Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Kinder Gentler Depression?

To be honest, I don't remember the Great Depression, as a matter of fact, my parents weren't even born yet. But, just like every other "ungrateful wasteful" American baby boomer that doesn't appreciate the value of a dollar, have heard about the Great Depression and the "greatest generation" that survived it. Well, actually most of what is called the "greatest generation" were children and their parents survived it and provided for them. At any rate, that is not my point. My point is this new banking protocol that has supposedly come about for efficiency, security and safety, but . . .
Now, when a check is written or a debit card is used, the transaction can "hit" your account by midnight that same night, because checks can now be processed electronically and instantly with the proper equipment, which many businesses are now using; but, and it is a big but, when you deposit a check into your checking account, the transaction will not post until the following business day, at the very soonest. And if it is Friday afternoon, it will not post until Monday evening. This "creates" a three day float in any business transaction, but only the financial institutions reap the benefit.
Something else, I have noticed and found absolutely questionable if not detestable.
I have been a customer, let me rephrase that to [I had been a customer] at a particular financial institution for several years and took a Cashier's Check on a bank that clearly stated it was a Cashier's Check for a redeemed CD. The financial institution, otherwise known as a Savings & Loan said they could not just accept a Cashier's Check, there would be a 5 day hold, due to the amount. So, when I then began to refigure my plan, they offered to write a check for the amount I needed and I could take their institution check written on their bank to my bank and that should be acceptable immediately . . . right? Because that institution was a Savings & Loan, the banking rules did not apply in the same way, but the results were the same to the customer, and this was a simple passbook savings account. We aren't talking Wall Street and High Finances.
The next thing I noticed was a a big renovation sign on one of the more prestigious banks, but on my way home from Sabbath study on Saturday afternoon we couldn't help but notice the contents of the building were being removed. So, we just happened to be going by another of the branch locations of the same bank and lo and behold, the sign on the door said, that location was permanently closed two weeks before the renovation began at the other location. Doesn't that seem a bit inconvenient for the customers? Two out of the three locations unavailable for business?
So we, the customer, now deal with Patriot Act procedure, banking protocol, e-transactions, renovations, relocation, and mergers, all while using an economic system that literally has no standard. Remember, there was both a gold and silver standard when the Great Depression hit our nation.
Could it be, rather than pulling the shades and locking the doors, the banks will just be sending us on wild e- transactions and procedural goose chases?
Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness

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