by baldilocks

Title sung to the melody of John Lennon’s Imagine, appropriately enough.

They always tell you what they’re planning and the plan always involves control of two things: you and your money.

From Aaron Sorkin at the New York Times:

Here’s an idea.

What if the finance industry — credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express; credit card processors like First Data; and banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — were to effectively set new rules for the sales of guns in America?

Collectively, they have more leverage over the gun industry than any lawmaker. And it wouldn’t be hard for them to take a stand.

PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms.

“We do not believe permitting the sale of firearms on our platform is consistent with our values or in the best interests of our customers,” a spokesman for Square told me.

The big financial firms don’t even have to go that far.

For example, Visa, which published a 71-page paper in 2016 espousing its “corporate responsibility,” could easily change its terms of service to say that it won’t do business with retailers that sell assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, which make semiautomatic rifles fire faster. (Even the National Rifle Association has said it would support tighter restrictions on bump stocks.)

If Mastercard were to do the same, assault weapons would be eliminated from virtually every firearms store in America because otherwise the sellers would be cut off from the credit card system.

There is precedent for credit card issuers to ban the purchase of completely legal products. Just this month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America banned the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

And there’s more.

There are other sectors of the finance industry that could step up. For example, Lloyd’s of London is the favored insurance company for gun shows. It could pull out.

You want a financial meltdown? This is how you get one. Most of those who would be against this and who can afford weapons can just pull their money out of these institutions. And what happens to the institutions?  And what happens next? And after that?

I’m not financially literate enough to predict the specific consequences of such thing, but I know that it’s a bad idea for this country. Real bad. And I think that Sorkin knows this, too. Feature, not a bug.

See, I’m one of those people who thinks that the leftist intelligentsia wants Leftism and they believe that creating large-scale financial chaos – or any other type of chaos — will fast-track the descent. To that end, this class keeps pushing and pushing.

Is all of this a pipe dream?

We’ll see. I’m betting it will be tried. Imagine a USA where only criminals and the government (BIRM) have guns.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Two things that I’m sure are totally unrelated (maybe)

Wikipedia on Gun laws in Cyprus:

Cyprus has strict gun control. Private citizens are completely forbidden from owning handguns and rifles in any calber, even .22 rimfire. Only shotguns are allowed, and these require a license. Shotguns are limited to two rounds. The only shotguns typically sold in stores are double-barreled side-by-sides or over-unders. Pump actions and semiautomatics are prohibited.

Bloomberg (via Drudge) on the Cyprus bank deal (emphasis mine)

With the ECB threatening to cut off emergency financing for tottering banks as soon as today, Cyprus’s leaders engineered another way of shrinking the island’s financial system.

The revised accord spares bank accounts below the insured limit of 100,000 euros. It imposes losses that two EU officials said would be no more than 40 percent on uninsured depositors at Bank of Cyprus Plc, the largest bank, which will take over the viable assets of Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl (CPB), the second biggest.

Cause and effect or coincidence, you decide.

Update:
Olimometer 2.52

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With the reverses in popularity the occupy movement has suffered lately, I’m sure they are happy to see this story of the average consumer moving away from big banks to a different kind of “cash” card:

Linda Black, the first person I walk up to, is happy to show off her blue plastic. Like others, Black has not had a good track record with banks, specifically Bank of America.

“Every time I went there, I’m owing this, I’m owing that,” Black says. She was frustrated that even though she had money in the account, she’d always have more fees to pay.

“So I said forget it,”

Not only does this new card charge a flat $3 a month fee it has other advantages:

Lisa Barnes, a waitress, says she’s been saving money with the card since overdrafting isn’t even an option.

“You can’t spend what you don’t have, so you can’t go over,” Barnes says. “You [just] don’t get in trouble with it.”

Yet you can still use it as an ATM card and direct deposit is available:

“[You] fill out a form and your money comes directly on the card.”

Nixon says it’s possible to do everything she needs to with the MoneyCard, like buy things online, pay bills, even buy movies from Redbox. “You can basically do anything with it,” she says.

That’s why Nixon has closed her bank account, technically joining the ranks of the “unbanked.”

So there you have it, a company providing a service needed by all, without the hidden fees of the big banks serving the 99%. How happy the occupods and the radical left that populate them must be. I’m sure they wil be celebrating that company in music, song and drum circles.
Continue reading “The occupy movement finds its Dream Company”

Today I will be in Worcester taping the Christmas Show (it will not be live but it will be awesome!). The topic will be the Christ in Christmas and the Church and the media. With less than 7 hours before taping of the show it is so nice of the Government and the media to provide me more fodder:

Federal Reserve examiners came to Perkins bank last week to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say “Merry Christmas, God With Us,” were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the Internet also had to be taken down.

