Your Lying Eyes

Dedicated to uncovering the truth that stands naked before your lying eyes.

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15 October 2010

The Paperless Society

Ah, the lure of the paperless society. I'm an absolute klutz with paperwork as well as a disorganized mess physically, so I tend to embrace the paperless world our new technology affords us - but I have also seen its dark side. In a dispute, a paperless transaction is great if you've got the advantage - but how often are we holding the cards?

And paperlessness is hardly a popular quality - a number of years ago I noticed the astonishing practice of people in the office printing out emails, three-hole punching them and filing them in binders - WTF!? Well, with all our vaunted search technology, that paper copy will often be found more effectively than its electronic counterpart, I must admit.

But in the aggregate, paper is expensive and agonizingly slow as it has to be physically moved around as its provenance moves. And so it has come to pass that our stodgiest institutions - those most readily associated with laborious and persnickety devotion to paperwork, signature, and physical records - have been the quickest to embrace the paperless paradigm. I'm referring to banks, who have pretty much abandoned all their once formidable stodginess.

And now it turns out that banks' aggressive entry into the paperless world is merely just another example of their abandonment of due diligence generally. Sufficient capital? - bah, just some quaint concept from the 30's. Borrower's credit worthiness? - out-dated, narrow-minded notion from our racial dark-ages. Can't engage in non-banking business activities? - We have Risk Management departments! Actual deeds and notes filed with county recorders? - Nonsense, we can manage that amongst ourselves electronically.

Now of course who cares if it's Bank A that comes to foreclose vs. Bank B - no one really, if Bank A or Bank B don't care. But what if you've been paying Bank A but Bank B comes to foreclose - and has all the electronic records to prove they're the owner - and so does Bank A? Or Bank A forecloses and then Bank B also comes around to foreclose? Isn't it nice to know the county clerk holds the actual records on paper in a locked file cabinet? It's just another mess the banks have caused in their rush to reap profits where they shouldn't have.

The privilege of owning and running a bank is a sacred trust that society should bestow with great caution, as banking has the potential to destroy modern society's most precious endowment - its money. Banks should be governed sternly under very strict rules - and enforcement must be swift and uncompromising. There are no "technical" violations in banking - there are "violations" pure and simple.


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