Santa Barbara Finally Pulls Up Short

jackson hewitt logoQuepos            It was an extra present under the palm tree to read in the pre-dawn that Santa Barbara Bank & Trust was being pulled out of the business of factoring RALs, predatory refund anticipation loan for Jackson & Hewitt and other companies in the viciously competitive tax services market for lower  income and working families.  Several years ago direct negotiations with HSBC, previously the largest factor for such loans, had pulled out of the market (which I have discussed in Citizen Wealth at some length) and Chase had been reforming its practices, but Santa Barbara had been the big holdout.

            Partially, it was simply the “one that got away.”  It’s footprint was smaller with a base in Santa Barbara that was too far away from our groups and members to do much damage.  They had gotten into this predatory business and done very well, but were impervious to the impacts.  What did it matter to their normal customer base  in Santa Barbara after all?

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Pampered, Rich, Lazy Bankers Dis Prez

lloyd_blankfein-goldman-sachsNew Orleans The meeting between a dozen big bankers and President Obama was just for show anyway, but three of the big dawgs were too trifling to make it from New York to DC for cryeye because of fog.  The three scofflaws were Goldman Sachs, the poster child for banking excess, Citigroup, the face of a crippled institution, and Morgan Stanley, another “new” bank reincorporated to get to the pig trough for billions.  They were call-ins from New York not Iraq or Afghanistan or somewhere really hard to manage travel.

Even more embarrassing to these three has to be the fact that the head of PNC drove himself from Pittsburgh to DC on Sunday night to make sure there were no problems.  Another “new” bank, incorporated just for the billions, American Express, joined hoi polloi with the rest of the commuters and took Amtrak.  Richard Parsons (Citi), John Mack (Morgan Stanley), and Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs profiteers) clearly just couldn’t be bothered to either plan ahead and check into the weather or ride government transportation on the train with the little folk.

Having traveled for a living for decades, I just don’t buy any of their excuses.  They are so lame they are not worth repeating.

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