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This tag is associated with 21 posts

My Credit Onion Sent Me This!

CREDIT

(I must assume it applies to other financial institutions, as well!)

ACH PAYMENTS ARE CHANGING

Dear Guffaw,

Beginning September 15th, 2017, the Federal Reserve will start processing most ACH debits (also known as electronic payments) on the same day that the transactions are made. This means that some of your payments could come out of your account faster than they have in the past.

To avoid overdraft charges or insufficient fund fees, please ensure that your available account balance is enough to pay any debits or withdrawals at the time you write or authorize them.

3 TIPS TO BE PREPARED

1 Plan for immediate transactions: Whenever you pay for something, the best practice is to expect that your transactions will be processed the same day.

2 Know your balances: It makes good financial sense to make sure that your balances can support your spending. Keep on top of them with online banking or with the (Credit Onion) app for Apple or Android!

3 Be aware of different kinds of ACH debits: ACH debits can also be things like writing paper checks to grocery stores or using debit cards from retailers, such as Target or Nordstrom.

For those of you out there of limited means who ‘use the float’, as they said in check kiting days of yore!

(Not that I’ve ever done that!  😉  )

Christensen’s Law

(courtesy of Dave the Genius Mechanic)

I loathe Chase Bank.  Actually, I loathe ALL BANKS!  Remember Christensen’s Law – Banks are NOT in business to serve you.  They are in business to make money. (See also the insurance company corollary).

I am SO HAPPY I am not a Chase Bank customer.  Examples:

  1.  Getting in-and-out of vehicles is a painful proposition for me.  But their drive thrus are not at a good angle for me to access.  So, I must go inside to the foyer ATM.  (Why am I going there, if I am not a customer?  My roommate is, and it’s just simpler for me to visit my Credit Union, obtain cash, and go to her bank to make a deposit into her account.  She doesn’t want a check.)  Half the time when I do this, the indoor ATM is out-of-service.  They suggest the drive thru – which is difficult for me to access.  I went up to the inside counter and was told as I was not a customer, I could not make a deposit – WITH CASH!  X-(
  2. Another time the indoor ATM was out-of-service.  I asked if they could take my deposit (a postal money order) inside.  I was told they could – If I were on the account!  Otherwise NO – try the drive-thru ATM!  X-(
  3. I went the other day to make the foyer ATM deposit.  It worked swimmingly!  It even took all the cash w/o rejecting any bills! (usually it rejects three or four)  THEN, no receipt was issued, and the machine read OUT-OF-SERVICE!  I went inside, and the one clerk said he would be just a minute – he was working the drive thru ATM transactions!  Maybe five minutes later he got to me.  I explained my predicament.  The ATM had taken my money, issued no receipt, did not return the money, then went out-of-service!  He referred me to a more senior teller, a woman.  She listened to my tale of woe, and said she would get back to me.  Then she left!  At length, she returned, and told me the funds were in her account, and not to worry.  But, she could not issue me a receipt, as I was not a customer! (Even though the ATM regularly does!)  She offered me her business card, if my roomie had any questions!  I responded something more needed to be done!  OR I WAS CALLING THE POLICE TO REPORT A ROBBERY!  Eventually, we agreed she could write on her business card the amount of the funds had been deposited – and sign it!

Poor customer service, rudeness, failure to accommodate a disabled person, I could to on…

They suggested my roomie add me to her account.  That might solve some of the issues, but in no way do I wish to be affiliated with this particular banking institution!

NOW, as to my Credit Union!  I almost closed my account there, after over twenty years, because they proudly announced a few years back they would gladly accept illegal aliens as customers!  (Yeah, nothing like furthering criminal activity and money laundering for a profit!)  GRRR!

Public Debt, Then and Now

(courtesy of Free North Carolina, in part)

 It’s the Debt, Stupid, Clyde N. Wilson, Chronicles, February 2016, excerpt pg. 16

Abraham Lincoln was a devotee of the Alexander Hamilton/Henry Clay “American System” of public debt, tariff protectionism, government subsidies and a national bank. To finance his war in 1861, Lincoln turned to an income tax, and then succumbed to printing money. Nowhere in the United States Constitution is the federal government authorized to make paper money legal tender. By 1865, the public debt was $2.6 billion, and the direct/indirect cost of Lincoln’s war would reach $8 billion by 1900.
http://www.Bernhard Thuersam, http://www.Circa1865.com   The Great American Political Divide

Public Debt, Then and Now

“Contrary to official capitalist wisdom, debt does not create economic growth. This idea is a swindle. Interest to the very rich . . . does not produce anything. It does not multiply creatively into new enterprises and jobs; it merely diverts ever-greater proportions of earning that might be fruitfully invested.

