2098 Megbanks, Large and Small
A huge bank has found a new way to make your life miserable. They are “amending” some of their accounts to inoculate themselves against their hated class action suits. If you don’t opt out, you can’t drop out.
If you want to opt out, you can’t easily find the only acceptable method, snail mail to a specific address. Their hope to send you into arbitration. The ability is so far down in the fine print, they’re counting on long time internet belief and practice: “no one reads the finest of fine print.” We sheep simply check “I accept,” and move on.
If you get this notification, make sure you read all the blah-blah.
This is a way to corner you into arbitration if you have a problem, even if everyone else does, too. By accepting the change, you can’t be part of a class action suit. Don’t be fooled.
Megabanks didn’t get to be megabanks by being warm, cuddly and accommodating.
All this reminds one of the easy days of free toasters and high interest.
Time was you walked into a bank to get change of a 20 and you walked out with change of a 20, a cup of free coffee, a souvenir ball point pen, a couple of pieces of hard candy and a mortgage loan. Heady days. Money flowed freely. Well, not freely, but cheaply.
Those days are over.
Today, when you go into a bank to break a 20, you come out with $19.90 after they deduct the service charge. If you want a loan, they'll likely ask you things like your ability to pay it back (they'll check what you say,) and they'll want to know why you want the money -- how long you think you're going to need it and, "oh, by the way, it would be helpful if you moved your no-interest checking account to us."
The good old days are gone for you -- but not for your bank. It recently got a boatload of your tax money to keep itself stable. But, as in the good old days, it's not telling you how able it is to repay it, and it's not telling you how it's spending your money.
News reporters still are questioning the banks that were bailed out eleven years ago. Things like "we don't do dollar-in-dollar-out accounting" and "we're haven't made that public and we won't,” fill the reporters' reports. Maybe we peasants have to do things like that. But not the banks. Say what? You're using public money but not telling the public where it's going -- or not going?
Do we really need to know how every penny is spent, and would we know what to do with the information if we had it? Yes and yes. Do we want to know whether the money is being lent or hoarded or used to pay dividends to stockholders or bonuses to the CEO? You bet we do.
It's not the principle of the thing, it's the money.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2019