There was a time when bankers were among the most respected people in a community. No more. The recession which began in 2008 is exemplary proof that bankers are whores. They will do anything for money.
It aggravates me that our government thought the banks too big to fail and too big to prosecute. Banks were never brought to task. As a result, banks continue to connive how they can make more money for themselves without regard to those they serve.
Banks today are in a more precarious position than they were in 2008. They never learned. Why should they have? They were never punished for their wrongdoing. In fact, banks today are thriving and make considerably more money than pre 2008.
It is thought in some quarters that a worldwide credit crunch is coming. If it happens, there will be runs on the banks. Not by depositors so much. They will be too late and perhaps not have the ability. It will be by other banks who have loaned them money. They will turn on each other as sharks in frenzy.
People know they have a capacity limit for debt. We try to live within our means. Banks and major corporations do not. They see no tomorrow as far as their debt limit is concerned.
The banks are playing games. New ones. All in an effort to control the flow of money and increase profit levels.
The following represent today’s bank brain child. All new.
Banks want to charge interest on depositor accounts. In other words, we will now have to pay the bank to hold our money in a savings or checking account. The program is being tested in certain parts of the United States at this moment. It is described as negative interest.
Safety deposit boxes. A place for safe keeping. A place for some to keep cash. No more.
Two banks are already requiring renters of safety deposit boxes to sign new contracts with the bank. The new contract went into effect the first of this month. In the new contract, the renter agrees and promises that no cash will be kept in the safety deposit box.
The reason is simple. Banks want to know where every dollar is at every moment. No more secreting of cash the goal.
Banks want to do away with cash. Paper money. They want to go to electronic banking. The depositor will have a debit card. Every financial transaction will be by debit card.
Why? The reasons three fold.
First, the banks want to avoid runs on the banks. If they control the cash via electronic banking, all they have to do is hit a few buttons and no one will be able to make withdrawals. The banks recognize that bad days may be ahead for them. They fear runs on banks as occurred in 1929. You and I may be broke and/or go out of business. The banks will not because they will have total control over money.
Second, the banks fear people will secret money. Under the mattress, the bottom of a drawer, a tin can buried in the backyard.
Finally and as is obvious by this time, banks want total control over money.
You must realize that banks view your money as theirs. It is. The law is clear that once a person deposits money in a savings or checking account, title to the money passes to the bank. Thank Congress and the President who signed such legislation into law.
The preceding represents to me economic tyranny and financial repression. It is not a question of whether the shoe fits. It does.
Banks and corporations have their sinners. It is not individual society members alone who commit crimes. Banks and corporations do through their leaders and employees. Think Ponzi and Enron.
Wells Fargo is one of our larger banks. Two weeks ago, Wells Fargo was sued by the City of Los Angeles.
Wells Fargo instituted a program to motivate/push their employees to meet certain goals and quotas. One was that every customer have at least eight different accounts with the bank. The program in house was described as Going For The Gr-Eight Initiative.
The pressure was heavy on bank employees. They took their existing customer lists and opened new accounts. Signed them up for new credit cards, also. The customers never gave permission nor had knowledge.
Wells Fargo charged fees to handle the accounts. The customers were unaware of the new accounts and of the fees. The fees were not paid. Many were sent by Wells Fargo into collection. On top of which the failure to pay the fees resulted in negative information being placed on credit reports.
To compound the wrongdoing, it is claimed Wells Fargo became aware of the practice. It did nothing to stop it.
What bothers me is that if I were to write a similar column a year from now, there would be new and different bank transgressions. The banks are not doing what is right by God and country because they have not been punished criminally in recent times for their wrongdoings.
Send some of the bad guys to jail and I guarantee you bank problems will disappear.