As I’m fond of pointing out Christmas is a FEDERAL HOLIDAY as I’m sure federal regulators should know.

As you might guess this garnered some attention:

the media caught wind of the story and Republican Members of Congress wrote to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke

and again:

Most grade schools do not produce this level of foolishness. Indeed this form of stupidity is learned at one place, radicalized public universities.

So both Oklahoma Senators wrote a letter to the Federal Reserve and with a new Tea Party controlled House with Ron Paul as the chair of the Banking Committee this was going to mean bad news.

Ya think, and on the legal side:

It seems to me that the Fed action is a pretty clear First Amendment violation. Businesses may indeed be barred from stating that they will not engage in commercial transactions with members of certain groups; that’s a somewhat unusual but well-settled aspect of First Amendment “commercial speech doctrine,” which is more properly thought of “commercial advertising doctrine.” (See Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Comm’n on Human Rels. (1973), which has been cited favorably by the Court even in more recent commercial speech cases.) But businesses retain a First Amendment right to express their views, including even views that might be actually seen as insults to particular groups, see, e.g., Sambo’s Restaurants, Inc. v. City of Ann Arbor (6th Cir. 1981). And businesses certainly retain a First Amendment right to say things that might simply be seen as expressing endorsement of a particular religion.

As you might guess the outcry caused a reversal

The small-town bank in Oklahoma will be able to restore its Christian signs and symbols after all, thanks in part to public outcry against the Federal Reserve.

The president of Payne County Bank, Lynn Kinder, said he spoke with the second in command at the Federal Reserve late Thursday evening. Both sides agreed to work out the issue.

“The federal reserve immediately took action, ” Kinder said in a statement. “And allowed us to restore our Christian display of items and verses on our television and website until a final determination is made. It appears that the matter will be resolved.”

Final determination means until the heat is off most likely. Don Surber cuts to the chase:

Huh?

What does that rule have to do with good banking?

Once again some federal governmental bureaucracy is pursuing a political agenda that has nothing to do with its mission — and is falling down on the job.

From the Associated Press: “Regulators on Friday shuttered three small banks in Georgia and one each in Florida, Arkansas and Minnesota, raising to 157 the number of U.S. banks brought down this year by the struggling economy and soured loans.”

If federal regulators had done their job all along instead of Mickey Mousing around over some teller’s button our banks would be more sound and our economy better.

Congress should strike down that rule and in fact go through all the regulations to make sure that the bank examiners are examining the bank’s books and not the teller’s buttons.

I’m sure the GOP congress will have a few things to say about this.

Meanwhile it isn’t just Christ being banned from Christmas:

Santa Claus, as portrayed by Dennis Jackson, won’t be visiting students at the Head Start classes in St. Peter this year.

Jackson has made appearances the past four years at the classes for students who need help preparing for school, but this year officials said, “No, no, no.”

The reason: The classes have many immigrant children who don’t celebrate Christmas, says the Mankato Free Press.

Perhaps we should change the name “St. Peter” too, don’t want to offend anyone:

Chris Marben, who coordinates regional Head Start programs through Mankato-based Minnesota Valley Action Council: “We have Somali families in the program. We’re respecting the wishes of families in the program.”

She didn’t say how many objections were made, but said more than one would be enough to cancel Santa.

Actually since “Chris” might be mistaken for “Christ” I think in the interest of cultural diversity you should change your name to avoid offending anyone. I would suggest: “Dhimmi”

…but his cronies apparently can sink a bank with the best of em.:

Hmmm. Feds moved to shut down Obama crony bank ShoreBank today, but it’s not really going away

Now one more bank failing is not news, but doesn’t it strike you as odd that so many taxpayer bailed out companies are so anxious to do a favor to this particular bank that is shall we say “connected”?

You know if you are a business it’s nice to have a friendly reputation but it’s even nicer to have a reputation for success.

My latest column for the Examiner is now available here.

It’s on tea party reaction to the Boston Herald article concerning Wall Street Contributions. It looks like Josh’s reaction might have been an aberration.

…but wasn’t the whole idea of the bailouts to make banks etc solvent so they could make profits?

If a business makes profits they can hire workers. If they hire workers these people get paid, if they get paid they spend money and pay taxes.

If I’m not mistaken these are good things.

I didn’t agree with the bank bailouts nor how they were done, but if they were going to be done I presume this the above is the goal. If it was not then what was the point?

A few years ago I talked to a young lady who was in college, very nice girl. She was talked about her degree program she was studying finance, and was ridden quite a bit because she was not going into a field that “helped” people, the enviousness etc…I reminded her that she was in fact doing so. If she did her job properly, people could retire, go to college and have investment to make a business. It was those profits that allowed so much good.

None of this is possible without profit, the day we consider it a dirty word is the day we begin our final decline.