I'd beware the Ides of March, but the bad news came yesterday. Someone should have told me to beware of Pi Day.
My bank has been ordered by the government to "cease and desist from any unsafe and unsound practice", as it continues to hemmorage money. For the quarter ending December 31st they lost $3.8 million; the quarter before $9.5 million.
The losses, if you listen to bank officials, are due to the decline in the real estate market and the economy in general. Luck of the draw, if you will. If you listen to government regulators, the bank has a shortage of capital and a habit of handing out bad loans.
"Pull out our money Monday," Lisa said.
"How is starting a run on the bank going to help?" I said.
"I don't care about helping the bank. I care about it going under and taking our money with it."
The trouble is there's not many banks around I like or trust. Lincoln has been bought out by Harris, and it won't be long before they're bought by someone else. US Bank sucks (we dealt with them at my old job), I dumped Tri-City years ago, I won't go to the bank that holds my mortgage out of superstitious fear of putting everything in one basket, and another major player in the area refused me a checking account in my youth and I still nurse a grudge.
So I'm going to - well, I don't know what I'm going to do.
* * * * *
In other financial news I settled accounts with Time Warner, enabling me to finally (!) reduce the services I have with them. I wisely placed them behind the mortgage and whatnot in the aftermath of the layoff, and so was playing catchup for the last two months.
It was a Catch 22 for awhile there. I couldn't dump Time Warner because they provided not only my cable but far more importantly my internet and phone service. But while I owed them money they wouldn't let me trim my services. Nevermind that if they had allowed me to cut it down I would have been able to bring the balance to zero months ago. No sir, they would rather I keep the whole package and ring up a larger bill, even at the risk of defaulting.
Anyway, I brought the account up to date and asked to cut 'x' and 'y'. No need; they had a promo going that enabled me to keep what I have AND add channels 120-199, which includes DIY, The Military Channel, and the MLB Network. The cost? $15 less a month than I was paying, or a savings of $180 a year. That's more than a month of free service at the old rate.