Monday, October 12, 2009

You Can Bank on It

I have some money in Chase Bank. I guess that makes me lucky by today's standards.

Actually the money is not really mine it belongs to Chase or at least that's the way it seems. You see they don't let me have it unless I jump through hoops and ask nicely, very nicely. And in many cases I must pay a surcharge for the privilege of taking my money and doing with it as I please.

An explanation is in order because the above would make no sense to an ordinary human being with a modicum of intelligence but intelligence is not what you need in our country anymore. What you need is a lobbying organization on your side and a congressman in your pocket.

When it comes to a bank versus a depositor the government will always side with the bank.

Don't believe me?

Spend recklessly and lose all your money; take some of your relatives along for the ride and send them into the poor house; bankrupt your mother-in-law and then apply for a bailout.

If your name happens to be Vikram Pandit or Jamie Dimon or Hank Paulson's friend Lloyd Blankfein there will not be a problem. And with no strings attached you will have all the money you need to get you back to where you want to be.

Now I am not going to rant about how the banks have totally wrecked the country and have nothing to show for it except deferred millions on bonuses and CEOs who continue to gorge themselves as if there's no tomorrow. This post is to point out how the little guy, a regular investor has no one on his or her side anymore and no chance of the change we need on the horizon.

I said I have money in Chase and that's true. But since Chase is offering a wonderful rate of less than ONE QUARTER OF A PERCENT on one year certificate of deposits I decided to take some of my money (I mean their money) out of my account and send it to a different bank.

In order to do this through the on-line banking service I have to set up the new bank as a "Payee." But having done that Chase is not allowing me to send any money out until they decide if the new bank is worthy.

SERIOUSLY! I received a message that the new 'Payee' is under review. A call to the customer service hot line (It's hot only because everyone who calls them gets extremely hot trying to get a person on the phone) informed me that it will take up to two days for me to be allowed to use the new account.

And if I would rather set the bank up as an external account and thereby be allowed to transfer money back and forth between banks I will be charged $3 every time I do so. That includes receiving money back from them!

The last part is very interesting because Chase actually states that if you wish to transfer money from an external account into Chase they will charge you $3 per transaction! I can see depositors lining up to send money into Jamie Dimon's a-hole of a bank, can't you?

Remember when a new deposit could get you a toaster? Now a deposit of a certain kind and you're toast!

It's not bad enough these receivers of our tax money bailouts are flaunting their wealth in our faces but now they are not even allowing us to play with our own money without scrutiny and new surcharges.

Wouldn't it be nice if once, JUST ONCE our Senators would say no to the bribes and yes to the little people who pulled that lever to get them into office?

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