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Friday Afternoon Confessional: Too big to fail

I confess that I have changed banks from a small local bank to a “too big to fail” one, namely, Bank of America. I confess that I did so because the college’s policy with regard to getting direct deposit set up in a timely fashion is, at least to me, unacceptably lax — so I needed somewhere I could deposit the funds immediately and get cash immediately. If I was going to do that, why not make the switch to a national bank in the process, given that I have no idea where I’ll be over the next few years?

I confess that I have a whole tirade ready when people ask why I don’t want a debit card, a tirade I most recently unleashed on The Girlfriend. I confess that years of living on the edge of financial ruin have trained me to have such an absolute bias in favor of liquidity over all other factors that the remote possibility that someone could steal money directly out of my bank account (even if it was then later reimbursed) is completely intolerable to me. Perhaps because the worst abuses of overdraft fees have been curbed by the government recently, they didn’t put up a fight when I said that I wanted strictly only an ATM card with no debit capability — though the person was disappointed I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of their cash-back awards program.

I confess that I brought a friend from the college with me to start an account, but as a foreigner, she needed her passport to open it — but on the bright side, that means that I can now “refer” her as an existing customer, meaning we both get $50. Hurray for profiting off bias against non-citizens!

I confess that I have been ordering pizza at an alarming rate since moving to Kalamazoo, but it’s probably still cheaper than ordering the car that would allow me to do more varied grocery shopping and hence cooking. I confess that my laundry service was more expensive than I expected, though I did have a truly appalling amount of laundry piled up, but again, it’s still cheaper than buying a car. A colleague suggested that taking a cab to the grocery store every so often would probably be cheaper than buying a car, too, and I bet he’s right. I guess the question becomes when all these things that are “cheaper than buying a car” add up to “more expensive than buying a car.”

Presumably I’ll get a government bailout if it comes to that, though, now that I’ve thrown in my lot with a “too big to fail” firm!


October 2, 2009 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. i wish to confess to something nice and uplifting, but i’ve noticed a black spot on my lower lip, 0.5mm around, i thought first it’s a pen maybe, but no
    the cell lines i work with are tumor inducing, at least in mice, and the mole keeps growing, it’s on the auspicious location signifying good fortune and motherhood, should get it removed maybe nevertheless, how stupid

    Comment by read | October 2, 2009

  2. i confess i understand the debit card dilemma (or rather, the logic behind it, as i use my own debit card readily).

    i confess to anticipating making my first confession. i confess that the confession i originally planned has been made elsewhere, including in conversation with adam. (probably unbeknownst to him).

    i confess to wanting too much but doing too little. in spite of saying this, i confess that i am perhaps too busy in the coming few days, and that this is of my own making. i confess to resultant stress.

    i confess that i sometimes don’t say quite what i mean in favour of saying things that sound good. i don’t think ‘wanting too much’ is worthy of confession but it couples wel with ‘doing too little’. nor is the debit card situation really a ‘dilemma’ but i like alliteration to the extent that i contemplating terming it the ‘debit dilemma’.

    Comment by sarah expletive | October 2, 2009

  3. I confess that my roommate in Chicago found a replacement for me and the new lease has been signed. Aside from having to pay double rent last month, this was the ideal solution: he doesn’t have to move and I get out of the lease, and I’ll also get my deposit back now rather than at the end of April (as would’ve been the case if we’d done a sublease rather than a new lease). I’m pretty relieved that the situation is resolved.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 2, 2009

  4. if you get a bicycle with one of those baskets attached to it could you get to the store and back or is Kalamazoo one of those “cars-only” and “no-sidewalks” and “everyone drives” kind of places?

    Comment by Mikhail Emelianov | October 2, 2009

  5. There are sidewalks — it was originally built up before the advent of cars — and people do walk to some degree because it’s a college town, so that would be a possibility. The only problem with that is that they apparently get huge amounts of snow, which would make bike-riding difficult for like half the year.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 2, 2009

  6. True. Unless you do it like they do in Crested Butte, CO and get those thick-tire cruisers and winter tires, but that’s a level of dedication to bicycling I’ve only ever observed in ski towns. How about a motorcycle then? There is an additional coolness attached to it.

    Comment by Mikhail Emelianov | October 2, 2009

  7. I confess that I participated in my first willfully irresponsible activity of the semester yesterday, when I skipped my last class of the day in order to take a nap before work. For some reason, it seems a lot more bold to deliberately skip a class in the middle of the day than to sleep through a class that’s early in the morning. I almost never miss class, so it’s usually a big deal for me when I do, even if I miss intentionally.

    I confess that I’m getting fed up with paychecks and banking in general. Two weeks ago, my check didn’t come in the mail, and I was told that I would have to just wait until the next paycheck to get the one from the last pay period. Well, today I get the two checks, but I go to the National City in town, which is now owned by PNC where I have an account, but they tell me that they can’t deposit the checks into my bank account yet.

