Thursday, April 25, 2013

Willie Sutton Wouldn't Rob a Bank These Days. He'd Own One.

I know, somewhere deep in my heart, that banks are good. Hey, I've watched "It's a Wonderful Life" ten times just like the rest of you. But since 2008, I've come to the conclusion that our too-big-to-fail institutions are criminal enterprises of the highest order. And, face it, they're actually too-big-to-jail.

(Thanks, Americans Against The Republican Party.)

Fun fact: JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon still has a job!

Another fun fact: In 2005, I bought a home. I chose USAA to get a mortgage because I trusted them. Unbeknownst to me, within a month, they sold the loan to, uh, Fannie Mae. I couldn't tell at the time, but USAA never serviced the loan. It was serviced by GMAC, which went bankrupt and was bailed out by the U.S. government, which still owns a huge stake in the new bank, Ally. Following the terms of the bankruptcy, GMAC sold my loan servicing to another outfit, Green Tree Servicing, a division of Green Tree, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walter Investment Management Group. It's a wonderful life!

Just asking: Do you know who your mortgage has been sleeping with?


  1. I banked with the large establishments for almost all my life, up until recently. In the middle of 2012 I decided to switch from Chase to a credit union for a few different reasons:
    1) I liked the idea of my money being in an institution that saw me as a person, rather than an opportunity to simply make more money
    2) The criminality of the banks with the Libor scandal, the housing crash, HSBC's money laundering, etc was sickening, especially when the banks were not being punished for it AT ALL (it's crazy to know that people caught holding a few ounces of pot have gotten more jail time than people like Jaime Dimon)
    3)The credit union offered checking free of charge as long as you had a balance of $1 or more, whereas the banks have at least several loopholes to jump through, and unless you fulfill them you get charged monthly
    4) The credit union was willing to let me start building credit with their products when no one else would since I didn't have any history.

    Now yes, there are drawbacks to credit unions, such as most of them don't have full-fledged online banking and apps like the big banks do (though mine has both), and they don't have as many branch and ATM locations, but the service feels more personal, and there aren't fees around every corner. Needless to say, I've become a fan of the credit unions, and I can't see myself going back to the big banks anytime soon.

    1. Good decision. I hope more do the same thing.