How Banks Differ From Credit Unions

On the surface, banks and credit unions basically look alike. However, there are significant differences between the two that many people don’t realize. If you are trying to decide whether to go with one or the other, here is some information that will hopefully help you make your decision.

The services that banks and credit unions provide are similar, and both of them offer benefits for borrowers as well as account holders. However, the latter is a non-profit entity where individuals put their money together to provide services and loans to their fellow members. You need to qualify to be able to join.

Credit unions provide services that are geared more toward meeting their members’ needs than driving profit. Each member has a voting share in matters no matter how small his or her holdings may be. While these establishments are subject to federal regulations as are banks, they can often offer lower fees and higher interest rates. And since they are smaller, they are often able to provide more personalized customer service.

Just because a credit union is a non-profit entity, that doesn’t mean it can’t earn a profit, of course. In order to survive, it has to make money. However, they will share more of the profits it makes with its members. It does not have the pressure to make money off its customers, as does a larger financial institution. As a result, they typically offer free accounts without a minimum balance required. Some of them are regulated in a way that the interest rates they charge on credit cards and loans cannot go over a set rate.

The smaller size of credit unions, however, also means that they have fewer ATMs and branches, and may also have fewer online banking options. Banks, on the other hand, have 24-hour customer service by phone and, in most instances, many more Internet options.

Because banks are larger, they can usually offer more variety to their account holders in terms of loan and account services. The larger the institution, the more account and loan options they can offer. They also provide a wide range of investment services as well and can be reached no matter what the time of day or night.

The answer as to whether small or larger institutions are better really depends on what your needs may be. If you are interested in purchasing a certificate of deposit or you’re looking for a loan of some kind, you should include both in your search. If you are looking for a few money market investments and a mid-size loan or two, then the smaller institution can more than likely provide you what you need. If you have a large portfolio, then you may be better off going with a larger institution.

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All You Need to Know About Auto Insurance

Do you want to know which auto insurance would suit you? Well, let this article help you with that. First of all, auto insurance is also called as vehicle insurance. As long as you have a moving vehicle in your possession, then you are required to have it covered by a certain policy. Why is this so? A coverage policy for your car or family van can help you pay for the expenses that might come if you accidentally get involved in an accident. Thus, it is essential for you to have one. Can you afford it? A lot of people presume that car insurances are luxurious as those expensive condo units. This statement may be true but what the public doesn’t know is that various insurance providers are now offering affordable vehicle policies that would suit the budget of their future customers.

Before we go into the details on how you can acquire one, here are some factors that you need to consider. In what state are you living? Your location is important in determining the terms for your auto insurance. A coverage policy for a certain vehicle in one state may vary greatly in another state. Therefore, make sure that you ask your insurance provider all about it before you sign any contract for you to be sure that you would benefit from the service that they are offering. Plus, it would also be better if you choose an insurance company that has already provided quality service to one of your friends or relatives.

Next, you need to be concerned about the insurance premium. If you are still unfamiliar with this concept, you can always ask your insurance provider about it. Nevertheless, let me give you an idea of what it takes for a customer to avail lower premiums which means lesser expenses. First, you need to be married to somebody. If you’re still single, then that’s perfectly okay. However, marriage can definitely give you the privilege to avail cheaper premiums. You also need to be have an age which is higher than a teenager’s. This is because teenagers with no experience in driving at all are basically given higher premiums.

We would never know what the future holds. Thus, like the old saying: “Better be safe than sorry”, we should take precautionary measures and take care of the things in which we have invested almost all of our money such as our precious cars. So, where can one get reliable auto insurance? You can always surf the Internet for that kind of information but it would be wiser for you to check out the actual offices of the insurance providers that are near from where you are living.

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Global Finance Regulation – Who is Involved?

Finance regulation is a popular topic these days as countries all over the world are being asked to take a second and third look at how finances are run in their respective countries and on a global scale. It’s no secret that the financial industry has been dealt some major blows in recent years. However, finance regulation promises that these oversights of the past will be met with laws and rules that will protect the financial sector and help the average person.

Finance regulation is a complicated topic because we live in a day and age where the financial worlds of many countries are intertwined. When the United States stock market took a dive in last 2008, the effects were felt worldwide. Any regulations that are passed and rules that are made have to understand the interconnectedness of the different financial systems.

Each country around the world has a governing body that regulates financial matters. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Committee enforces the federal securities laws. It also regulates the securities industry, including the stock market and options markets. The SEC has five commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States for terms of five years. The agency has four divisions which are associated with corporation finance, trading and markets, investment management and enforcement.

In Canada, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization is responsible for setting regulatory and investment industry standards. It was established in 2008 when the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and Market Regulation Services, Inc, merged. The organization sets standards for securities trading practices. Unlike the U.S.’s version, the IIRO is an independent, non-profit organization.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) functions in the United Kingdom in a similar way to the IIRO in Canada. The FSA is an independent non-government body. It regulates all kinds of financial services in the UK. Their primary objectives are to raise market confidence, public awareness of the financial systems, ensure consumer protection and reduce financial crime throughout the country.

