Category Archives: Banks

Police Witness

some say that crime does not pay

After I was burgled just a while ago, I’ve had to spend three hours at the police station ~ witness statement, victim statement, and going through about 20 pages of supporting documentation.

The police are optimistic of finding the criminals from CCTV footage when they used my credit cards ~ and then I’ll have to testify in court.

I’m a bit stressed, tired and depressed this afternoon.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.nt

No Time to Write

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage.

I need a new plan.  The one I’ve been using this past week doesn’t work.

On the other hand, I’ve been driven by events, rather than choosing my own path.

Having your home broken into kind of does that to you.  In some ways it’s not the invasion, nor the fact that my stuff was taken, it’s all the fucking damned paperwork and admin that follows a burglary that has really been depressing me.  And, I’ll give you one very important piece of advice, never throw away any bill, or receipt, or piece of correspondence.  Keep every fucking piece of paper in organised files for at least 6 years.  If you don’t then you’ll spend forever sorting out the paperwork when some unforeseen event or disaster happens.

I just have, and mine was only a little robbery, not some huge fucking disaster.

Hopefully, things will be better for me in the next few days.

Keep safe.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Burgled

Lying, cheating, and stealing are next door neighbours.

Sometime earlier this week someone got into the garret and stole some of my stuff.

There was no damage to my door, so at first I thought I’d just lost my wallet and cash.  That prompted me to spend a whole day searching for wallet / cash…..

But, I’d been robbed of my wallet with a couple of credit cards, my drivers licence, some other identity cards, and about £100 in cash.  I also lost my cell phone, a couple of hundred US Dollars, about 5,000 Turkish Lire, a watch, and some other bits and pieces

I’ve spent all morning on the ‘phone sorting out my banks and reporting the theft to the police.

Even then I’m not finished restoring my life ~ for example I need a new cell phone.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I feel sorry for Marmaduke, who was alone in the garret at the time of the robbery

Mood Swings

When you are drinking, the mood swings can be horrific.

~

I started drinking when I started working in the City of London in 1982.  Back then, high-powered banking was a vicious trade, swimming in booze.  And my drinking got worse when I began my role in International Finance in about 1990.  What do you do at an airport during a four-hour layover?  This has left me with a chronic alcohol problem ~ which might not be so bad if my body could still handle booze.

One strong beer will get me incredibly buzzed, and needing another drink or a dozen.  It doesn’t happen often, but even once more will be one more time too many.

Even that might not be so bad if I was a happy drunk, but I’m not.  If I drink I suffer from terrible mood swings ~ and horrible paranoia, depression, and aggression.  I take what I hear in my own mind far too seriously and personally.  Being who I am, my bad mood comes out only in words, not anything physical.  I suppose that’s one saving grace.

Perhaps the mood swings come even before I take a drink.

I know that I can’t ever touch booze again, and I need to work on that.

With the help of my higher power I may just be successful.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Even one IPA is far too strong for me now.

The High Cost of Money

Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need more.

In The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare explores the dangers of borrowing money, and in Hamlet, Shakespeare says; ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be…..’  And, especially think twice, and twice again before borrowing money from a friend.  Think about what you need the most ~ the friendship or the money, for money is often the cause of acrimony and breakups of even the closest of relationships.  Your friend may not charge you financial interest on the sums you borrow, but there are likely to be charges and obligations other than strictly monetary.

In order of the least to most desirable lenders from whom you could think of approaching are;

  • Friends and lovers.  Borrow from a friend and be prepared to soon lose a friend.
  • Parents and family.
  • Payday Lenders, who will charge you usuary rates of interest ~ 250% to over 1,000% per annum.
  • Guarantor Lenders.  If you have a poor credit rating you could get a friend or family member to guarantee your loan.  These are doubly bad, with all the disadvantages of actually borrowing from friends, lovers, parents and family ~ plus very high rates of interest 50% per annum being about the norm.
  • Credit card debt.  These insidious borrowings can cost you 25% or more over a year ~ if you go on using that card you may never be debt free.
  • Bank loans.  If your bank will lend you money you may expect to pay a low rate of interest, maybe between 3% and 10% per annum.
  • Mortgages and other secured loans from your bank or a  mortgage company / broker.  Personally, I could get a mortgage at 2% per annum.
  • Car loans.  If you should want to buy a new car, many dealers will offer you a car loan at 0%.

