CARL POHLAD: REAL LIFE EVIL BANKER
Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad died Monday. He was 93.
Apparently only the good die young. In today’s world, the image of the banker certainly has taken a hit. Carl Pohlad was a banker through and through. Old school. And I’m talking REALLY old school.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart, Pohlad was the real-life Mr. Potter. Potter, you’ll recall, was the villainous, evil banker that was the constant foil of Stewart and all that was right. That fictional character had nothing on Pohlad.
According to his bio, Pohlad made his initial fortune foreclosing on Midwestern farmers during the Great Depression. In fact, he specialized in it. That’s right, Pohlad literally made his first millions kicking widows and orphans out of their homes and into the snow. In real life. As if that wasn’t enough ill will for one man to do in one lifetime, Pohlad also did something that effects YOU negatively almost every day.
According to the book “Baseball and Billions” by Andrew Zimbalist, Pohlad and his banks practically invented ATM fees. Think of it. The same guy who started his empire displacing family farmers in Grapes of Wrath-like fashion during the 1930′s was still fleecing costumers well into the 2000′s. That’s eight decades of greed!
Now that he’s dead, Pohlad can’t take any of his $3.6 billion with him. However, it’s damn sure he isn’t giving any of it back. Despite being the wealthiest owner in Major League Baseball and annually placing high atop the Forbes magazine list of America’s wealthiest individuals, Pohlad consistently refused to invest his billions into his own team. Or City.
Constantly crying “small market,” Pohlad was able to extort some $500 million in taxpayer money from the people of Minnesota. Then. after cashing the check, Pohlad refused to re-sign pitcher Johan Santana and continued to slash payroll for the Twins. It was among his final acts on earth. And his legacy. Mr. Potter to the end.
MR. POTTER: FICTIONAL EVIL BANKER
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