Wednesday, 1 October 2014

blue light special or lender of last resort

A major American retailer has finally managed to run rings around regulators and public-interest groups and is able to additionally bundle bank-like services for its patrons, many of whom belong to the demographic where they cannot avoid this particular discounter and are not of the means to be courted by other financial institutions.

The infamously miserly business-model of this company already enjoys the reputation of the destroyer of small businesses and Main Street, USA—long before on-line commerce was accused of demolishing brick-and-mortar, patronising suppliers of questionable ilk, and well as—being the employer of a large percentage of the workforce—pays workers so poorly that they could not get by without government assistance, supplemented by tax-payers at the expense of other public-good, and really the tithe and tax on the poor that the government tried to make less painful. The tithe is in the fine-print, as the banking-outreach seems rather harmless and even magnanimous at first, but there are transaction- and maintenance-fees that ensure a steady bleeding with hardly an infusion. The powerful lobbying arm of this corporation has additionally blocked any legislation that might award the same sort of bank-like powers to a lumbering US Postal Service, despite the system's obviously good geographical spread and the fact that post offices did exactly that until its charter was not renewed in the mid 1960s. What do you think? I have to ask, as I do not have the privilege of ever shopping there.