Lionel Barrymore as the banker Henry F. Potter and Jimmy Stewart as the idealistic George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life.
Paul Kedrosky / Infectious Greed:
George "It's a Wonderful Life" Bailey on Subprime -- If you think about it, the classic Christmas film It's a Wonderful Life is really about subprime mortgages. An example: George Bailey's emotionally manipulative speech directed at bank manager Mr. Potter in support of a $5,000 home loan given to someone with dodgy finances, a loan with which Potter disagreed:
George Bailey: What'd you say just a minute ago? . . . They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait! Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken-down that they . . . Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about . . . they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?Here is some of the handiwork that contemporary George Bailey's have wrought. Where was Potter? The rabble cleaned out billions.