And, why do you want a loan anyhow?  The very worst reason for borrowing is to feed your addiction; gambling, drugs, booze, sex…. and the second worst reason for borrowing money is to pay off another debt.  Both of those are likely to get you into deeper and even worse trouble.  Maybe the only good reasons for  borrowing are to buy a home, or car,  (or in some places to pay medical fees).  Vacations, wide-screen TVs, plush furniture,  jewellery, fancy clothes, expensive shoes, are all not worth getting yourself into debt for.

So, just beware of borrowing anything from anyone.

Some say a fool and his money are soon parted.  And that a man in love never counts the cost of anything.  All I know is that Shakespeare was a pretty smart guy.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@ talktalk.net

Maybe a convertible Mustang isn’t the most prudent purchase.

The Cashless Conspiracy

Life is like a cash register, in that every account, every thought, every deed, like every sale, is registered and recorded.  ~ Fulton J. Sheen

There is a conspiracy at the highest levels of government and the banking industry that wants to do away with cash ~ that is the notes and coins in your wallet, purse, and pocket.  Here in England our Treasury Department, The Bank of England, (which is really another branch of government), the large high-street banks, and the major retail store chains are doing all they can to bring about the complete end of physical cash.

In the UK the number of free-to-use cash machines, (ATMs), is dwindling at the rate of about 250 every month, and that leaves shoppers and small businesses struggling to get hold of any cash, (source ~ consumer group Which).  Add to that the number of bank branch closures which adds up to about 1,000 a year over the past 3 years, and one can see that the finance industry is just not interested in anything but card payments and electronic banking.

The thing is, cash is utterly reliable, whereas electronic payments systems can and do crash from time to time.  Also some small businesses cannot afford the trouble and expense of installing a card reader and becoming a card merchant, so they are reliant on cash payments.  In addition, for very small payments, a card is just a stupid way to pay.  (And what stripper or hooker will accept anything but cash?)

However, the Government, the Bank of England, and the rest of the finance industry are doing everything possible to either promote cashless payments, or force cashless payments upon us.  Electronic swipe cards are now the norm, which means no signature or PIN is required to make a purchase, just wave your card at the reader.  Trust me, as a guy with 30 years experience in Banking and Finance, electronic swipe cards are not and never will be secure.  And just you try getting your money back from your bank if you have been a victim of card fraud.

One high street bank in the UK is trialing a system which will allow customers to authorise card payments for any amount just using their fingerprint ~ and that is also totally open to a number of easy frauds.

The thing is Governments, Central Banks, the Tax people, High Street Banks, Major Retail Chains hate cash because; it’s expensive for them to handle, they cannot monitor your every payment and spending pattern if you use cash, and they have absolutely no control over your earnings and spending if it’s in cash.

If we are not all very careful, then very soon Big Brother will be watching your money.

These comments apply to the banking and finance industry in England, which I know a bit about, but they also apply in equal measure to the USA.

Some say that Cash is King.  And others, that Cash is Dead, card and electronic payments are the real future.  All I know is I can get cash-back from my favourite store if I just make one tiny card purchase.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

The Bank of England is just another arm of Big Government

How to have more spending money

There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.

Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….

The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.

For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.

There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials.  In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:

  1. Live in a smaller place.  Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
  2. If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company.  All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
  3. Drive a smaller car.  Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine.  If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
  4. Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
  5. Learn some DIY skills.  You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners.  It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
  6. Cut out impulse purchases.  On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like.  All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
  7. Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place.  A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  8. Don’t try to buy love.  It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  9. Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
  10. Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies.  You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
  11. Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
  12. Buy generic brands.  Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content.  Only the packaging is different.
  13. If you can, then buy in bulk.
  14. Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch.  Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway.  And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
  15. Don’t join a gym.  Most of the people who have gym membership never go there.  For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
  16. Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
  17. Don’t give to a big charity.  (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves?  The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
  18. Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.

And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest.  Credit cards are NOT money.  Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.

You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own.  For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked.  Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.

Some say that money can’t buy happiness.  And that a fool and his money are soon parted.  All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

Only I can change my life ~ no one can do it for me.

Life is about change.  Without change, without variety, without some stress in Life, all will stultify and diminish.  Without change there can be no growth, and without growth and development all things will wither away and die.

I will not meddle with that which I cannot mend.  ~  Thomas Fuller

But, as the Serenity prayer tells us, there are some things that we cannot change, some things that have to be accepted, and the wise learn to know the difference.  I can think of a myriad of people, places, and things I cannot change.  In reality no one  can change another person, unless that other absolutely wants to change.  This is why it is mostly pointless trying to talk to most addicts in an effort to make them change their ways.  This is why many relationships, and many marriages, end in failure and recriminations. This is why there are wars.

