopoly is perhaps the greatest game to teach a child about the glorious impacts of runaway casino capitalism. There are slum mortgages, high rises on Broadway, hostile acquisitions, and bankruptcies. And luck. Oodles and oodles of sheer luck.  Let’s be honest – the only unrealistic aspects of this triumph of a board game are income tax and jail.

And so you’ve set out to teach your child about capitalism through the eyes of Hasbro. But perhaps that just isn’t enough. Sure, it gives him a taste for what it’s like to ruthlessly exploit his family and friends until they have nothing, but there’s a deeper cultural impact that he might be missing playing Monopoly with gran-gran.

That’s where I come in. For the relatively modest amount of $1,500 an hour I will come to your house as a coked-up banker bro to play Monopoly with your child and teach him lessons that the game in its current form simply cannot. Don’t think about price: think about value. Give your child the authentic experience and guarantee him a place within the gilded halls of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, or Merrill Lynch. In twenty years’ time, when a much younger and hotter version of Elizabeth Warren is dressing down the CEO of a major Wall Street firm for shamelessly exploiting lower income members of society, know that there’s a chance, even a small one, that it could be your son. Goosebumps.

I add a few of my own rules to Monopoly, for educational purposes. And before you sign me up to attend your family’s game night, you should be aware that these are not negotiable, because fuck negotiating with customers.

Player Roles – Obviously I will play the banker. In most games of Monopoly, the banker is a robotic character responsible for mechanically exchanging money based on the flow of the game. This is Hasbro’s greatest error, as it implies that banks are a passive member of the economy. Can you imagine? As the banker in your family game night, I will be all over the board – skimming 10% off every purchase, sale, or mortgage payment, randomly supplementing my money from the plastic containers as economic stimulus, and even offering synthetic debt instruments to players strapped for cash. Can the game be realistic if the banker isn’t financially motivated to entangle himself within every transaction?

Chance Cards – I add a few, just to spice up the game. A few favorites:

  • “You’ve decided to attend college. Saddle yourself with a payment of $500 per roll to the banker until you declare bankruptcy and become a shell of a human. If only you had majored in finance instead of following your dreams of becoming an architect!”
  • “Your next property purchase will be funded through an adjustable rate mortgage. Every turn for the rest of the game the banker is able to arbitrarily choose how much you owe him for this loan. Repayment? Never.” 
  • “The bank has ‘accidentally’ opened seven retail accounts on your behalf. The fees on those accounts have bankrupted you. To make it right, the banker must forfeit $10 for a new branding strategy. I’ve changed, trust me.”

Community Chest – Rebranded as “Redistribution of Wealth Scheme.” When a player lands on this space the money doesn’t go to him. It goes to Chuck, my college roommate who doesn’t have a job and isn’t even playing the game. What better way to teach your child about the horrors of socialism than to explain that this money in the middle could be working for him but is instead mired in the endless red tape of “welfare” or “infrastructure” or “healthcare.”

Income Tax – This is really more of a suggestion.   

Luxury Tax – Nobody likes that space anyway.

Too Big to Fail – Let’s just say that somehow, with all these rules, I still manage to lose. Expect me to flip the table over because if I lose, everyone else, and the entire mini-economy of the Monopoly game, will be brought to its knees with me. There will be no survivors until I receive a bailout from every player, and get to watch with smug satisfaction as your family puts the game back together. I know what you’re thinking – isn’t that socialism? The senators in DC that I’ve been aggressively lobbying don’t seem to think so. 

These are lessons no prep school can teach your son, and I’m here to fast-track him to the top of the food chain. My methods are radical, but if he wants to shine in this profession he needs two things: (1) an insider’s knowledge about how the economy can be greased for his personal gain and (2) a callousness towards all human life. After a few Monopoly games with me, he will be dripping with bravado. If you’re interested in my services you can find me over on the Barstool Sports message boards.