Fargo – Banking Scene

BANKER: You boys find the place okay?

ROCK: Third largest bank in the state. Found it fine.

BANKER: Well, any friend of the Alterman’s is a friend of mine. He tells me you’re a banker yourself, in your community.

ROCK: Well, we do personal and small business loans. This is my associate. Dr. Senator.

BANKER: You’re a doctor

DOC: No, sa’. Name is Doctor. Doctor Senator. It was my mother’s idea.

BANKER: And what was her name?

DOC: Ma’am.

BANKER: Ha, Ha.  Her name was ma’am?

ROCK: Doc here runs operations for the entire Midwest region. He has a PHD in economics.

DOC: Howard University.

BANKER: That’s the Negro School.

ROCK: Can we cut to the chase? Wink. Can I call you Wink?  We’re here because I have an idea.

BANKER: An idea?

ROCK: I’m something of a futurist, which means I don’t just see how to make money today, I have a premonition about the wealth of tomorrow. At our bank we extend a lot of credit, but unlike this fine establishment, we don’t always ask for a commiserate collateral and what I’ve learned is that every average Joe wants one thing. And that’s to seem rich.

DOC: Not to be rich

ROCK: To look rich. It’s about face.

DOC: Picture it’s Saturday night and you’re going out with your best girl. You promised her Lobster, but there’s a problem. You’ve only got two dollars to your name. But you’re not afraid because you’ve got this.

BANKER: Is that? What is that?

ROCK: I call it, a credit card.

DOC: Accepted at stores and fine dining establishments around the country.

ROCK: Can’t pay for the meal today, put it on credit, pay for it tomorrow. Plus interest, that’s the key. We’ve already got about a hundred businesses signed up in the colored community around state.

DOC: I think that’s just a prototype. The real card could be manufactured from a lighter material.

ROCK: For instance, there’s a lot of exciting things happening these days in plastics.

BANKER: And you’re saying, the bank? Uh, what are you saying?

ROCK: What you hold in your hand right now is something I call a financial instrument. It is a product your bank will offer to customers.

DOC: Just think of it as an open line of credit paid back weekly.

ROCK: Or monthly.

BANKER: I don’t understand. If you got your own bank, what do you need us for?

ROCK: Simple. I’ve already got a customer base. What I need help with is convincing white businesses to take the card as a means of payment so we can expand into your community and then go national. I was thinking a partnership. 60/40.

BANKER: No.

ROCK: No? I’m offering you a million dollar idea.

DOC: A billion dollar idea.

BANKER: Ha.  I’ll give you this, you boys have got a hell of an imagination. But the people I see day in, day out, hard-working people, family men, well, they’re just not going to spend money they don’t have.

ROCK: Mr. Winkelman.

BANKER: And charging them high rates of interest, preying on them when times get tough. Well, that’s just not what banking’s all about. Thanks for thinking of us here at Winkle Savings and Loan, voted number one in customer service for the larger Kansas City Metro area three years running. You fellows have yourselves a crackerjack day.


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