The proof is all around us. How could the vast unpayable federal debt, which absorbs much of the government’s income just for the interest bondholders, foreign and domestic, possibly be an economic stimulus? How can the immense and near universal burden of personal mortgage and credit card debt possibly indicate a healthy economy and commonwealth?

The matter is simple, obvious to anybody except a politician, a captive economist, or a media flack, and it ought to be conveyed to the people at every opportunity. Debt is killing us. Every wise man in recorded history has affirmed that debt is not a good thing. Debt can destroy a family, a government, a society.

Alexander Hamilton, an upwardly mobile immigrant bastard with a Napoleon complex, declared that “a public debt is a public blessing.” Troubled, but not surprised, Jefferson noted a connection between debt cruel taxation that undermined the independence of the citizens, warning that “we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.”

Weighed down by government debt, the people would have to labor ever harder to pay the debt-holders, leaving them “no time to think, no means of calling the managers to account.” Jefferson avowed as a core principle that “the earth belongs in usufruct to the living,” but the living had no right to consume the earnings of posterity.

Antebellum statesmen like John Taylor of Caroline and John C. Calhoun and economists like William Gouge and Condy Rageut made the same case. After the War Between the States, so did William Graham Sumner, Thomas E. Watson and countless other public men and thinkers.

Republicans (and their predecessors) have always been the party of bankers and bondholders, service to the rich being for them a natural and essential function of the federal government. Opposition to the federal debt was long a plank in the Democratic platform, but Democrats today are just as guilty as the Republicans in regard to the issue.

Lip service to the virtue of “low public debt” continued until Franklin Roosevelt discovered Keynes and declared that debt is no problem “because we owe it to ourselves” – “ourselves” being a conveniently vague and collective being.

The bipartisan bailout of misbehaving bankers and brokers that we saw a few years ago, and the failure of a multitude of presidential candidates to mention the matter, is not promising.”

Posted especially for Dave.

Cash Issues

Not the usual not enough (although I suspect that applies to most of us…)

Wisdom from Peter

So much for the “cashless society”

There’s been lots of talk lately about doing away with bigger banknotes and moving towards a so-called “cashless society”.  To name just a few recent articles:

However, when banks start charging you for the privilege of keeping your money in their vaults, that changes the picture.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

For years, Germans kept socking money away in savings accounts despite plunging interest rates. Savers deemed the accounts secure, and they still offered easy cash access. But recently, many have lost faith.

“It doesn’t pay to keep money in the bank, and on top of that you’re being taxed on it,” said Uwe Wiese, an 82-year-old pensioner who recently bought a home safe to stash roughly €53,000 ($59,344), including part of his company pension that he took as a payout.

Interest rates’ plunge into negative territory is now accelerating demand for impregnable metal boxes.

Burg-Waechter KG, Germany’s biggest safe manufacturer, posted a 25% jump in sales of home safes in the first half of this year compared with the year earlier, said sales chief Dietmar Schake, citing “significantly higher demand for safes by private individuals, mainly in Germany.”

. . .

Germany’s love of cash is driven largely by its anonymity. One legacy of the Nazis and East Germany’s Stasi secret police is a fear of government snooping, and many Germans are spooked by proposals of banning cash transactions that exceed €5,000. Many Germans think the ECB’s plan to phase out the €500 bill is only the beginning of getting rid of cash altogether.

There’s more at the link.

We’ve already seen calls to eliminate the $100 bill in the USA, and high-denomination bills elsewhere.  They’re never made out of concern for our interests – always to benefit Big Brother or the banks.  Every time I hear such calls, I check, double-check and re-check my cash reserves (and expand them, if possible).

The anonymity factor is certainly important to many people, including yours truly.  In an era when certain purchases (e.g. firearms, ammunition, etc.) are ‘politically incorrect’, I much prefer making private purchases whenever possible, paying cash instead of using credit cards or checks.  (For that matter, some vendors such as PayPal and Square specifically forbid using their systems to buy such items, limiting one’s options.)  Also, if electronic payment and/or processing systems should go down for any reason (such as the infamous EBT ‘outage’ a couple of years ago), cash will instantly be king once more – so it pays (literally) to have some on hand.