A while ago I resolved to stop trying to change others and instead decided to work on myself to become a better person.  That is now my lifetime’s project, and it doesn’t always go smoothly.  Sometimes it doesn’t work at all.  Sometimes I make progress, and sometimes I go backwards a couple of steps or more ~ it’s like a man walking into a gale, sometimes he wins and sometimes the storm wins.  In the last few days I think the wind won more than I did.  In the last few days I went with the wind and my negative emotions, and that meant I really staggered in the wrong direction.  In other words I totally fucked-up, again.  For me, going with the flow is usually the wrong choice.

Life will do it’s best to deceive you.  You may get knocked down, but you must always get up again.  The mark of a really great boxer is not that he never gets knocked down.  A really great boxer can get knocked down, but he will always get up again.  And that’s up to and including Mohammed Ali in his all prime and pomp.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’  ~  Thomas Edison

The English language is filled with wise sayings, allegories, parables, and proverbs.  As you would expect a lot are by Churchill; ‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often…’  Then from Scotland we have the allegory of Robert the Bruce and the spider, which gave us the saying; ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again…’  But we also have almost the converse of that saying…

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  ~  Albert Einstein.

The Goddess knows I have been there often enough ~ every time I took a drink I expected it to be different from the last time, and it never was.  But, somehow I usually got away with it.

Back in my illustrious career in banking I once went into a meeting on Madison Avenue with no ideas and nothing but blank pieces of paper in my briefcase.   I had got good and drunk in the Plaza the night before, so I both looked and felt far from my very my best.  But I stood up in front of the board of the world’s biggest advertising agency and tried just one more time.  I told them not what they wanted to hear, but what I wanted to make happen.  It worked.  The thing is I didn’t give up, and I didn’t try to change anything except myself.

After that almost debacle I resolved to make a big change by giving up banking for good.  It was the wrong change ~ I should have given up booze for good.  Back then I didn’t have enough serenity within me to even think about being sober for life.

Right now, today, all I try to do is be the best Jack Collier I can be, sober.  That is difficult enough for anyone.  I realise that life is difficult and painful.  I know that the causes of my problems and pain are my own cravings, lusts, and the blaming others for my faults.  I now know that I can’t change others and I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change what I do, and how I react to people places, and events.

I know that the warrior’s road to freedom from continual distress, pain, and suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, spirit…  and that’s a hard road to walk in honour, honesty, and truth.  I try to always walk that road, and often I fail.  But, at least I try, and perhaps not one in ten men even do that.

The world and the sky is ours if we want it enough.

~

jack collier
jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Liar, Liar

Never lie, never cheat, never steal.

Everybody lies.

Mostly that doesn’t matter one little bit.  Deep down we know when we are being lied to and we act accordingly.  Little lies are what makes the world go around.  Little lies are the lubrication in relationships.  Little lies are what keeps us sane.

I firmly believe that lying is wrong, but I also believe that, in the big scheme of things, little lies may not matter so much.

Big dark lies are destructive, damaging, and dangerous.

Big Lies Matter.

But everybody lies, and that matters when the liars are scientists, doctors, bankers, lawyers, judges, charities, the police, the military, the security services, politicians, prime ministers, and presidents.  Big dark lies by the ‘Fat Cats’, and ‘Important People’ ruin lives, affect interest rates, cause financial crashes, get people hurt, and start wars.

This is a nation that has lost the ability to be self-critical, and that makes a lie out of the freedoms.  ~  Joni Mitchell

Big dark lies reported in just one newspaper today, (Tuesday April 11th 2017), involve airlinesbankers, more bankers, politicians, more politicians and generals, presidents… And now, we are but a short step and a few lies from WWIII.  Take your choice of the spark that starts WWIII, the Middle East, or North Korea?

Clinton lied.  A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is.  ~  Barbara Bush

You would really think that a President would follow the example of George Washington and be unable to tell a lie.

Big dark lies by the people you care for ruin relationships, imperil your health, imperil your mental health, cost you a fortune, and lead to nasty things like alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, domestic violence…  A big dark lie by someone you love can kill you.  And, thinking your loved one will ever change and stop lying to you is nothing but wishful thinking.

Cheating and lying aren’t struggles, they’re reasons to break up.  ~  Patti Callahan Henry

If you catch someone out in a lie, what can you do about it?  Almost nothing.

