Some New Insights You Should Know From the Past Week

You know I’m not a fan of the credit card business, but big credit goes to Capital One who recently had an insert with statements. No, not the usual mice print, but a colour flyer discussing over limit charges and how to avoid them. It also had an intelligent section on how to set up pre-authorized debit with your bank to make sure at least the minimum payments are made every month.

Payday lenders took a big hit last week. There are a bunch of class action lawsuits filed in a number of provinces about their interest rates. The industry went to the Supreme Court who just rejected their arguments to get these lawsuits dismissed.

Scotiabank just launched a rather interesting mortgage promotion. Now I have to confess I used to be a fan of Scotia. In fact, I’ve probably sent them millions of dollars of business over the years. But that was before I had a number of personal nightmares with them. But this one might be worth checking out: It’s a 1 year fixed rate mortgage offer at 3.25% and then the customer will have the option of a five year fixed rate at posted retail rates less 1.25%. Even if you don’t consider the Scotiabank it shows again that it’s pretty easy to haggle on rates and you should get 1 to 1.25% off the posted rates elsewhere, too!

The size of Canadian Banks: Sometimes you don’t have to grow to get bigger. As of right now, TD/Canada Trust is actually the 5th largest bank in the world and the Royal has also made the top 10. They didn’t really grow much but all those mega U.S. banks have shrunk a lot. Citibank used to be worth $270 billion two years ago, now it’s 2%, or $5 billion.
Last one: It was a great and VERY lengthy report from Wall Street Watch. If you ever want the insights of how we got to the current financial and housing mess we’re in it is well worth the read. Here’s the highlights:

$5 billion in political contributions bought Wall Street their total freedom from regulations and restraints in the last decade.
The report goes through a dozen deregulation steps that got us here.

The financial industry has almost 3,000 lobbyists in Washington. How many does Joe Average have? Right – none. So guess who has the influence on congress and the laws that are written – or not written?

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