Australia has two separate institutions that are responsible for financial regulation. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is an independent government body. It functions as a regulator throughout the corporate world in Australia. The ASIC enforces the financial regulation laws that are passed by the Australian government. Primarily these rules are in place to protect consumers, investors and creditors. The second body in Australia is the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. This is responsible for regulating the banks and other financial institutions, including insurance companies.

Any global rules for financial regulation would have to comply with these bodies, as well as similar organizations around the world. In March of 2009, the U.S. Federal reserve Chief Ben Bernanke called on governments around the world to develop a global solution to the worldwide financial crisis. Rather than create a worldwide financial organization, he suggested that existing financial organizations find ways to create global rules that all would use.

With all the countries around the world working together, it’s easy to see why financial regulation is going to be a major task ahead in the next several years.

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Central Bank Chicanery and We, the Revenue Units

“Unfortunately no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.” ~Morpheus in the movie, The Matrix

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “chicanery” as, “legal trickery, pettifogging, abuse of legal forms; the use of subterfuge and trickery in debate or action; quibbling, sophistry, trickery.” You need not read past, “legal trickery,” to understand the overlooked impact central banks have on we, the revenue units. But perhaps more worrisome is where central banks appear headed.

A quick review of central banking’s role as regards currency informs us that a global monetary system dominates and controls all other systems of the world. Like the 800-pound gorilla in the living room, this fact becomes impossible to ignore once you see it.

Just as it is impossible to fully understand planet earth without realizing the role of the solar system that contains it, so also is it impossible to fully understand money separate from the monetary system.

The global monetary system is a network of 17 central banks worldwide of which the Federal Reserve Bank is the one in the U.S. Central banks are the only banks capable of issuing currency, (a private product we pay to use), issued via “fractional reserve banking,” loaned into existence, and repaid with interest. This formula, called the “expansion multiplier,” in the Federal Reserve’s pamphlet, Modern Money Mechanics, multiplies profits for the architects of the system and their cronies.

Currency trickles down from the governmental level to commercial and local banks when a country’s government borrows money from its central bank. When a business repays a commercial loan plus interest (a.k.a. the debt-service) they pass on their bank-loan charges to their customers as increases to the price of goods and services. Over time, what began as “simple” interest becomes “compound” interest which in-turn increases prices at an ever-faster pace.

As a result, we, the revenue units, must increasingly work harder and pay more for the same basic goods and services for which people in the 50’s and 60’s paid far less. This exponential rise in the cost-of-living has become glaringly obvious in the real estate and insurance industries.

Once in power, more power is needed to remain in existence.

The 2008 economic meltdown tested the Fed. It employed the desperate measure of dumping trillions of newly-issued money into an ailing monetary system via a series of Quantitative Easings (QE) to “stimulate” the economy, as well as, its position of power. Their monetary strategy led most Americans merrily down the yellow brick road of the appearance of recovery and wealth.

Yet, like the Wizard of Oz, appearances are often deceiving. In reality, the glut of newly-issued currency contributed to deeper devaluation of the dollar (now worth less than 3 cents). Going forward, the Fed would have to keep up with what the QE’s had begun. To continue ensuring liquidity in the marketplace, larger and larger amounts of currency would have to be injected into the system.

This is where it gets interesting. By all accounts, to sustain ongoing liquidity, the Fed tactics have advanced to aggressively buying-up public assets, company stocks and “toxic” real estate, which has contributed to the double-digit rise in the stock market. Increasingly drastic measures provide a type of expansion putting the economy at risk of being swallowed whole by the financial sector. Think: further concentration of power.

Here’s why:

“So the central banks have a problem here, they are now “forced” to purchase assets to prevent market downturns but one should ask the question ‘who will they eventually sell to?’ The answer of course is ‘no one’ because there is no one large enough to take these assets off their books.” Bill Holter, Central Banks Will Destroy Their Own Currency By Doing What They Do… Creating Currency And Credit. From Here, The Faster They Run, The Faster The Boogeyman Catches Them!, April 22, 2017

The Fed has the legal authority to endlessly purchase assets of which they can then drive up the prices that virtually no one can out bid. Higher costs-of-living due to more inflation do not translate into a recovered economy, contrary to popular opinion, and especially for the majority of Americans without assets.

As long as someone is receiving a paycheck, they seem to care little about the system producing it, an entrenched system that owns and controls the ability to create an endless supply of money, (new credit). Additionally, if central banks decide to transition to blockchain technology, as discussed in my February and April recent blogs, it would not be a decentralized application, as is Bitcoin. Instead, blockchain technology would simply enhance central banking’s already centralized system.

With every successive economic downturn, the Fed doubles-down to minimize the economic impact on society. Minimizing the economic impact equals the Fed taking on more and more control of the situation to sustain their power, and in an attempt to counterbalance the ongoing, exponential loss of value in all fiat currency. The role of central banking is like a snowball growing larger as it rolls down the hill; I wonder if anyone sees what I see?

“Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.” ~Marshall McLuhan, author

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