Random Obs.

Blog Post

 

 

    Bullet Points:

** This guy is a weird cat,  but make of the youtube video as you will.  If you plan to disappear, don’t tell anyone what you plan to do or how you plan to do it. Don’t share with others, and live your legend (your new identity).

** (Zeihan) The real thread connecting all of these banking mishaps, however, is one that’s not going to go away anytime soon. Rising capital costs. Many of these banks and their customers have been operating in a world where money has been as close to free as it has ever been in human history. Over the past year, we’ve seen interest rates rise–sharply–and there’s little reason to believe that we’re anywhere near done yet. The fundamental operating paradigm for banks and the financial paradigm of the past decade and a half is shifting, and we’re going to see which financial institutions are able to deal with the change and which ones won’t be able to keep up.

** Isoroku Yamamoto (below left) was a Marshal Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II until his death.

Yamamoto differed from other Japanese flag officers. He was familiar with the Americans on a personal level. He studied at Harvard University and spoke fluent English. While in America, he traveled extensively and learned to understand American culture and customs firsthand.

He opposed Japanese plans of war against the Americans. He knew that the Japanese simply were unable to win against the Americans, especially in a protracted war because of American production capacity.

This is the context behind his quote:

In the first 6 to 12 months of a war with the United States and Great Britain, I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.

Prophetic.

Every blade of grass, right DRJIM?

** From Frank – an attitude of gratitude.

** How many mobile homes are actually “mobile” even if they retain wheels? I don’t have a lot of experience with them –  many people call them “coaches” rather than “trailers” or “mobile homes”. Within tornado alley, they would seem to attract storms.  And they don’t float when rivers flood. They’re really more of a pre-fab house these days aren’t they?

** March 14 (Reuters) – The startup OpenAI on Tuesday said it is beginning to release a powerful artificial intelligence model known as GPT-4, setting the stage for human-like technology to proliferate and more competition between its backer Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google.

 

A Visit to the Bank

I’ve had accounts at Wells Fargo Bank in the past. I think that I’m still a co-signator on an account there that belongs to a Buddhist shrine in California. No, I’m not a Buddhist, but I have friends who are. I’m also affiliated with an organization that has a nine-figure account at Wells Fargo but I don’t think that would pop up if they plugged my name in unless I presented myself in connection with that portfolio.

I recently opened a new Limited Liability Company through the Arizona Corporations Commission to deal with new business. Sometimes it’s a hassle to keep things straight and this is me trying to manage that. I thought that I’d go to Wells Fargo and open an account there.

So in I went to the Payson, Arizona Branch, paperwork in hand to attest to my personal bonafides and that of the new LLC. I wore a suit. The twenty-something (possibly self-identifying as male) person over new accounts, Owen Pippen (his real name), essentially told me that they didn’t want my business and suggested that I go elsewhere.

There is more than one bank in town and I went to JP Morgan Chase where I have existing accounts and I spoke to the bank manager there, happy open the account. I mentioned the incident Wells Fargo and she said, “it’s the suit.”

Me: “Huh?”

“Nobody wears suits around here except lawyers. I’m sure that you freaked them out, LL. Did you tell them how much you planned to drop into the account?”

Me: “It never got that far.”

“Seven figures would have bothered them. They’re conditioned through training to think that it must be drug money.”

Me: “Frigging Wells Fargo? Go figure.”

“It’s a rural area. A guy walks in with a suit and wants to open a business account and put money in the bank and people here freak out.”

So the new account will be at Chase. Fk Wells Fargo.

The Chase bank manager offered me a job as a banker (she can’t fill the opening). I asked how much they paid. She said, “$16 an hour usually, but can hire you as a team leader and pay you $20.” She knew my answer before she asked and before I could say anything else, she said, “exactly so.”

 

Identify the Tank

 

Identify the AFV

68 thoughts on “Random Obs.

