Sunday, December 9, 2007

FRIENDLY COMMUNITY BANKS HAVE MORPHED--BY GOVERNMENT DEREGULATION--INTO MONSTERS UNDER THE BED

Business
Letter to ING Direct from a NetBank Customer
Dear ING Direct,
You recently took over my personal and corporate banking business when you acquired the assets of failed NetBank.
. . . You promised to send out a welcome package via regular mail. While waiting, I researched you online. I discovered your random account closures and other questionable treatment of customers. But you assured me you would not close an account due to imperfect credit, so I kept waiting.
I was expecting logins, ATM cards and debit cards. Instead, you sent me another sales email, but this time with a footnote that all my ATM and debit cards would go dark on November 23rd!
I like that you gave notice, unlike when you closed my money market account. I didn’t realize it was gone until I tried to make a deposit.
. . . I contacted my “local” banks, including Bank of America, EverBank and Emigrant Direct. They all want my business! So don’t worry ING Direct. My mid-five-figure deposits will be out of your hair right away. I promise never to burden you with them again.
Regards,
George Donnelly
Former NetBank depositor
P.S. You really ought to put “BETA” next to the logo on your website until you figure out what you’re doing.
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The big push by Ronald Reagan toward privatization and deregulation (PD) was a neocon dream come true. Granted, it was a mere baby in his first term and barely a toddler by the time Reagan left office.
George Bush the First went along with the downsizing of America on his way to actually learning what a bar-code was. GB First was intrigued with how life functioned at the supermarket check-out register. Imagine, a thousand points of light in a single grocery store. Who knew?
Bill Clinton tried to enroll PD as a youngster in the kindergarden of economic reality, but it was never an even fight. Though he balanced a budget and paid down a hunk of national debt in the process, the nation was convinced to watch the pea under the shell--the little blue dress.
Then along came Bush II and like a spoiled brat intimidating his parents, PD threw tantrums, got hooked on speed, wrecked the car and stayed out past curfew. Hatching plans and diagrams, Privatization and Deregulation enabled Blackwater and the myriad 'ownership' scams that have made government smaller.
Smaller because PD dismantled government, took away all oversight and spit it out as less, even though it cost ten times more. Sold it to the lowest bidder, under the table and quite often (how do I put this delicately?) to companies formerly run by present day White House occupants and their cronies.
So government got smaller. So small the Army can't feed itself anymore without Halliburton to hold the spoon. So small that the only people able to squeeze into a congressman's office are lobbyists. Small enough that it only costs $6 million to run a senatorial campaign.
The goal was achieved (or at least well begun) with PD out there on the mean streets, ransacking the neighborhood. Drug dealers normally go to jail for that and PD was dealing fear. Sooner or later they get caught or some accomplice plea-bargains them into prison.
No matter, PD has friends in high places and they are enough--unless of course the friends themselves are tossed out of office and into the slammer.
It doesn't look like that will happen.
Too many co-conspirators in both parties have dirty fingers for that to happen and the country is confused and under a lot of stress. The country has been coached to stay the hell under the bed and maybe, if they're good and don't complain, things might get better.

PD is out there rain or shine. You can see him if you draw back the edge of the curtain, leaning against a lamp post and intimidating the old folks. He's selling protection insurance against terrorists, throwing an occasional brick through windows of the few businesses left on Main Street, just to make a point. Like NetBank and GM and United Airlines.
And people are buying.
The old folks aren't buying, but they're dying off. They remember Al Capone and the Depression, FDR and Harry Truman. They are able to say to this president, "I knew Harry Truman and you are no Harry Truman."
The old folks, the National Memory, mostly afraid in their final years of losing their Medicare to that bully leaning against the lamp post. The same greaser punk who quadrupled their national debt and stuffed the cash in his pocket.
This privatizer brought us the likes of ING Bank and ING Direct, sailing in from Holland to siphon off the NetBank gravy and leave the crusts for the FDIC to clean up. This Reagan offspring is the greedy, lawless kid who grew up to wreck our airlines, bankrupt Detroit and send hired Blackwater killers abroad in our name.
PD got together with Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay and they found a way to buy off our government. They called it a 'Contract With America. Newt and Tom lured us into credit-card and mortgage debt, sold our Congress to K-Street, allowed us to vote for it all and then yanked the rug.
Jack Abramoff is yesterday's news. Only the old folks noticed.
George Donnelley speaks for you and for me. George is one of the millions of spokesmen and women who stand up for the old and intimidated, for the nation that has been snookered into shooting up on the neocon drug of choice.
George is not afraid, because he knows all about fear and the true fact the vicious PD enablers in the White House don't dare repeat . . .
. . . "we have nothing to fear but fear itself."
Words the old folks know. FDR, when he spoke them, included the things that are done in the name of fear, under the banner of fear, while fear has our undivided attention.

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