Former Citigroup chief — and godfather to the too-big-to-fail movement — Sandy Weill announced on CNBC yesterday that he now supports separating investment banks from commercial banks, a change of heart we noted was “akin to Rick Santorum announcing he was becoming a GLAAD spokesman.”
In an effort to describe the importance of Weill’s conversion from self-described “Shatterer of Glass-Steagall” to break-up-the-banks advocate, other publications revved up their creative figure-of-speech engines as well.
“It was as if Napoleon had called for an end to military conquest,” The Wall Street Journal wrote.
“The Wall Street equivalent of a conversion on the road to Damascus,” the National Journal added.
“Kind of like Ronald McDonald saying don’t eat Big Macs,” said Ben White of Politico.
“A heart transplant,” the Journal’s David Benoit wrote.
“The person who created the animal now wants to kill the animal,” said bank analyst Mike Mayo.
Marketplace’s Heidi Moore made a monster metaphor:
Sandy Weill was the man who had the vision for the modern megabank. He was like the Dr. Frankenstein of banking. Back then, the megabank looked like a great advancement. But as banks got bigger, and bigger, and then too big to fail, they helped cause the worldwide financial crisis. So, after 2008, the megabank monster was being chased by torch-wielding mobs.
But, in a sea of Weill conversion similes and metaphors, one by Intel commenter BombTom stood out:
“This is like Johnny Appleseed waking up one morning and saying ‘Where’d all these motherfcking apple trees come from?’”