Comments

  1. bogofree

    I have a local credit union and a small local bank that I do business with. I have real free checking and any and all loans are competitive. The service is very personalized. In the past I have seen another small bank I belonged to gobbled up and via multiple acquisitions it is now Eastern Bank or Citizens or something else. I have lost track.

    What is amazing is the absolute disdain that the “Big Players” seem to exhibit for a good portion of their customers. I have friends that do business with them and just ask “why?”

    • Carl Nemo

      Hi bogofree,

      You may care to check the safety of your bank and credit union. Granted they are supposedly covered by ‘insurance’, but I wouldn’t depend on our government in these ‘interesting times’. I’m going to provide a link for you and others to check such. The link to do so is on the right hand side of the page almost to the bottom.

      http://www.bankrate.com/

      B and above to A+ or 4-5 stars is best with three star C being mediocre. Below C then you are dealing with subprime institutions. A recent release per Weiss Financials there are 2500 credit unions in poor to very poor shape nationwide.

      Also I wouldn’t depend on the $250,000 guarantee which was put in place subsequent to the 2008 banking meltdown. It was strictly a confidence builder. I’d stick with the older $100,000 per account holder per institution. For people with larger holdings then a better bet is U.S. Treasury Direct which is in short term instruments such as T-Bills and Notes. Stay away from longer term paper because as rates climb as they must you’ll get burned with the older issue holdings. Short duration is best in these scary times. Sound stock brokerages are safer than banks too in that many offer private backed insurance up to 10 million per account against fraud, theft etc. It’s called SIPC insurance, but it does not guarantee loss as a function of the investment instrument losing value due to market downturns unless you are using the brokerage to ladder one into t-bills, munies, and high quality corporate paper.

      Also although this might sound quaint, I’d advise people to keep some cash secured at home in $20’s not hundreds in order to serve their needs in the event of a systemic problems with the banks due to electrical overload problems etc.; ie., solar flares etc. Many if not most people are too dependent on ATM’s for their cash needs. Rest assured ‘the man’ that needs to be paid isn’t going to hold back on demanding their monthly payment etc. due to problems. That way a person can still service their bills at least those that don’t require an electronic interface to do so such as gas, electric, water, sewer and other essential services. Many utilities still maintain pay stations at various locations.

      If you discover your institution is subpar, don’t panic, just come up with a plan to move your money to a safe harbor. Granted some of the large institutions suck in terms of service, but their ratings are 4-5 star. We have U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan/Chase that all have excellent five star ratings. There are also many in the four star zone too.

      As a final thought for those that can afford to do so, then gold is the ultimate hedge against total economic collapse because there’s no counterparty risk. Gold has it’s own intrinsic value established on a worldwide basis making it fungible anywhere on earth if there’s a market for such. Whereas anything on paper and of a promissory nature indemnified by corporations or the government has risk because you are dependent on such parties to redeem such for its cash value with even the possibility of the underlying currency system going bust. Gold is the ultimate safe haven…period! Just don’t go hog wild accumulating such at these high market prices. Set up a program of accumulating such on a monthly basis. One ounce per month equals one troy pound per annum. There’s 12 troy ounces in an old troy pound. Each troy ounce is 31.1 grams whereas our commonly used avoirdupois ounce is 28.349 grams with 16 ounces to the pound, making the Troy pound lighter by comparison. By purchasing gold on the monthly plan and “taking possession” one averages out their purchase price although this is not pure dollar cost averaging. Also do not secure your gold holdings in so-called safe deposit boxes. The government has Executive Orders on the books that allows them to seal such boxes nationwide if necessary as well as the closing of banks in the event of a national bank run. Also there’s been instances of box pilferage in recent years. There’s nothing wrong with old fashioned post hole banking. : D

      At the current price buying an ounce a month may be too steep for most budgets, but you can still purchase tenth, quarter and half ounce bullion coins on a similar investment program. Smaller is a actually better due to the fact that as gold rises in price it’s easier to cash out fractional amounts of one’s gold holdings. If gold eventually reaches $5000 per ounce as our financial system melts down, then one wouldn’t want to redeem gold for whatever new crisis or funny money the government might issue. Smaller units are better.

      Although unsolicited, I hope this advice helps. : )

      Carl Nemo **==

  2. Carl Nemo

    “consumer czar Elizabeth Warren said on Tuesday” …extract from article

    The woman’s mere job title says it all. Seemingly the Office of the President has had a love affair with things that are of Russia for quite some time. We started with drug Czar, first implemented by none other than H.W. Bush and first used interfacing the media by Joe Biden. Now it’s devolved into over 30 of these faceless apparatchiks, none of them vetted by Congress and some of them with downright “red commie” leanings.

    Although czarists were not commies, it seems an appropriate name for a title that connotes the wielding of absolute power on the part of a government apparatchik over private enterprise. Scary indeed since most things government are grossly inefficient to failed before they are even brought on line.

    You’ll read it here possiby first, but not last from my keyboard…there is no competition in AmeriKa at this point in history…period! The corporate guys talk the talk, but never walk the walk concerning true, free market competition. They’re all into price-fixing, gouging and the destruction of lesser entities within their own line of business albeit a product or service and all with the government’s blessing or inaction.

    It his entity says they are on the side of small banks, all I can say is to small bankers…watch out below!

    As a note the majority of banks throughout America have a rating of C to E- with a relatively few above C to A+. Check your bank’s rating. I wouldn’t recommend banking at any institution with a rating of less than C with B and above better. Also check your brokerage and insurance company ratings too. It’s free and available on the www or through Weiss Financials. 2500 Credit Unions are on the verge of going belly up too. Things are not well in Gotham City folks in more ways than a thousand…! / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine

      So does McDonalds not compete with Hardees who does not compete with Dairy Queen who does not compete with Sonic who does not compete with Whataburger who does not compete with Denny’s… who does not compete with your local eateries… need I add more ?

      • Carl Nemo

        Hi Almandine,

        If we stacked the menus from all of these eateries and compared pricing for like entrees we’d find them awfully close unless you point out loss leader specials of the day; ie., ‘bait’ to lure in the hungry and depressed or both. One thing businessmen learn early in the game is to never undercut the ‘competition’ drastically because you’ll end up cutting your own throat over time. If you are in the fast food business you are also part of a ‘club’.

        Recently the store manager of major food outlet I mostly frequent showed me a d-base where they can access the realtime pricing of the competition. In the old days they would have to physically ‘shop the comp’, but not anymore. So they can adjust pricing to slightly below a competitor, but they don’t get too rambunctious because they’d just be cutting each others throats in the process since they all need to make an reasonable profit to stay in business. Seemingly there’s data available for a price of course concerning any product or service in order to stay on top the game.

        The serious price-fixing occurs at the commodities and wholesale level. Those businesses have the power to affect the cost of all goods passed on to retailers then to the consumer and so too need the most oversight.

        I guarantee the price of a gallon of gasoline at the pump currently is not simply a function of supply vs. demand.

        Remember Nixon’s ‘wage and price’ controls in the inflationary 70’s? Government intervention in a truly free marketplace never works. Price and value are always seeking to shake hands, bureaucrats and their intervention be damned.

        Carl Nemo **==

  3. Almandine

    Cut the regulatory SUPPORT out from under them all… competition will find the winners and losers. The REAL competitors won’t need help.