I repeat my earlier recommendation.  Try to keep at least one months’ expenditure on hand, in cash – preferably in smaller bills such as twenties.  If you can stretch that to two or three months’ worth, it’s not a bad idea to do so.  You never know when that cash might come in very handy indeed.

Peter

While I respect Peter for his wisdom and sage advice, not unlike the ‘preppers’ , there’s only so much a ‘person of limited means’ can do.
There are months I run out of funds before they are magically replenished (being on a meager disability income), many times a week or 10 days before they appear.  Things haven’t gotten better, since my roomie has had additional health problems and must work less, putting more of the burden on my shoulders.
We cannot save a month’s worth of expenditures; forget two or three!  And, months of prepper goods?  Fuggedaboutit!
I suspect we shall be relying on our wits and few firearms for survival, when TEOTWAWKI limps ashore our community.
SIGH…

Living At Home

I lived in my parent’s house after high school, and into college.  The University was about a mile-and-a-half North, and an easy walk.  Things became ‘complicated’ when I dropped-out after a year, and was on academic probation. (long-time readers will remember Joe Cool?).  My parents then required rent and employment (I had been working the entire time), and two years later (age 20) I moved out simultaneously with starting at a community college.

I thought I was a failure.

Ultimately, I completed community college (3.615 GPA,with high distinction, don’t ya know!), got my Associates Degree (Administration of Justice), and entered life.  It’s amazing how the realities of financial obligation and low paying jobs motivate!  During the recession (1975).  No decent jobs.

BUT, somehow I survived.  I paid my own way through college (no loans, no parent money), worked then entire time (mostly in private security) and paid rent – sometimes even on time!  😛

The idea of moving back into my parent’s home was anathema to me.  My father’s passing in 1977 further reinforced the concept (I didn’t have a good relationship with my stepmother).

For the first time in modern history the most common living arrangement for young adults is living in their parents’ homes. (18 to 34)

I wonder how this happened?  Poor employment opportunities?  Low pay?  Bad economy?  I suspect the liberals will blame it on the debt based on Bush’s wars.  And the banks.

And the conservatives will blame the race-baiting, anti-colonialist communist administration currently in residence in the White House.

But I blame government.  ALL of it.  Between inflation, costly inefficient government programs and the cost of education requiring student loans.   And Fabian socialists forging dishistory and uneducated youth since the early 1900’s.  They work glacially.

It’s who I am.

h/t Theo Spark

 

Depends On What The Meaning of ISIS

from Wirecutter

A dog whose name “Dash” sounded too much like the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group prompted a security scare at a California bank.

The alarm was raised after Dash’s owner Bruce Francis, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and lives in San Francisco, tried to make an online payment to the person who walks his pitbull mix.

Francis wrote “Dash” in the memo line for the check, panicking officials at Chase Bank who mistook it for “Daesh” and canceled the payment, local news reports said.

The bank also flagged the payment to the US Treasury Department which sent a note to Francis asking him to “explain what Dash means.”

“I thought to myself, ‘great, they’re stopping the world’s stupidest terrorist,” Francis told the local KTVU station after the incident earlier this month.

In spite of the mix-up, Francis said he is taking the incident in his stride and didn’t mind the inconvenience.

His check for walking “Dash” has since been approved.
SOURCE

Ah, I remember the old days, when Bob Hall would write things nonsensical on the memo lines of checks – like ‘for cocaine purchase’, or ‘for gay sex’.  My guess is those days are gone, what with corporate and governmental nosiness.

PS – For the unitiated, DAESH is what ISIS or ISIL calls themselves.

Yep – ATMs Gonna Be More Safe, Now…

from Activist Post, in part…

No card reader, no PIN pad, no touch-screen display — how you bank at your ATM could drastically change in the not-so-distant future. Citigroup is testing an automated teller machine made by Canton, Ohio-based Diebold that relies on your smartphone and perhaps an eye scan to dispense your cash.

Diebold’s so-called “Irving” system works like this: Let’s say you want to get $100 from your ATM.Instead of taking your bank card with you, you schedule your withdrawal ahead of time on your phone via your bank’s mobile app. When you walk up to the screenless machine, it identifies you in one of several ways: Near Field Communication (NFC, the same type of technology used in Apple Pay’s mobile payment service), QR Code (for Quick Response Code, a machine-readable bar code that’s been used extensively in Japan) or biometrics (scanning your iris, a technique that’s considered far more fail-safe than fingerprints as a form of ID).The machine then spits out the cash and you go on your merry way.

Diebold said the entire transaction could be completed in less than 10 seconds. The new system is more secure than traditional ATMs, in part because you wouldn’t need a card and wouldn’t have to punch in a PIN, the company said.

