The Weekend Politics Thread Thinks, More Like ‘Hells Fargo’

I’m tired of playin’ foolish games
I’m tired of all your lies makin’ me insane
I don’t ask for much, truth will do just fine
Won’t you lay it on the line ♪


Canada’s answer to April Wine1 more or less co-headlining the heavy metal day of a failed but worthy social experiment2 came to Uvular’s mind when he learned Wells Fargo planned to abolish personal lines of credit for account holders.

Thanks3 to a cascade of financial industry consolidations, Wells Fargo currently controls all your Weekend Politics Thread host’s ready cash. Consequently, the news that his bank would soon make accessing one’s own money less convenient and more expensive interested Uvular. In truth, the news interested and annoyed-to-angered Uvular, as so much news about anything does anymore.

Lines of credit do all the work of credit cards and signature (no collateral) loans in that they allow people to borrow against themselves. Banks increasingly disfavor lines of credit because they carry lower interest rates, the bank itself serves as the guarantor, and lines of credit operate under state and federal rules that permit lending institutions to charge fewer fees. A line of credit also kicks in automatically when a customer overdraws their checking account.

Independent contractors like the guy who put on your new roof, small business owners, and entrepreneurs rely heavily on lines of credit because they cannot depend on steady cashflows. Lines of credit also have the ultimate advantage of setting and forgetting them. They would normally only close when customers alert their bank to shut them down. Unused, a line of credit costs a person nothing, but then it kicks in when the need arises.

It seems beyond cliché or irony to denounce a bank corporation of caring only about money. But the decision by Wells Fargo goes far in proving that banks care nothing about the individuals who fill their vaults.4 What works best for an account holder must, the money men [sic] figure, work worst for a shareholder.

And do not forget Wells Fargo should have lost its federal charter immediately after regulators learned about executives paying managers bonuses for compelling local branch officers to open ghost, fee-based accounts without customers’ knowledge. Instead, thousands of frontline employees got the axe, corporate dug into its couch cushions to pony up a fine, and not a single fiscal mass murderer faced a day of jail time.

Us Politicados frequently debate prison abolition and the limits of mercy/rehabilitation for convicted criminals. Uvular’s own thoughts on those inextricably linked matters5 matter little, But he feels strongly that big-time criming involving the money of widows, orphans and less-less-advantaged folks deserves harsher penalties than just about any act of moral turpitude short of wounding or killing. Maliciously and avariciously crushing spirits and dreams, closing off opportunities, while rolling in other people’s dough merits harsh sanctions.

In the shorter term, Uvular really needs to transfer his checking account. Recommendations for rectitudinous repositories welcome.