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Blend of banker +‎ gangster

Judge Ferdinand Pecora has been credited with coining the term "bankster." In June 1933, his image appeared on the cover of Time magazine, seated at a US Senate table, a cigar in his mouth. Pecora’s hearings were said to have coined a new phrase, "banksters" for the finance "gangsters." However, the word, with the same meaning, had appeared in the U.S. press at least a year and a half previous to that.

The term was later used by Léon Degrelle, Belgian fascist politician and journalist, in 1937 as a pejorative term for high financiers.



bankster (plural banksters)

  1. (informal, derogatory) A banker who is seen as criminally irresponsible, or as extorting bailout money from the taxpayers.
    • 2009 February 15, Andrew Rawnsley, “The cabinet's quarrels are a warning of the storms ahead”, in The Observer[1]:
      Hearing Sir Fred the Shred and the rest of them utter some hedged half-apologies has not made the public feel any warmer to the banksters.

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