[…]

“Our latest concepts embody a new era of banking and put the user experience at the top of the pyramid to connect consumers with their money when and how they see fit,” Frank Natoli, Diebold executive vice president, self-service technology, said in a press release.

I predicted this probably 10 years ago, when I was a senior credit card fraud investigator.  Of course, I also predicted as persons were being taken at gunpoint to ATMs to have their accounts forcibly emptied, this new security technology would allow the robber to bypass the middle man.  By removing digits or eyes for them to obtain access at their leisure.

Don’t believe it’ll happen?  Just wait…

DOOM And DOOM-ER!

doomThe Internet is replete with tales of doom and gloom.

Two of the more current (having appeared almost simultaneously) are (first)…

BERNIE SANDERS BECOMES THE NEXT PRESIDENT

Why?  Because the expected Democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton is mired in all her illegal, dishonest and unethical mess – to the point where even the main-stream media couldn’t ignore it.  So Bernie, who seems to be running strong, and is an avowed Socialist – became the candidate.

And Donald Trump, the RINO populist, who says what ‘the people’ want to hear (at least some people) and cannot be bought (as he is running on his own cash) scares the bejezus out of the Republican establishment.  As they are not about to make him their candidate (because they cannot control him) he forms a third party.  This splits the Republican base, and Bernie The Socialist wins!

Result?  More editing and erosion of the Constitution, and increase in governmental power.  And out-of-control spending!

Quelle surprise.

(second)

WORLD FINANCIAL COLLAPSE

The People’s Republic of China (aka the PRC or ‘Red’ China), the communist behemoth to the East, is tanking financially.  And our own system (Wall Street and The Fed) are failing as well.  (the DJA dropped 1100 points in one day), AND, China holds our note (they are propping US up!)  Translation – both East and West are preparing for a large financial hit.  And failing in the preparation.  International terrorism is rampant.  And let’s not mention Europe and the tinder box in the Middle East (nuclear Iran – “I told you not to mention that!”))…

Quelle surprise TWO.

Expectations are (again, per the Internet-feeding your fears since 1994) that with a second, incompetent Socialist President, and a rapidly failing financial system, WORLDWIDE, the international banking system and what’s left of world stability will fail.

No access to your bank accounts, IRAs, profit-sharing funds, stocks, pensions, gold, jewels.  You will be asked to bring in any valuables to the nearest federal collection station for ‘processing of your contribution’.  Social Security, Medicare and disability payments will STOP.

And anarchy will ensue.

Need an Alka-Seltzer, yet?

Or a whiskey?

Me?  I don’t buy into it.  At least not yet.

I think the demise of the Republic will occur much more slowly and painfully, as it has been since, oh, 1930…

Greece Looking To Be Greased

ATHENS — Retirees throughout Greece mobbed banks as they tried to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) in pension payments on Wednesday, as the country teetered on the brink of economic collapse hours after an international bailout expired.

Emotions ran high outside a Piraeus Bank branch in downtown Athens as some 60 customers jostled impatiently after waiting for hours in the sweltering sun.

“This is humiliating,” said Athanasios, an 80-year-old former army officer. “I used to receive a monthly pension of 1,500 euros and now I have to line up for hours to receive 120? This is unfair.”  (in part from The Ultimate Answer To Kings)

I’m reminded of the junior high boy’s joke about the guy being forced to slide backwards down a giant razor blade (using his b***) for brakes, and landing in a bucket of iodine.

And like dominoes, I fear Greece is only the beginning.

Our own government has already made noises about ‘acquiring’ 401k funds, and pensions, and increasing both the amount and items/services being taxed.  And other banks in the World have ‘acquired’ ATM funds and savings of individuals!

The long slide is beginning, my friends, and unless you live largely off the grid in the middle-of-nowhere, bartering gold coin, ammo and water (Joel?), you (we) are in for a wild ride.

If anyone out there thinks bread lines, runs on banks and gas rationing are not in our future, I’d like to heard your predictions.

And ‘domestic violence’ as a result?  A forgone conclusion, I’m afraid.

I truly hope I am completely wrong.

Yep.  This is unfair.  But no one said Life would be.

doom

And The Darwin Award Goes To…

These clowns

gun free

(I believe the ‘and helpless’ part was photoshopped in, and unnecessary.)

Of course, they may be part of a conspiracy to lure in unwitting bank robbers to their death, but I doubt it.

h/t David Codrea

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…