  1. Identify the Tank:
    Italian Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40

    Identify the AFV:
    AMPV (Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle), M113 replacement

  2. Just started back to work in ‘risk management’ with a fortune 500 firm. Mentioned the very thing about financial risk surrounding rising rates and impact on suppliers (especially after the SVB collapse and bailout – check what the FED actually did) and got blank stares. They have a process, very specific to very specific supplier risks. So plug and chug I will happily do, for a lot more than $16 an hour. A couple years will be fine by me. Stops the drain on the rapidly losing value of what I’ve saved for a few decades.
    https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20230312a.htm
    follow the FED’s internal link for the details. The Europeans are going to be in even worse shape.

    1. When Orange County, California filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in late 1994, I was put in charge of the criminal investigation (for details, read my book available at Amazon.com). It was my first view of how f-ed up rating agencies are and how risk management had absolutely no place in government debt/bonds. Since Merrill Lynch was a main player, I took a deep dive into their operations, armed with a sheaf of blank grand jury subpoenas that I filled out when people didn’t want to chat amicably.

      Of course, that was back before job one for corporate America was identifying pronouns, equity for negroes and the importance of men becoming womyn and birthing people becoming men.

      Among other things, I’m dabbling in “Advanced Corporate Research” which could be called competitive intelligence. I’ve done it before, but it’s lucrative and there is a demand for the work.

  3. Mobile homes – a scifi movie had a young man trying to explain a trailer park, made up of homes that could move but never went anywhere.
    Wells Fargo – I had early onset of cataracts, most likely due to cortisone shots for a swelling knee joint. After cataract surgery I used reading glasses to read things and would look over the top of the rim at someone who spoke to me. I found out that a number of people in my age bracket found that to be intimidating. I’ve wondered if the western movies and shows had something to do with that. A common event in the shows would be some mouthy kid coming in and trying to throw his weight around. At some point an older gent would peer at him over his glasses, and then proceed to administer the smackdown.

        1. Great scene! Another ‘let them get closer and pound me just so I can use my secret weapon!’ sequence.

          1. That scene made a lot more sense than the dogfights based on WWII fighter movements.
            Another interesting scene: guy turns and looks and the one who asked ‘what do we do’ and he replies “We die.”
            Thought the starfighter’s girlfriend was cute – I think she was a Canadian actress, but I’m still waking up.

          2. ie, you can perform movements in space not possible in atmosphere, and vice versa. B5 had some decent fighter moves as well.

        2. Excellent job of forcing the enemy into your weapons’ range.

          Still, can you imagine how boring a real space battle would be? I mean, it could be tense, like an old sub vs ship movie, where you plot where you expect your enemy to be, fire at that spot (with lasers, particle cannons, missiles, high-velocity rocks, dead bodies, space cows, whatever) and then… wait to see if you hit them.

          Without the engine sounds, without the sounds of the missiles, rocks, space cows, whatever flying through empty space.

          Nobody has done it right yet. Bab5 got some of it right, so has The Expanse. But close in knife fighting with energy weapons that move slower than musket balls and make lots of noise? Yeah, no.

          I wish someone would make a mini-series or a full series out of at least one of David Weber’s Honor Harrington books.

          1. I’d like to see that as well. However, as it upholds honesty, integrity, honor and the good guys (usually) win, I can’t see any U.S. studio taking it on and I shudder to think of the botched mess they would make of it. Maybe something like an anime series?

          2. Have a look at Jack Campbell’s “Lost Fleet” series for non (or at least less) BS space naval battles. Also at his other books published under his real name, John Hemry (LCDR, USN, Ret.).

            There’s been rumors forever about an Honorverse movie, and even word that Angelina Jolie was tapped to play Honor, but apparently Weber despises the woman. A pity about the Honorverse, two actually.
            1. It went to crap after Eric Flint (RIP) put his oar in with “genetic slavery” and Michelle Henke=field slave, Elizabeth Winton=house slave. (No I didn’t make that up; and I THINK that was explained by a character called WEB Dubois. FFS.)
            2. Weber’s later HV books REALLY need a stern editor to trim word count.

