OBLIVION—You’ve got to hand it to the banks. Accused of the most heinous behavior, under siege from both the right and the left, they continue to steadfastly know their mind when it comes to credit cards and the efficiency with which they’ve been squeezing people into bloody pulp. At first, I thought they had lost their collective mind because it didn’t make sense to me that they would want to make it impossible for customers to continue making payments on card balances, especially when it came to longstanding fools such as myself.
It didn’t even make sense to me that they would need to raise rates and lower credit limits before new rules go into place, because no matter the justification, putting the squeeze on people they should want to make their monthly nut didn’t make sense to me. I thought we were their prime customers.
But I was wrong. They know what they’re doing and the squeeze leading to increased personal bankruptcy is exactly what they are after. They’re acting like brazen street thugs not only because they can, but because it will make their lives easier down the road. As America continues its decline into economic semi-irrelevance, they need to get people “off the books,” so to speak. What better way than to drive them into bankruptcy, after which they no longer have to extend credit to them.
In the meantime, they get to write the losses off, which means they can write down much of the money they’ve already “borrowed” from the federal government. It seems like a far better scenario for them than allowing those same people (i.e. me) to slowly pay off their (my) balances, after which the banks will have no excuse with which to not lend them (me) more money. The banks can make just as much-or more-from a smaller pool of creditors in the years to come, as well as from the multitude of newly-minted consumers in developing economies that have matured to the point where they are amassing debt.
The fact that the banks were able to prosper in a liberal country such as America makes no difference to them. We make no difference to them. They are the true citizens of the world, bound by no borders, contained by no laws. I, to use as an example, am nothing to them, an obstacle, no matter how much money they have made from me in the past.
I never saw myself as the bankruptcy type. I’ve always paid my bills and managed my finances quite fine, even if I was basically broke. But I don’t see how I can continue to support my family if I have thug enterprises like Chase, Citibank and Bank of America not only cheering on my financial demise, but actively pursuing it with a single-minded determination that leaves me literally slack-jaw with awe and anger.
Got to give them credit for that, at least.