The Stuff of Popular Resistance

In a generally wealthy democracy, oppressive policies most commonly end only when ordinary middle class people are outraged by them. And that most commonly comes only whey they or someone they know is personally harmed.

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8 Responses to The Stuff of Popular Resistance

  1. Steve says:

    While I certainly believe that the USA PATRIOT Act is an execrable piece of legislation, I’m a bit skeptical about this story. There’s little or no corroboration of the Soehnge’s story. Has JC Penney been contacted by the press for a comment? Were there any other problems with their payment record? A large payment may need to go through extra procedures for any number of reasons, such as verification of funds.

    This is how hoaxes propagate. Reporters don’t ask the tough questions that would allow the reader to be more confident of the facts.

  2. anon says:

    Who cares if it’s a hoax? Let’s do away with financial reporting laws. Everytime I move an amount even close to $10,000, the bank gets up in my business. We need to do away with those laws, and I’m happy to have Froomkin on board! Lead the way, my foolish friend!

  3. Sam says:

    This smelled like a hoax to me, too, but my wife and I dug out the appropriate bit of the Federal Register where this is discussed.

    The regulation refers to amendments to the Banking Secrecy Act (not the Bank Privacy Act) made in the USA PATRIOT Act (HR 3162), in section 352 of the bill. Here’s another useful discussion of the topic:

    The requirements that the PATRIOT act impose are, as far as I can tell, to extend the BSA reporting requirements to a wider range of financial institutions. It gives the institutions reasonably wide latitude in establishing the parameters of the program which enforces the requirements. It appears that the person in the article either misunderstood the people he spoke to, or encountered an institution which chose a surprisingly aggressive interpretation of the rules.

  4. Steve says:

    I’m with anon regarding financial reporting laws. I just have my doubts about the veracity and/or verifiability of the story in question.

  5. David Attaway says:

    Seth Finkelstein’s link says:

    1) Sending in payment far in excess of the normal monthly payment will
    raise a fraud flag, purely as the private, free-market, choice of the
    credit-card business.

    I don’t follow this. I know that trying to SPEND too much money can be fraud, but how can you defraud a credit card company (or anyone, for that matter) by paying them?

  6. No Name says:

    How can you defraud a credit card company by paying them? With a bad check. The check bounces but you’ve already run up new charges in the meantime.

    Note that this could be done by a criminal using someone else’s account information.

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