          3. Mike_C: read the Lost Fleet series. Wish there had been a couple more dealing with the government threat and the killer robot space ships. Maybe he didn’t want to go there? Didn’t get into the spin-off series about the system bordering the here/not-here aliens.

          4. Agree with Mike C.
            Flint really screwed up the Honorverse. I suspect a LOT of the word count of later books is easily explainable by Weber having to shoehorn in Flint’s garbage and try to make it work, after allowing Flint and his ghostwriters to “write canon” for it.
            I know that Flint did do a fair amount of good for newbie writers overall, in bringing folks into the fold, but I have only slightly more respect for what he did to established properties than I do for the politics he held (he was an open communist, and would even show his card if asked).

      1. Yes, it was “The Last Starfighter”. Alex’s new friend Grig was explaining his race lived in caves, and Alex explained his people lived in a “Moble Home”, which was like a cave with wheels that you could move.

      1. Because it’s a trailer, you have different taxes and different construction requirements. Especially in high-wind areas, building codes can make even a small real-house rather expensive to build to meet or exceed codes.

        Sure, they’re nice. They work for lots of people. And you can get a lot of bang for your buck. But even the best aren’t as energy efficient as a good house, they tend to be far less resistant to damage of any sorts, and having to ‘lift’ or ‘ramp’ stuff up to the interior level of the home sucks bigly.

        Eh, they are what they are. A less expensive way to have a ‘house’ someplace. Either in a mobile home park or on a plot of land. But everyone knows God hates mobile home parks.

          1. So true. Try to find a stud in a mobile home or a modular…they are often fiberglass’d pressboard.

  4. I started an account at Northwest Bank of Great Fall many many years ago that after several acquisitions turned into a WF account. Not really a great fan of their banking but when we tried to move my wife’s VA disability account to credit union the funds stopped going to WF and never showed up at the credit union. The money just disappeared. We moved it back to WF and it showed up again but we never did get the those three monthly payments back. Probably a VA problem but who knows. Since then I have been too leery of changing banks so I keep an account there. I do have other accounts spread around so if one bank fails maybe the other ones will stay solvent. Don’t know for sure if that is a good idea but it is the best I can come up with.

    1. Eggs|Basket still holds true, spreads out the risk. Hard assets like your home and vehicles is even better (owing no one being the goal). Dave Ramsey is not wrong.

    2. That is the very reason (the funds issues) that I haven’t transitioned from Bank of America to USAA. Too many issues with transferring deposits and auto-withdrawals. Else I’d be done with the demon-spawn who run BoA.

        1. I opened a WF account because they are the only bank in my town.
          USAA is pretty good, but they can’t handle cash; I need a local bank for that.
          I was pleasantly surprised that WF didn’t blink at taking on firearms business accounts.

  5. Yamamoto was correct at the time, but he didn’t think generationally. The way to conquer America is to take over its education system, especially the “elite” colleges that serve as entry points to power; to initially do subliminally, and now openly put anti-American messages into movies, music, and other popular culture; to undermine its judicial system by focusing on loopholes and exceptions rather than the intended underlying principles; to promote perversion and deviancy of all sorts, particularly sexual; and to demand that victimhood be made the primary measure of a person’s worth and right to even have rights. Debasing the currency is also a useful tool, of course.

    Silly Yamamoto and IJN. If only they’d taken a different tack. We’d now be pouring billions into a puppet (and hopelessly corrupt) Korea so that a few resentment-filled Japs running State could get “revenge” on China. Only difference would be that the puppet cokehead ruler of Korea would actually be a Korean.

    1. Imperial Japan went for the direct approach, which did not work.

      Whereas the Soviet method, once Stalin took over, was direct takeover of first the State Department, then the News organizations then the colleges and then the rest of the education system. The Soviet Union, so far, seems to have won the Cold War.

      1. The USSR and later Russia did not do much for the standard of living of its people. Yes, they’re better off than they were in 1918, but they still have massive systemic problems.