The chances are that if you have caught someone telling a big dark lie it’s because you’ve been investigating them, for example by following their twitter feed, hacking their emails, listening in on their conversations….  and do you want to admit to that?  Spying on liars is almost as bad as lying ~ almost.

The only thing you can do about being lied to is know that you are dealing with a liar, and take everything they say with a very large pinch of salt.  In other words, when you know someone is a liar, believe nothing they say until you have got yourself some independent proof.  All lies, and all liars, get found out eventually.

Besides, leopards never change their spots, and liars don’t ever stop lying.  Catch a liar in a lie and they’ll just strive to become better liars in future.

Lying is addictive.  And, once a liar, always a liar.

Some liars are so expert they deceive themselves.  ~  Austin O’Malley

But you know what?  Once you stop believing the lie, it loses all power over you.  Once you know someone is a liar, everything they say is just pointless noise.

I’m sorry, what language are you speaking?  It sounds like bullshit.

Have a nice day.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Real Banking Is Like Watching Paint Dry

Banks Today Seem To Be Run By Liars and Crooks.

Another day another banking scandal.

rbsAnother day and another bank is hit by a huge set of fines for criminal wrongdoing that should have some senior executives facing a total loss of all they own and some serious jail time.  This time it’s RBS, (Royal Bank of Scotland), and this failed organisation has just set aside another £3.1 billion, $3.8 billion), to cover claims by the United States authorities that it mis-sold mortgage products.  (Mis-selling is a polite way of saying lying and cheating).  This makes a total of £6.7 billion this useless bank has had to set aside to cover fines for selling toxic mortgages.  RBS is 72% owned by British Taxpayers, so just who is paying these fines?  Me and you, that’s who.

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.  ~  Thomas Jefferson

Name any bank or financial institution, or any of the world’s major financial centres. from ABN AMRO, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, (just fined £500 million), HBOS, to Wells Fargo, and if you turn over a rock you will find people who only care for themselves and nothing for their customers, staff, shareholders, or the wider world and greater good.

I can pull the name of any bank out of the Bankers Almanac, and without trying very hard find that it’s rotten to the core.

Another wrinkle recently to come to light is a product called Shared Appreciation Mortgages sold by Barclays and Bank of Scotland.  These complicated mortgages were deliberately targeted at older people, who were then rushed into taking unsuitable loans without having had proper financial advice.  Which just goes to prove that one should never buy a product or take out a loan you don’t fully understand, and you should never, ever believe anything a salesperson tells you.  (Never, ever date a salesman either.)  Even a salesperson working for your bank.

To give you some more examples of dodgy dealing by banks, that pillar of German financial prudence, Deutsche Bank, owes $7.2 Billion to the US department of Justice for fines and penalties imposed for Deutsche’s role in the toxic mortgage crisis.  Royal Bank of Scotland remains a basket case after Fred ‘The Shred’ Goodwin ruined the venerable institution through spending more time thinking about screwing his female junior assistant than he did about proper banking.  And the oldest bank in the world, Italian Monte dei Paschi de Siena, has just been bailed out to the tune of £17 Billion by the equally broke Italian Government because of chronic bad lending that threatens the savings of a third of  hard struck Italians.

How in the World did Banking become synonymous with dirty dealing, thievery, and dishonourable behaviour?

It isn’t because today’s bankers are struggling to turn loss-making institutions into banks that, at least, make a profit.  And, it isn’t because there isn’t honest money to be made in the world of banking and finance today.  Rather it’s because today’s generation of money-men want instant results, rather than slow and steady growth accompanied by slow and steady profits.

Wall StreetSlow and steady profits aren’t exciting enough for today’s young Masters of the Universe, who want instant and huge money-making schemes and products to justify their equally huge salaries and bonus packages.  It’s estimated that in the City of London this year’s round of bonus payments will top $15 billion.

It is our priority to seek the best outcome for our shareholders, customers, and employees.  ~  Ross McEwan, Chief Executive, Royal Bank of Scotland

I don’t believe a word of it.  If the banks cared anything about their employees and customers they wouldn’t keep closing branches.  Not to mention paying failed politicians like David Cameron and George Osborne a fortune to schmooze in Davos.

My advice is; stop trusting your bank, always carefully check your bank and credit card statements, never buy anything your bank tries to sell you, and never sign anything you don’t fully understand.  Personally, I wouldn’t buy shares in a bank either, their roller-coaster world is far too crooked and exciting for me.

Proper banking is as safe and boring as watching paint dry.

~

1x-1these thoughts are mine, and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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