2007/03/27

You Didn't Need That Car/Home/Job Anyway

After putting in place 'watch lists' that, if abused, might keep you from getting a job or insuring your family, we hear about the Treasury Department's list of 'specially designated nationals'. Intended to control the activities of suspected terrorists, the list maintained by the Office of Foreign Asset Control, is now being used by a range of businesses--from auto dealers to mortgage companies--to deny ordinary citizens access to loans and capital items.

Is your name close to that of somebody on the list? Well, then you may get f*cked when you attempt to buy a house, a car, or to get a small-business loan--and for no better reason than the fact that most businesses feel that they just can't risk the government's wrath. Damn straight! The penalties are sort of on the stiff side: $10M and 10 to 30 years in the federal pen. But in this brave new world of a 'watch-list' for every occasion, perhaps business should take the initiative and compensate with the market. For example:
  • Bin Laden Bentley -- Automakers could raise the average price of a car to $1,000,000 to cover those instances where Osama tries to obtain some wheels.
  • Terrorist 'Bomb Payments' -- Mortgage lenders, taking a lesson from the traditional 'balloon payment', could tack on the special 'bomb payment' which literally explodes your interest rate if you're fingered by OFAC.
  • Insurgent Insurance -- Insurers could see record profits and never have to pay out another claim, if they were allowed to tack on a OFAC forfeiture clause.
See...things could be worse. Right?

17 Comments:

Somewhat off topic, but did you see how Citigroup is going to lay off 15,000 people here in America even though profits have been up for the last four years?

Gee, what do you think Citigroup and other multinationals are going to do when the recession comes?
Insurgent insurance? Heck, they don't need an excuse to deny claims, just ask some of the homeowners affected by Katrina or the elderly who spent money on long-term care insurance.
You find the interesting stuff that's for sure.
R-bE... I heard a rumor that Citigroup is looking to acquire or merge with another financial institution and is "paving the way" so to speak. The scum.

Kathy... I know, I know, but I needed something alliterative to go with insurgent. ;-)

Anon... My Faux News troller! You're back! Always pleased to have you pumping my traffic stats.

Sumo... Thanks, but really that's just my paranoid little frog brain at work. Makes me gravitate toward this stuff.
Frogdude, I wouldn't be surprised if such provisions weren't already contained within the patriot act.
Of course, now the government can declare anybody an 'enemy combatant', even if they decide to speak out against the government, and put them on the list and permanently force them to STFU.
Undeniable Liberal... I think that the expansion of the OFAC lists was a direct result of a presidential order, but the penalties migth be part of teh Patriot Act.

Lew... No point in declaring someone an enemy combatant when you can just put them on a few lists and destroy their lives. The former, especially if you don't bring charges, brings too much publicity. The latter? Nobody cares about it.
The funny thing is that Muslims aren't allowed to take out any loan that charges interest. The Koran goes into detail about it, but it sounds like something our government wouldn't investigate before implementing. It, however, would not effect Bin Laden or other fellow wahabbiists.
jesus christ. business and government in cahoots - you don't say?
Aaron... That's a good point, and I totally forgot about that. So how does an American Muslim reconcile the mortgage question?

Gramem... Seems to me like it's closer to businesses in mortal fear of the government.
Kvatch! Just when I thought it was safe to crawl out from under the bed.....damn!
Look, cars are bad for the environment, homes are unaffordable, and jobs won't exist soon (unless you move to Ethiopia to telemarket).

So just relax, breathe the polluted air, drink the polluted water, and watch tele because soon, well, 'Do We Have A Show For You?' Iran being nuked will beat brushfires, surely!

And the sight of George landing on another aircraft carrier, one cutting through boiling seawater, then once again announcing Next Mission Mccomplished, well, I can't wait, can you!
Worried... Just my usual take a bad situation and postulate the worst possible thing that could happen. ;-)

Daniel... So what you're essentially saying is: As long as we have 'bread & circuses', everything's fine.
Kvatch,

There are special groups, usually small Islamic financial centers, located throughout the United States and Britain (like the Islamic Bank of Britian).

They advertise in Islamic publications.
kathy wrote:

"Insurgent insurance? Heck, they don't need an excuse to deny claims, just ask some of the homeowners affected by Katrina..."

Once again, a total absence of financial knowledge kicks in.

Homeowners insurance does NOT protect homeowners against FLOODS.

You really need to know who insures what and why before forming half-baked and erroneous opinions on these matters.

Those homeowners whose homes were damaged by wind -- which is covered by homeowners insurance -- are receiving payments.

Meanwhile, those whose houses were flooded in New Orleans played a losing game. Many did not have flood insurance -- which is offered through the federal government at low rates. Flood insurance covers up to $250,000 in property damage and up to $100,000 in losses of household contents.

Instead, they gambled. And lost.

You should know there's a reason why politicians are familiar with the phrase "federal disaster area."

When an area is destroyed by an act or nature -- fires, floods, etc. -- money flows from the federal government to the afflicted residents IF the area is declared a Federal Disaster Area. By obtaining that designation, money begins to flow.

Many homeowners along major rivers that flood every few years have been doing rather nicely as a result.

This generosity is a rip-off of taxpayers and should stop immediately. The federal government should simply back out of this foolish role and let private insurers handle it. If flood insurance for homeowners that choose to live on the banks of rivers that regularly overflow their banks is too expensive, well, then build a house elsewhere and skip the periodic flooding.

Or, if the homeowner has money to burn, let him pay out of his pocket to rebuild his waterfront home without taxpayer support.
I wonder if there are a lot of terrorists named Scott? Those Scotts cannot be trusted.

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