August 4, 2014

“FDIC Withdraws Alleged ‘Hit List’ of High-Risk Merchants”

Operation Choke Point has turned into a PR nightmare, evidently. Not to mention, has shown this administration for what it is: tyrannical, decidedly non-transparent, and willing to use any excuse it can muster to deploy the rule of law selectively to empower its friends and punish its perceived “enemies.”

So of course it has to be a mistake, this “misinterpretation” of the dictates born of the Operation. Because progressives, by their nature, are good and righteous, and so can only do good and righteous things. Making any bad things they do — that is, non-progressive things — not really of their doing. QED. Anti-foundationalism: membership has its privileges!

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Monday that it has withdrawn a list of merchant categories, including payday lenders, debt consolidation firms, pornography businesses and others, that it said warranted heightened attention by banks processing their transactions.

In a letter to financial institutions, the agency said the list, which was first published three years ago, had been misinterpreted, resulting in banks’ severing ties with legitimate businesses.

“The lists of examples of merchant categories have led to misunderstandings regarding the FDIC’s supervisory approach to institutions’ relationships with [third-party payment processors], resulting in the misperception that the listed examples of merchant categories were prohibited or discouraged,” the FDIC wrote. “In fact, it is the FDIC’s policy that insured institutions that properly manage customer relationships are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing services to customers operating in compliance with applicable federal and state law.”

The move is another dramatic turn in the battle over efforts by state and federal authorities to cut off certain business’ access to the payment system.

The Justice Department has sent subpoenas to more than 50 banks and payment processing firms as part of “Operation Choke Point,” its program to aimed at preventing fraudulent merchants from using the payment system. The FDIC has separately encouraged banks to scrutinize account relationships with third-party payment processors.

In a bulletin issued in 2011, the FDIC described potential risks banks could face by facilitating payment transactions with certain merchants, including a list of categories that included payday lenders and others. The list was later used by the Justice Department in subpoenas to banks.

Industry critics and Republican lawmakers have accused the FDIC of creating a “hit list” of targeted firms, saying it has harmed legitimate businesses. At a hearing two weeks ago, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., grilled an FDIC official over the list.

“You’ve put out this list and it says, ‘Don’t do business,'” McHenry said. “That’s what the banks have heard.”

Richard Osterman, the agency’s acting general, acknowledged that the list had been “misinterpreted” by financial institutions.

Let me put this in no uncertain terms:  banks, aware of the mob-like tactics of this administration, took to protecting their own asses.  And one of the industries not mentioned in this piece — gun and ammo dealers — were also targeted, making this administration complicit in active backdoor attempts to nullify the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights.  With their attack on the porn industry, they went after First Amendment protections, as well.


It’s who they are. It’s what they do.  And they’ll only stop when they’re caught and can’t figure a plausible way to blame everyone else for their own odious rejection of constitutional protections.

(h/t RI Red)


Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:28am

Comments (13)

  1. . . . they’ll only stop when they’re caught . . .

    Hobbes: “So that in the first place, I put for a general inclination of all mankind a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.”

  2. But it’s for your own good, citizen!

  3. – They will only stop, like terrorists whom they actively support and defend, when they are out of power and can no longer weld the whip, again just like terrorist groups.

    – The events of the past 6 years since the Progressive Marxist Democrats took office needs to be documented in rich and complete detail so the dumb-ass LoFo voters can maintain some sort of attention span.

  4. Richard Osterman, the agency’s acting general, acknowledged that the list had been “misinterpreted” by financial institutions.

    Yeah, right. I’ve been around long enough to remember when the FDIC and other federal banking regulators let it be known that the typical scrutiny given to applicants for loans was now a bad thing, inasmuch as normal indicia of credit-worthiness were “discriminatory.” Banks were not specifically told to make bad loans; they were just threatened with endless investigations about whether they were improperly denying certain people credit. Do not for a minute think that banks didn’t hear what was being said. “Nice bank you got here. It’d be too bad if something happened to it.”

  5. Robert Creamer — from power after power

  6. “Richard Osterman, the agency’s acting general, acknowledged that the list had been “misinterpreted” by financial institutions.”
    A list is a list…Lists can not be misinterpreted, as they are just lists. Instructions on the other hand are to be followed. What are the DOJ Choke Point directives, or shall we call them…”suggestions”?

  7. I’m surprised they pulled back from their position. It seems to me that legality, let alone public opinion, matters not a whit to any government agency.

  8. Could be the pornographer donors didn’t like the heat and started calling their wholly-owned congresscritters to put pressure on the FDIC through informal backchannels, cranky-d. Doesn’t mean legitimacy has to enter in anywhere.

  9. That is something I can easily believe, sdferr.

  10. I swear, Jeff.

    No matter how many times you’re right, when I present this to other people it’s always “Who are they?!? And WHY are they doing this?!?!”

    At least most people clue in that I’m not some fringe dude who only leaves the house to buy ‘mmo ‘n ‘hiskey so MAYBE I have a point.

    Side note: please someone create the blog ‘mmo ‘n ‘hiskey

  11. “they’ll only stop when they’re caught … for their own odious rejection of constitutional protections”

    They only slow down. Besides, the message has been sent. How many banks will go la dee da now that some “official” position has been unwritten?

    The “odious rejection” of the simple respect for the principle of freedom is still the byword of the remaking of America.

  12. Erstwhile Captain Barbossa: “First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate’s code to apply and you’re not. And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner .”

    A couple hundred years worth of lawyering over any document will turn it into “guidelines”.

    Know your place, mateys.

  13. Message sent.

    Message received.