Today is the 50th anniversary of the premier of one of the great movie franchises of all-time: James Bond. 007 made his initial screen appearance in Dr. No. In connection with this august event, MGM released the full Bond oeuvre in a Blu-ray box set, which of course I had to purchase, supplanting the full Bond box set I had in regular DVD; which supplanted the individual movie titles I had collected over the years, which supplanted all the VCR tapes of Bond movies I had collected when that format was king. I also own the full set of Ian Fleming novels in hardback. So are you beginning to sense that I am not just a fan but a true aficionado? Well, I am.
NPR had a great series this week focusing on all things Bond in their Morning Edition show. The series looked at Bond’s gadgets, the sound of the Bond theme and movie soundtracks, Bond movie posters, the Bond franchise and which actor is the greatest Bond. While listening to these episodes I wondered if Bond had been American rather than English, would it have still worked. I came to the conclusion that no, the franchise works because Bond is English, not in spite of that fact.
I pondered that question as I have been reading about the various banking and financial scandals over the summer, largely involving British banks. One of the more interesting side notes has been the press commentary on the British banks and the ongoing national debate it seems to have sparked in Britain about how and why the entire industry is so corrupt and how it lost its collective moral compass. The focus is on fixing the system, not softening the laws, which, it appears, most of the major banks violated in either the Libor or anti-money laundering (AML) enforcement actions.
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