[The following post is by TDV Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Berwick.]
The next major fascistic blow for Americans landed this week. On Wednesday news broke of JPMorgan Chase's business banking division's issuance of a letter to customers to inform them that after November 17, 2013, the bank will cease international wire transfers – and would "cancel any international wire transfers, including recurring ones."
In what surely will worry many business owners, cash activity is also limited to $50,000 per statement cycle, including money orders. JPMorgan reminded customers, "Cash activity is the combined total of cash deposits made at branches, night drops and ATMs and cash withdrawals made at branches and ATMs." JPMorgan Chase has told customers over the phone that this is all designed to serve them better.
In the letter the bank also states: "These changes will help us more effectively manage the risks involved with these types of transactions.
The Banks Make The Laws
Over the past several months, Bitcoin business after Bitcoin business – and, in fact, even mere non-business users of Bitcoin – have received letters from all major banking institutions saying their accounts would be closed down.
Now, JP Morgan Chase is telling certain business account customers that they are no longer allowed to send international wires nor do more than $50,000 in business per statement cycle.
It seems that the US banks are beginning to write the laws and enact them as they see fit. But that's par for the course in a crony capitalist fascist scenario in which businesses buy regulatory favors from legislators. The major banks have not only made Bitcoin de facto useless within the banking system by closing accounts, but now JPMorgan Chase is implementing de facto capital controls on its customers.
Some "free market."
The banks are behaving erratically. In recent memory, there has been: the Economic Development Department debacle in California; Wells Fargo's recent "glitch"; the EBT issues which left food stamp recipients in 17 states without funding for their food; and now, this.
To add to it, Financial Times reported earlier in the month that US banks were "stocking cash machines with extra funds" to heed off the possible increased demand for cash in the event of a bank run.
At any rate, if JPMorgan does not issue a comprehensive statement somehow explaining this letter as some sort of algorithm "glitch", then I would consider shorting financials. Surely, other banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America – all of them – will have to follow suit. Otherwise, JPMorgan Chase just shot their business in the foot.
I would not be surprised in the least to see, within the next month, all banks to begin implementing such things. TDV spoke with a JPMorgan representative who told me this was merely for customers who rarely come into branches or who had created their accounts online. This change in JPMorgan policy signals a change in this institution's interpretation of Know Your Customer laws.
With JPMorgan sending their customers these letters, there can be no doubt that banks are continuing their implementation of policies inline with the Bank Secrecy Act and the Patriot Act. These news utterances are geared towards a few things, but a big one is the stifling of cash transactions. You're supposed to even pay for your Starbucks with a card. The Dollar Vigilante has been talking about these things for a long time, and that's why we have set up services to help you get your funds out of the US. You can learn more by clicking here.
Comments or questions? Email us at [email protected] and we may use your email in our Feedback Friday each week.