    I confess that I want/need to go home this weekend, but I’m not going to in order to save more money for my trip to Philadelphia in a few weeks. Winter has decided to make an early appearance here, and I do not have any winter clothes with me. I also should go home because of the banking thing, but I have to take the GRE next weekend, so I’m just going to wait a week for all of this stuff.

    I confess that I haven’t studied for the GRE yet, and I’m worried that I won’t get to it this weekend, because I’m working on an interesting paper on Derrida and have tons more reading/planning for my Ricouer independent study. I confess that I find both of these French thinkers to be much more interesting that my church history class, which is the one I skipped. I confess that I found thinking about my readings on my way to taking a nap more enticing than sitting through a discussion on the Catholic-Orthodox schism.

    Comment by dave | October 2, 2009

  8. I confess that if it weren’t for my writing partner’s level head, I would be happy to hand in our finished first draft.

    Comment by K-sky | October 2, 2009

  9. You could get a small dragon and ride him to the grocery store. He would be able to fly above the snow could melt it with his fire breath anyway. Dragons are relatively cheap in this economy, and with the money he could make you melting the snow from people’s driveways, it’s a much better investment.

    Comment by Hill | October 2, 2009

  10. Aren’t dragons cold-blooded? But I guess that would then raise the question of how they’re able to breathe fire… can anyone help me out here?

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 2, 2009

  11. I confess that I’m disappointed by no Thursday television post. I confess that can I just talk about t.v. for a minute?

    I don’t understand why Conrad Hilton’s attorneys would be so concerned about Don’s lack of a contract. Maybe PPL and SC just made that up? It seems much more in PPL and SC’s interest to have Don sign a contract than Hilton’s — after all, Don drew in the firm’s second-biggest client purely on personal connection, and now that there’s no partnership and no friendship with Roger, there’s nothing keeping Don from walking away with Hilton in his pocket. That would explain why Cooper et al. were careful to say that Connie didn’t personally care about the contract, but his attorneys did — that way they’d have cover if Don asked Connie about the request and Connie disclaimed knowledge. Will Don find out that this was a lie and a ploy and further alienate him from SC? Also, no Joan this episode! Boo!

    Comment by jms | October 2, 2009

  12. Some excellent information here:

    Some of your questions are raised and addressed there, Adam. One piece of advice is offered, which should be axiomatic in all discussions of dragons: “You never know what secrets dragons hold.”

    Comment by Hill | October 2, 2009

  13. I confess that reading the above forum thread on dragons was one of the highlights of my day. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face. It makes me wonder if there is a dragon studies blogosphere, and in what ways the discussions there may be structurally similar to many of those in the theology blogosphere.

    Comment by Hill | October 2, 2009

  14. i confess i got a parcel from my sister with the Okinawan dried mango and pineapples, life is good and that was just a freckle if won’t grow

    Comment by read | October 2, 2009

  15. I confess that for a long time, even after living in the US for years, I still used to think that “Kalamazoo” is a made-up place, meaning something like “some place in the middle of nowhere”. I confess that, in fact, I still have trouble believing that Kalamazoo is a real place; I’m agnostic on that, as they say.

    Comment by abb1 | October 3, 2009

  16. In the absence of a dedicated post on television, I feel I have no option but to claim the remainder of this discussion as my own:

    “The Office” – best episode yet, which isn’t saying much. Jim’s admiration/loathing for Michael could prove interesting, but it will be destroyed by NBC’s love of the “wedding episode” (c.f., Chandler and Monica; c.f., Ross and every woman in New York and England).
    “Community” – didn’t bother to watch it. I hope I’m not the only one!
    “Dexter” – promising: car crash with victim’s body parts in it. Plus, the bad guy is potentially the best one yet.
    “Dollhouse” – every episode is stupider and dumber and more boring than the previous one. I like Helo, but not in this show. My partner is upset that he hasn’t taken his shirt off. Apollo was not good in the previous episode. Note to Josh Whedon: find your own fucking actors.
    “NCIS” – about average, which means watchable. Missed the spin-off with LL Cool J this week.

    I think I watched “Criminal Minds” (definitely in repeat, at least) and it continues to be unintentionally hilarious.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | October 4, 2009

  17. I confess that I have some questions for Kotsko. I confess I haven’t found the books he mentioned in one of his posts here (URL= a comment he directed towards Chad (“Nothing with unvarnished praise of capitalism. I’ve already told you three books you can read in the other thread. Go actually read them. Then they’ll have lists of references you can read on related topics if you’re interested”) and I confess I am terribly interested in what those books were.

    Comment by Matt Cale | October 4, 2009

  18. I remember one of the books was Jonathan Kozol’s Rachel and her Children, but I’m blanking on the others.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 5, 2009

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