snakes will be snakes

Life began to fade from the pleading eyes of his prey as the boa constrictor squeezed his coils even tighter. It was then that he saw a larger rodent approaching that would make a more satisfying meal. He thought to himself, “This is why I need fingers. I could grasp that rodent as well as eat the one I already have.”

Since he had no fingers and was too greedy to let the larger rodent pass, he released his hold on the one he had and started slithering toward the larger one. But then he saw other snakes slithering toward that same prey. Were they as foolish as he? Had they too just released their smaller prey to seize this larger, yet unattained, prize?

In case you’re wondering, the boa constrictor is Bank of America. Get it? BOA? And the other snakes are the remaining big banks that are slithering toward the same decision that BOA made to raise debit card or checking account fees. A few of them have already backed down though, including JP Morgan Chase, US Bancorp, Citigroup, PNC Financial Services Group, and KeyCorp. They have said that they will not be adding such fees. This year.

Meanwhile. Chase and Well Fargo have been testing fees in select states to see if they will institute a corporate rate hike. Additionally, Wells Fargo has quietly done away with free checking without notifying their current customers in writing. I accidentally found out that September 12th marked a change where customers would will be charged $7 a month for primary checking unless they had direct deposit during each billing cycle for $500 or more or if they kept a minimum daily balance of $1500 in their account.

Now, don’t get me wrong. While I’m of the 99%, I’m not against capitalism. But I am against abuse and greed. I think these institutions have a responsibility to inform their customers of account changes. So be aware and beware. Snakes will be snakes. Don’t hate them for what they do. The moral of the story is to read the fine print that’s associated with your accounts. And know that you have options with other banks and credit unions. Knowledge is power and empowered are you.

Published by kenn

author. developer. illustrator. Renaissance man.

8 thoughts on “snakes will be snakes”

  1. Katina says:

    Sorry, but I’m of the mindset to hate them for what they’re doing, because it isn’t capitalism, it’s ABUSE. Period. I used to work with Bank of America, and were it not for that fact, I probably would not have accounts with them, but over the years they have notified me in writing of their arbitrary changes. My free checkings were no longer free, but I avoided fees in one account because of direct deposit. The other account didn’t have DD and incurred a small fee of $3.95. That fee is now $12 a month. Each time the fees changed I got a letter saying “By the way, we’re taking XX dollars out of your account now.” They didn’t justify or explain the increase in fees. I’ve had my mortgage with them for almost 3 years now, which qualified all of my accounts for premium status (no fees, free checks, free lots-of-stuff) and you think anyone at the bank told me about this when I SPECIFICALLY asked about ALL of the options I had, with regard to avoiding fees? No. Not at all. I found this out through my accountant who also banks with the BOA…someone finally told her about it last week, and only after she was there to close out all of her accounts.

    We’re not experiencing the backlash of capitalism, we’re experiencing abuse. People are duped into deals by financial institutions, because by the time they find out they’ve been duped a large profit has been made at their expense. I say this all the time, but you can’t sow lies and reap truth. The lie is believing that the banking practices fall within the realm of capitalism, the truth is that what they do is flat out robbery, and in some cases, illegal. Tax payers bail out banks AND now we’re paying off their lawsuits (yeah… I notice when BOA is involved in a big lawsuit, fees go up for everyone).

    Even look at the housing crisis. Folks got a sub-prime loan with a credit score in the low 500s…Loan officer tells them they can refinance in 2-years (monthly payments on the mortgage improves their credit score, they can get same or better rates later). There is a reason the person’s credit score is that low…they pay some things on time, but not everything. Paying ONE mortgage on time doesn’t propel someone into the 700s…Anyway…the homebuyer believes this malarkey, only to find out 2-years later that even though their credit score has improved some…it still doesn’t qualify them for refinancing at a rate that keeps the mortgage affordable…like rate they initially had, or anything close to it. So they’re stuck with the mortgage.

    I’ve already moved my accounts out of the BOA’s grip, and if the entire banking system gets corrupted I’ll just resort to stuffing my $$ under the mattress (old school)…lol!

    Anyways…I can rant all day long. Like you…I’m not against capitalism, just abuse…but yes..I’ll hate the abuser too.

    I tell you what though, I LOVE your opening
    “Life began to fade from the pleading eyes of his prey as the boa constrictor squeezed his coils even tighter.” And you’re so right, knowledge is power.

    1. kenn says:

      Thanks for the rant, Katina. Reading your words just made me angrier at the whole deal because the banks rely on the fact that people don’t read the fine print. Is it the peoples’ fault or are they just too trusting of these organizations? I don’t know conclusively, but as you said, it’s pure and simple abuse.

  2. Katina says:

    It’s a combination of both. Think about banking derivatives. Even if information on how derivatives work and generate $$ was made public for everyone to see, very few people would understand it. Is it their fault they don’t understand? Do we raise our hands and say “It’s not my fault you’re dumb?” No…That math is flat out complex, and the people/institutions who stand to profit from derivatives are not interested in explaining how this system works. What do people do…they trust the financial institutions thinking “they must know what they’re doing…right?” Not!

    Who’s to say that victims of sub-prime lending didn’t read the fine print? Betcha they did, but either didn’t get it (and trusted the loan offer’s explanation)…or they truly believed that they’d be able to qualify for good interest rates after their 2-year “special rates” expired.

    When people understand that these financial institutions needs us, our money, to thrive, maybe we’d be less likely to take their crap. This is the knowledge that will empower us. If one person says “no” the institution doesn’t listen…if we all say “no” and threaten to take our $$ away, they’ll change. But we’re too busy being individuals instead of being a united force. I know a lot of people who are leaving the BOA…hopefully enough of us leave to make a difference and make the BOA think twice about what they are doing.

    Here is a video from 2009 – I totally share this man’s sentiments, though I walked away much later.

    1. kenn says:

      Bank of America isn’t the only one. and don’t get me started about the credit card industry that Obama was going to make more accountable. We do have the power in numbers but those numbers always start with one. Be that one. I know I am.

  3. Katina says:

    Dude! You make me wanna go out, dress in all-black with a beret, combat boots and walk the streets with an 80’s style boom-box blasting “Fight the Power!” Lol!

    And yeah BOA isn’t the only one…but they were the ones telling me to “bend over” so they’re the prime target for my rants lol!

    1. kenn says:

      Just don’t get done like Radio Raheem.

  4. Katina says:

    Right! 🙂

  5. Suraya says:

    We seem to forget that this is a capitalist country. Waiting for the day when we go back to have a central banking system…*cough JPMorgan Chase*…. will be the one bank standing strong running this country…. JMO

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