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Bank Notes

Adam Rust's picture

Posted May 19, 2010

Jamie Dimon earns more in one hour than one of his bank tellers earns in an entire year. Errol Louis at the NY Daily News hopes that a few non-profit groups pushing back against Chase will draw more followers.

Is it really possible to draft a "bucket list" for Raleigh? Can't a city just be productive and affordable? Does it have to be fun, too? An ad on facebook suggests that such a list should be made.  I bet it says that for all the cities.  But, let's try. Think about it this way: If a friend told you that he or she was going to stop over in your town for six hours, where would you tell them to go? Would you tell them to just stay in the airport? I hope not.  If your friend was in Raleigh, it would be a thought-provoking question. Maybe you could go to Umstead Park.  You could try to park on Jones Street.  You could have a funnel cake at the State Fair. Perhaps you could drive two hours to the beach. One of our local television announcers made his own top ten list. Only two of his ideas include North Carolina, and both involve listening to music. What about basketball?  No, in the Triangle, we're affordable and productive. Go to the Big Easy if you want to take a few days off for a good time. Or, if you just want to take a few days off, go to Detroit.

I keep on seeing things that undermine any sense that I could have in a near-term recovery. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has a report out today that says that the economy is about to come back.  The number of borrowers that missed a mortgage payment has never been higher than it was in the first quarter. In fact, more than one in ten borrowers is now delinquent! Auctioneers in Mobile, Alabama are auctioning off assets of shipbuilders and manufacturers.  American manufacturing capacity actually decreased last year, the first time ever. Oh, yeah, and inflation is at a 44-year low.  Lenders are offering loans at less than 5 percent, and even then, mortgage applications are down.

FingerHut, where the poor avoid paying more up front by instead paying more over 12 easy payments, has a new credit partner. Remember that Fingerhut's old provider, CIT, almost went insolvent. The new bank...drumroll, please: MetaBank.  In the catalog, prices are given for the product and then for the lowest monthly payment. The fine print on page 28 says that MetaBank extends credit at 24.9 percent. A special treat at Finger Hut: no payments during the "Deferral Period." In that feature, a borrower can elect to make no monthly payments for an initial period after purchase.  During that time, interest accrues into additional principal.