Latter-day Saints have long been encouraged to prepare for tough times by having food storage and basic supplies as well as some savings. Once again, I wish to recommend that your savings include cash that you can live of when things go bad. Part of the problem is that the available currency for US dollars is less than 10% of the total amount of dollars that have been created through America’s great credit bubble, meaning that when people feel nervous, the ATM machines will quickly be emptied and the banks won’t be able to give you your money. That may just be a short-term problem that can be remedied eventually with the help of emergency printing of bills by authorized or unauthorized counterfeiters with the help of the paper and printing industries. But there is an even bigger and more serious long-term problem: the banks you trust with your money can’t be trusted, as Wells Fargo has just illustrated (more on that below). And even if they are trying to be trustworthy, the US government can’t be trusted, and it may suddenly feel justified in freezing, blocking, or just snatching your funds. Money in the bank may not really be there in the end. So having significant cash on hand or somewhere relatively safe is one way of preparing for the bubbles that are bound to pop.
Wells Fargo should be a hot topic all over social media right now. What was exposed is a massive criminal conspiracy that should be sending dozens of executives to jail and raises huge questions about the rule of law in a nation that increasingly seems to be acting like a Gaddiantonized banana republic ready to to collapse. Jail and justice for massive theft and fraud seems to be an issue that is just off the table. The penalty for such widespread fraud and theft is just a fine that is a pittance for the corporate giant. Kudos to Bernie Sanders for asking the only meaningful question that everyone should be asking: who’s going to jail? (See his letter at the end of this post.)
Here’s one perspective as reported by Mark St. Cyr in “Wells Fargo: Who Says Crime Doesn’t Pay?” at ZeroHedge.com:
Unless you’re one of the few people still watching CNN, you may have missed what can only be one of the most scandalous in-house criminal activities to be uncovered at a bank.
And not just any bank. It happened at none other than Wells Fargo,
which, up until the scandal was revealed, was the number one bank (as
measured via its market cap) in the U.S. The scandal? Here are just a few highlights as reported. To wit:
Thursday, federal regulators said Wells Fargo (WFC) employees secretly
created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts — without
their customers knowing it — since 2011.
The phony accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees and allowed Wells
Fargo employees to boost their sales figures and make more money.
“Wells Fargo employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts to hit
sales targets and receive bonuses,” Richard Cordray, director of the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said in a statement.”
And to use CNN’s own words to describe it: “The scope of the scandal is shocking.”
How shocking you may ask? Fair enough, here’s a little more from their reporting…
way it worked was that employees moved funds from customers’ existing
accounts into newly-created ones without their knowledge or consent,
regulators say. The CFPB described this practice as “widespread.”
Customers were being charged for insufficient funds or overdraft fees —
because there wasn’t enough money in their original accounts.
Additionally, Wells Fargo employees also submitted applications for
565,443 credit card accounts without their customers’ knowledge or
consent. Roughly 14,000 of those accounts incurred over $400,000 in
fees, including annual fees, interest charges and overdraft-protection
As scandalous as all the
above is, what is far more insidious, is the damage it inflicts (once
again) upon the very fabric of free market capitalism, trust in laws,
and last but not least: trust and belief in actual contrition. i.e., “No we’ve really changed, really!”
Cyr goes on to quote the official response of an executive at Wells Fargo who explains that the CEO who was in charge when all this fraud took place, a woman who has suddenly resigned and is walking away with more cash in a giant parting bonus than you and I could ever haul in the biggest wheelbarrow you’ve ever seen, was a great gal and helped the stock go up, up, up. Hurrah! So Wells Fargo has changed, wiped the slate clean, and will be much more careful in the future — careful not to get caught, I’m sure.
When major violations of US law can take place that are simply ignored by the enforcers, apparently because a company or VIP is to “too big to fail, too important to jail,” we are no longer living under the rule of law. It’s a symptom of a Gaddiantonized society and a sign of very big trouble to come. Those little slips like this one that get public scrutiny are usually the tip of a very sinister iceberg.
Whatever you think you have in the bank, remember that all those nice little intangible electronic digits consisting of 1s and 0s, can easily become a nice long string of 0s with the flipping of a few bits. Easier still, the bank can simply be put on a “banking holiday” as one of the great thieves of the past already did during a time of economic crisis in the US (the same thief who forced Americans to turn their gold over to the US government for $20 an ounce when the price would be $35 an ounce for the rest of the world). Be prepared for ugly surprises far more serious than paying a lot of spurious fees to Wells Fargo. You can’t trust your bank, or the people who control and regulate your bank, and the people whose primary loyalty is to the bankers of Wall Street, not the US Constitution.
Though I’m not a fan of Bernie Sanders, I’m happy to praise him for asking the very important but actually taboo question in the letter below (courtesy of ZeroHedge.com):