Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hide it in the mattress

My Dad was in banking for 40 years. When I was a little kid, I can remember visiting him at his branch and watching as the tellers and the loan officers went about their daily routines. But back then, those routines were anything but. They were PERSONAL. Clients were treated with respect and a one-on-one relationship with your banker was commonplace. You had someone that you could rely on to give you straight forward honest answers about your finances and what you could and could not afford. Fast forward to today's "fast food" banking. Where it couldn't be more impersonal. Even when you do go in to the branch, you feel more like a pest than a customer. Online banking has done away with the human side of banking. You're looked at as a number, and unless you're transferring a large sum of money from one bank to another, most times you have to wait. I'm not saying all banks are like this. You can still find some "old-school" guys and gals out there, but you have to hunt them down, and hope they aren't transferred tomorrow because they are so good. I blame a lot of what is going on with shady loan practices on what I just described. Without someone to give you honest, straightforward answers about lending, you're gonna get screwed in the long run.
My Dad saw it coming. Before he died in June he told me that the Country was headed for a banking crisis the likes of which we've never seen before. He also told me to pay off my credit cards, start cutting back on expenses, and start saving every penny. That should scare everyone reading this. It sure did me.

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