  6. When money moves to the burbs, mobile homes get banned on private property. Trailer parks remain until the land gets too expensive. At least that’s why the Atlanta area is purple.

  7. fifteen years ago i banked at wells fargo. i had built my house cash money but needed 30k to finish the kitchen. they wouldn’t even talk to me. i got it elsewhere the same day, no collateral. i got a lump sum of cash awhile later and they fell all over themselves trying to get me to “invest” it with them. you can guess my answer. a couple years ago they sent out a notice that they would only handle business accounts. six months later the branch folded. good riddance. i hope they go under. i am supposed to get a bump in retirement next month, ain’t looking so good for that now. so much for retirement.

  8. Wells Fargo- Well that’s quite the deal, when wearing a suit was considered a trigger to the junior crowd. Suits are now white privilege terrorism.

    When we worked in town our first bank was W-F, then they started playing tricks with “fees”. Switched banks but MrsPaulM was so ricked at them she left 1c in her account for a year. Don’t mess with ranch chicks.

    1. Paul M has thrown a hankering on me for a new suit.

      I used to work with a guy who once every week or so, would wear a suit and tie to work, with highly polished black wingtips. He would close his office door on those days, and when he came out, would be wearing the jacket and would not speak to anyone, would only nod in the hallway. Other days, he dressed and acted normally. Freaked people out, it was great fun. Boss finally told him to stop that shit.

      And W-F sucks, big ones, at high volume, thru a small diameter hose, and a long, long hose at that.

      1. Look at what people wear on planes, half of them look like they just got out of bed, whereas 40 years ago…suits and nicely dressed woman. Respect for oneself and others. Of course the airlines and a lot of businesses aren’t worth darkening their door anymore as they too have lost all self respect.

        MrsPaulM was really ticked at WF. When they sent an account closure letter due to inactivity she deposited a $20, then a few days later withdrew it, leaving the penny. Did this for a year.

          1. She’s actually quite sweet, yet has principles based in Biblical tenet and a cowboy code of ethics, and will never compromise regardless who’s on the other side…especially someone she’s sees as a liar and cheat or harms the innocent.

  9. One of my retirement accounts must have had W-F stock for a while. I get letters on a semi-regular basis notifying me of some pending lawsuit against W-F for stock price manipulation. Either they are doing this more often than other banks, or are more stupid about how they go about it.

  10. I’ve always felt that Adm Yamamoto was an honorable man. I think they used his quote at the end of “Tora, Tora, Tora”.

    And six months later the Battle of Midway happened.

    They have a way of “purging” a home’s title here. The mobile home must be mounted securely to a foundation, and all traces of the frame, wheels, tires, and axles have to be removed. After that, it falls into a different category of “home”, with certain benefits.

  11. Mobile homes; tornado bait in my world. An old carpenter 1/2 mile east of where I grew up was having troubles with his wife, bought a second trailer and parked it next to his. They started getting along better since they saw less of each other. Got to getting friendly again so he built a breezeway between the two. Came home from work one night and her trailer was gone. Go figure!

  12. Last year I cashed out all my remaining investments and my annuity, transferred the $ into my account at my credit union (stopped using “Banks” decades ago) and since then have been wiring all but 20K into my bank here in PI. I have no dog in this banking fiasco fight, thank God. I sleep very well now. Banks are more like VC hedge funds these days and the big bail-out proves it. “What a royal cock-up” as the brits would say. Nuff said. Carry on.

  13. The officer two places to Yamamoto’s left looks like a younger Nagumo. Is it Nagumo. or does anyone know?

    1. The men in the photo are identified as: Capt. Yamamoto Isoroku, Japanese naval attaché in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur, another Japanese naval officer, and Adm. Edward W. Eberle, chief of U.S. naval operations, Feb. 17, 1926. I don’t think that it was Nagumo. Nagumo was never a naval attache.

