Daily Archives: February 9, 2017

Sinclair Lewis’1935 novel, about the US electing a totalitarian president. Sounds familiar?


Novel imitating life. From Wikipedia:

It Can’t Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis,[1] and a 1936 play adapted from the novel by Lewis and John C. Moffitt. Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, a politician who defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt and is elected President of the United States, after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and “traditional” values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes aplutocratic/totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force, in the manner of Adolf Hitler and the SS.

GOP Pushes to Repeal Regulations on Prepaid-Card Companies

Republican legislators have moved to repeal a rule constraining prepaid–debit card companies before the rule can take effect, marking the latest effort in their recent campaign of widespread deregulation.

Seven GOP senators—led by David Perdue of Georgia—and four representatives—led by Tom Graves, also of Georgia—filed identical resolutions in the Senate and House of Representatives last week, invoking an obscure law called theCongressional Review Act to smother a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule before it can be enacted.

The CFPB rule, scheduled to take effect in October, would provide safeguards for those who use prepaid cards, which are similar to debit cards but are preloaded with a designated amount of money by the cardholder. The rule would require providers to disclose hidden fees and protect against loss, theft, and unauthorized charges. The rule would also force prepaid-card companies to limit overdraft fees.

Read on.

Former employees of Wells Fargo file lawsuit in South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Nearly a dozen former employees of Wells Fargo in several states are suing the bank in federal court in South Dakota, alleging they were fired for minor criminal charges that had already been disclosed when they were hired.

The criminal records surfaced when Wells Fargo hired a company to conduct background checks on employees, the Argus Leader (http://argusne.ws/2kSkLzJ) reported. The background checks were conducted in order to comply with a 2008 federal law that prohibited banks and mortgage lenders from employing people convicted of crimes involving dishonesty.

Read on.

Davis to sever ties with Wells Fargo over Dakota pipeline, banking practices

The Davis City Council voted late Tuesday to sever ties with Wells Fargo after residents voiced concerns about the company’s involvement in the controversial Dakota Access pipeline and regulators last year found the bank created unauthorized consumer accounts.

City Council members voted 5-0 to seek a new bank – or possibly a credit union – to handle the city’s finances.

They said they were responding to residents who took particular issue with Wells Fargo’s role as a financier of the Dakota pipeline, as well as a scandal regulators uncovered last year in which the bank set up bank accounts for consumers without their knowledge. Some council members said they wanted to direct the city’s financial business toward a smaller bank based locally.

Service charge: JPMorgan Chase accused of loading jury duty pay debit cards with fees

Wow! Anything for a buck by the bankster!

For some people, jury duty is a dreaded American civic obligation. Now, JPMorgan Chase is adding another unwelcome element: banking fees.

In a handful of jurisdictions, the biggest U.S. bank by assets has taken over administration of the juror-compensation system, issuing debit cards instead of the age-old system of paper checks.

In addition to the juror pay, the cards also come loaded with fees — for balance inquiries, for inactivity, for using non-Chase ATMs, for charges with insufficient funds and for cash or check issuance. The funds become impossible to withdraw from an ATM once the balance falls below $20, and in at least one jurisdiction — Washington, D.C. — there are no Chase branches or ATMs within 90 miles (145 kilometers), ensuring the funds will eventually be frittered away to the bank.

Read on.

Reuters: Justice gunning for Deutsche Bank mortgage bond staffers

The Department of Justice is pursuing former personnel who worked for Deutsche Bank in the years before the financial crisis, according to an exclusive report from Reuters.

While author Joy Wiltermuth refers to targeted staffers as those “who worked in Deutsche Bank’s mortgage unit in the run-up to the financial crisis,” the indication is that Justice is going after former mortgage bond salespersons.

Read on.

Maine robo-signing scandal resurfaces with Treasury nomination

A woman at the center of a foreclosure robo-signing scandal at OneWest Bank in 2009 – and now part of the controversial confirmation hearings for a new Treasury secretary – signed off on mortgage documents in Maine.

The scandal is attracting new attention because Steven Mnuchin, President Trump’s nominee to head the Treasury Department, denied in a Senate confirmation hearing that OneWest, the bank that he headed from 2009 to 2015, engaged in robo-signing. Critics of Mnuchin are hoping that the controversy over robo-signing, along with allegations that the nominee hasn’t revealed all his financial records, might derail his nomination.

Read on.