Friday, April 24, 2009

Bank Stress Test Obfuscation

The highly anticipated “bank stress test results” were announced a few minutes ago, a non-announcement that had so little detail about the health of the banking system it left me wondering the same way I did when I received the following letter from my bank a while ago. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. Why can’t the taxpayer and the consumer have some straight talk?

Gobbledygook National Bank
123 Main Street
Everywhere, USA 99999

Dear Gobbledygook Customer:

We are writing to advise you of important changes to the recurring automatic payment program in which are currently enrolled.

Through the end of the year, your scheduled automatic payment will not be processed if, up to three days prior to your payment due date, you make other payments which satisfy the total minimum payment due. If we cancel any scheduled payment-in-full of your new balance we will automatically adjust any finance charges that accrue as a result of the cancellation.

Effective with your automatic payment schedule to be processed at the beginning of the year, the monthly automatic payment amount you have authorized will be processed even if you have made additional payment(s) satisfying the total minimum payment due for that month. However, the automatic payment will not be processed during any month in which your account does not have an outstanding balance on the payment due date.

If you would like to make any changes to your automatic payment plan, please contact us.

If you prefer, you can call Customer Service at the phone number indicated on the back of your Gobbledygook credit card.

Thank you for your business. We look forward to serving you now and in the future.


Oliver Obfuscation
Senior VP, Gobbledygook National Bank

PS For an amusing follow up article on the so called “stress test” see Zero Hedge’s The Stress Test Cliff Notes.