17 September 2007


The banking cabal has asked the government to "Separate politics and the economy" for the good of Puerto Rico.

Tee. Hee.

That's like Judas decrying the use of silver for coins or Enron complaining about lackluster accounting procedures. Banking and the government are so entwined that they are virtually Siamese twins joined at the groin. And they are incestuous.

Remember, this is a country with a dominant central bank--Banco Popular--and lesser lights joining it because it has the muscle to make things happen. Doubt that? Okay, check and see who spearheaded the following banking changes: insurance sales, high-rate personal loans and maximum mortgage consolidation. Yep, Banco Popular. And who benefited most from these changes? Go ahead: Guess. Wait! Another hint: They practically own the personal loan and mortgage markets locally. Okay, now guess.

Now, check out who dominates ATM processing, credit cards, construction loans and small business loans. Uh-huh: Banco Popular. Now add to this the related item of holding the largest total of former Section 936 funds (tax break profits that fueled Puerto Rico for decades) and you have an 800-pound gorilla leading a pack of baboons into a massive den of squirrely monkeys. The end result: Some serious shit is gonna fly.

And guess who's the "fan" being hit in this mon(k)ey pit?

When the local economy is running at 30 mph, very few of Us give a tinker's damn if banks are making money or treating Us like cattle. But let the economy drop to its current 15 mph slowdown and you get all sorts of complaints, many of them aimed at banks. And though some people have tried to convince Me otherwise, the complaints against the banking industry are entirely justified.

Three indisputable points have kept My conclusion intact:

1) Most banking industry monies in Puerto Rico are invested outside of Puerto Rico. There's a dual cause here: Major corporate funds using Puerto Rico as a conduit back to Company Headquarters and the limited local investment panorama when compared to U.S. or international markets. I don't criticize banks for making this latter decision: Their job is to make money for shareholders. What I do criticize is that they (the banks) make no effort to truly develop the local investment panorama, using their political influence almost entirely for shareholder profit. Here's a tip, banking baboons: Shareholder profit AND local development are a high effort-high gain combination and only you can keep it from being high-risk.

2) When one bank dominates consumer, construction and government fiscal processes, you have a Third World--dependent--economy and the ideal framework for corruptive practices. Banco Popular or its subsidiary/partner network dominate all three. Our government is corrupt. By extension, so is the banking industry. It's simply the natural result of being congroined (conjoined at the groin.)

3) If We are not a Third World economy because of a central dominant bank, then what makes Us a Second World or even First World economy? More specifically what economic sector drives Us to have a functional economy? And the answer isn't manufacturing or pharmaceuticals or Miss Universe pageants: It's the underground economy. A gray market said to equal or even surpass the "legal" economy is what--WITHOUT A DOUBT--keeps Our economy from crashing. Now I ask you this: Does an underground economy this vast happen if government and banking are working together for the people? Argue all you want, but you know the answer: It wouldn't happen because it wouldn't need to happen.

Separate banking and politics? Puh-leeze. Bankers, shut up. If you're miffed that the flow of green is down from torrent to stream, be adults and thrash it out in house, instead of being a whiny bunch of ass-kissing simians prancing in the media. You're definitely--WITHOUT A DOUBT--part of the problem. The dare is to see if you can ever become part of the solution.

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