  14. Well at least LL, you have a back up job as a banker if the economy tanks even worse… Could you survive with your lifestyle on $20 bucks an hour?

    1. I don’t need to work at this point in my life. The only reason that I am currently downrange is to lay aside scholarship money for my grandchildren.

  15. Back in the day, my wife had an account at Sun Bank (a Florida regional bank in the 70’s and 80’s) that suddenly ‘lost’ a couple thousand dollars. We went and protested, and the bank gave us two solutions, either accept their balance or pay for their accountants to look through their records at $300.00 an hour to find the missing money. Implied was that we would somehow owe more money for the accountants than was missing.

    Fast forward 10 years or so, and Sun Bank contacted us with the startling fact that the account we had closed wasn’t closed but they’ve been drawing service charges for the time period and what was thousands of dollars was now less than a hundred and did we wish to close the account.

    Yeah, Felix Unger, SunBank, Felix Unger (ifn you know what I mean.)

    Wells Fargo was the bank that promised us help in restructuring our mortgage (after BoA sold it to someone else who sold it to WF) and then used the info they got from us to basically try to force us into foreclosure. Rat bastids. Rat Bastids all.

    1. Yeah well, it says “bank” right on the sign, Beans.

      Bankers are just slightly below Insurance Men on my “up against the wall” list.

      -Kle.

        1. Why choose, like my neighbor – 2 coyotes with one shot. (That’s me trying to be funny, but it’s not really…these people are not as important to our way of life as they like to think. Shakespeare comes to mind.)

          1. The problem with “let’s kill all the bankers” or “kill the lawyers” (apart from the adverse effect on the not-bad ones) is summarized by the same two words: disparate impact.

  16. Wall of text follows:

    I use three banks, WF, US Bank, and local bank.
    Many years ago I opened my first ever bank account with BofA because that was where my parents banked and, also, it was the only bank for a hundred miles in any direction.
    Remember “banker’s hours” only open from 0900 to 1500 M-F?
    When I was working ten hour days six a week getting a check cashed or deposited became problematic.
    I finally dumped BofA when they dinged me for an overdraft that did not happen.
    I gathered up my paperwork (before the internet was available for peons) and met with an assistant to an assistant. The bank employee admitted that, “Yes, indeed. They had screwed up, but they were not going to correct the overdraft fee.” Close my account. My determination to bad mouth them to everyone I had a conversation with re. banks only yielded many shoulders to cry on as they had endured the same experience.
    I think there may be one BofA left in the area. I think.

    WF ticked me of when I found they contributed to Planned Parenthood. I kept the account but moved my money to US Bank.
    WF’s website has been reliable and I have no issues with it when I do have to use it.

    US Bank’s online and over the phone banking has been a nightmare.
    They keep “improving” their website to the point that none of my devices are smart enough to operate on their site.
    Face to face transactions have been great.

    For the local bank I keep most of my money in I keep a low profile: no credit, debit cards, or loans attached to the account.

    I have a friend who is the head IT guy for a bank.
    He refuses to use credit cards.
    If he must use a card for a purchase he buys a pre-paid card loaded with the exact amount needed and immediately makes the purchase.
    He is a tad weird in that he carries a 1911 in .45 ACP (it may be that is what he carries, because his wife and daughter use that platform) at church and walks around mumbling about some guy named Browning and buying more ammo.

    When my uncle retired from the Marines in about 1978 went to work at DFW running security at some level.
    I guess a couple of tours doing security at embassies and two tours in VN gave him some street creds.
    He decided to move back near family and went to work doing security for a bank in Socorro, NM.
    He very shortly became a loan officer and then VP.
    On his recommendation the bank bought gold, a lot of gold.
    That bank had/has? the highest deposit to loan ratio in the US due that purchase.
    To this day he gets a Christmas card thanking him.

    Mobile homes:
    I remember in the 70s when “manufactured housing” for the masses was the next big thing…

    An oldie:
    What do a Texas tornado and a Tennessee divorce have in common?
    Someone is going to lose a trailer.

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