Your Arch Nemesis? The Banks.

Via the <a href="http://www.facebook.com/album.php?profile=1&id=84763399274#!/LendingTree">LendingTree Facebook page</a>.

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According to a new ad campaign from LendingTree, there is a villain among us—the very banks and credit agencies it works with. But, there is someone to restore justice: You.

The video below is part of a larger “You to the Rescue” campaign highlighting the “LendingTree utility belt,” which provides “objective tools to assess your loans and personal budget.”

The ad features two men in dress shirts and ties getting ready for work. Their reflections portray them as latex-clad, masked superheroes who will take on the “corporate mischief makers” and “men of ill repute who created a downturn of diabolical proportions.”

A third ad features Adam West, television’s original caped crusader, in an Alfred/Q role (he also does the voice overs for the other two). As those familiar with the superhero genre will note, Batman is one of the few superheroes who fight crime without the help of superpowers. Instead, Batman relies on technology (in the form of a utility belt) and a regular workout routine—oh, and a small inherited fortune.

Don’t forget that Batman is the alter ego of Bruce Wayne, a business tycoon. LendingTree didn’t; these ads aren’t directed at your regular Joe. They’re aimed at angry middle-class men (there are no women financial superheroes pictured) willing to educate themselves on the ins and outs of mortgage and credit.

As David Corn pointed out in our January/February issue, the campaign is targeting the somewhat misplaced fear and anger of the American populace. We are angry at people who took out more credit than they could afford, angry at the banks who pushed them into it, and angry at ourselves for not being smarter and more aware of what was going on. And the policies that allowed Wall Street the free reign to create this mess in the first place? Have we gotten smarter about those yet?

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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