What Stands Behind Capital One Credit Cards and Savings Products?

In the times since the global financial crisis, it has increasingly become a concern as to what the backing of the financial institution that issues your credit card or holds your saving account is. There are a number of laws which regulate the financial system and try to ensure that customers can rely on banks to honour their obligations which can be a particular concern in relation to savings products. Title 12 of the United States Code in part 325 specifies a number of ‘capital adequacy requirements’ in relation to all banks. The aim of these requirements is to force banks to adequately provision of a crisis and ensure that they will remain solvent even if there is a large crisis. Banks must report periodically on their arrangements to show regulators that they are meeting the capital adequacy requirements.

Capital One at the moment is, when measured by asset pool, the 8th largest bank in the United States with balance sheet assets of approximately USD$286bn in 2012. Amongst other distinctions, the company is also one of the largest customers of the United States postal service. Its head office is in Fairfax County Virginia and the current chairman, CEO and President of the company is Richard Fairbank. It is one of the fastest growing banks in American history having been founded in 1988 by the current CEO. Like many banks in the American financial system, Capital One was the recipient of a bail out during the sub prime mortgage crisis of 2007 when it received $3.56bn from the United States Government in exchange for 3,555,199 shares in the company. By the end of 2009, the company had managed to buy the government out of the business.

As well as being involved in credit cards, Capital One has an Auto Finance Division which is a substantial part of the company. An entity known as Capital One 360 is also now in existence having formerly been known as ING Direct on the idea that a bank could perform retail services entirely on the basis of an online model. This division of the company has no branches and only maintains a physical presence in the form of call centres and online processing maintenance facilities. The online bank model seems to achieved some success given that the lower overheads from rent and staff result in lower costs to consumers and therefore a better outcome.

One of the notable characteristic of Capital One is that it appears to have retained an ability to ride out the periodic financial storms which emerge in the world of consumer credit. It has grown consistently throughout good and bad times in consumer finance and continues to grow based on the analysis of its most recent financial data. This history of growth and the ability to ride out financial storms appears to bode well for the credit and savings products of Capital One.

Campaign Finance Reform, Or Revolution?

When I was a little boy, we lived in rural Missouri, about 30 miles outside of St. Louis. We lived there until I was nine years old. We lived in a small town, but the world was, for me, a very big place filled with wonders and bulging at the seams, with hope and possibility. In spite of the veiled threat of nuclear war between the Soviets and Americans our government made us feel safe. Even though we had regular “duck and cover” drills at school confidence in our leaders made us feel safe. My parents worked hard, provided for us, and because my dad was a Union member, we all had health insurance. I assumed that everyone did, and I think that at that time most did. I doubt that the world was any more politically stable than it is now, but most everyone seemed to believe that anything was possible. There was abundant hope. I’m sure that this was largely a middle-class phenomenon, but there was a very large middle-class. I think that this was, pardon my pun, “trickle-down” from pretty good leadership. I know now that it had to do with the “industrial military complex” being in its infancy. President Eisenhower would warn us about this institution and those who would control and profit from it, becoming the greatest threat to the freedom of the average American.

In 1958 our family relocated from Missouri to California. There was more construction work for my dad and the Union was very strong there. I remember when we were traveling, being a little boy, it seemed as if we were pioneers traveling to the great Wild West. And you know what, it was sort of… true! Even though I was disappointed that Mexican-Americans didn’t wear sombreros, it was to me, exciting and wondrous! It wasn’t easy for my folks, but they were able to make sure that we, my younger brother and I, were protected from such heavy burdens of social pressure, allowing us to just be children. We became Californians! Then came John Fitzgerald Kennedy! From what I could tell, my parents who had been life-long Republicans and didn’t vote for Kennedy became converts to the charisma and competency of this President, as did very many Americans. When he spoke it was like he was speaking directly to you and he was like Jefferson or Franklin or one of the “framers” reborn. It was obvious that he was a “peoples President”! Born into wealth, he had no need to sell one bit of himself to anyone. His father had stressed that they were fortunate, being wealthy Americans, and that they would be behooved by that fortune to become public servants. In that role, JFK made us all feel like anything was possible and I do mean anything. Take for instance, “We’re going to the moon!” And though we did have a standoff with far reaching implications, with Russia. We won! It was a time when Americans felt like and actually were the moral conscience, human rights and social leaders of the World!

Then the turmoil began. John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas and Lyndon Johnson became the President. Then we lost Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr… then Bobby Kennedy! Though Johnson managed to get the Civil Rights Act passed, he escalated and became obsessed with Vietnam, a mistake and trauma that would overshadow many great things he did and that were happening. The Draft… the conscripting of young American boys into the armed forces would begin the great change. Nixon would begin the de-escalation of the war, but then became the most disgraceful leader in modern American history… The Vietnam War, sold under threat of the domino effect of Communism (bullshit), would be the beginning of Eisenhower’s greatest fear. The Industrial-Military-Complex invaded the United States economy, to eventually determine every aspect of American life. Spanning the better part of two decades, Vietnam would give birth to private industry and businesses so rich and powerful that they would gain the ability to “lobby” (bribe) Washington D.C. and influence American policy, law, and social stability. An industrial complex supporting a massive armed force would become an entity of its own, spawning a wealthy class of citizens enjoying privilege like European Royalty. As this class grew and spread into every sector of the economy, someone would have to pay their way. The middle-class became overtaxed, underpaid and underserved, as the Nation’s economy began to transfer from the average citizen to the upper one percent (1%). This trend would continue right up to our current situation.

A succession of weak Presidents like Ford and Carter paved the way for the fatal Presidency of Ronald Reagan. A complete sell-out to the rich and powerful businesses, and a promoter of a covert military, he broke the back of the Unions when he broke the Air Traffic Controllers strike, allowing those Union members to be displaced by non-Union employees. The Unions had made possible things like wages that kept up with inflation, top-notch health insurance policies for members, and arbitration with companies to assure employee safety and quality work and goods production. Without the Union protections, American workers would be at mercy of purely profit-based business that looked at the “bottom-line”" as the primary if not their only consideration! His covert military would take up the cause of protecting business interests abroad. The country of the people, by the people and for the people was gradually disappearing into the distance like fading sunlight as night approaches. A very dark picture was taking form in the United States of America.

The blow of the “Bushes” was softened by the charisma of William Jefferson Clinton, briefly, though the Industrial-Military-Complex was still on the march promoting war, profiteering and deregulation of the financial industry to unprecedented levels in spite of warnings that history provided. The transfer of the economy to the top one-percent was escalating at nearly unstoppable speed. All the while, Americans had become complacent and continued to trust that government would, in the end, come to their aid. Over the years since Reagan, Unions had been sold as evil and counter-productive to the economy. Safety in the work place became substandard as the average worker worked longer and harder hours to maintain a secure and stable life-style. A new phenomenon appeared as somewhat of a bewilderment to most, at the time… the presence of a growing “homeless” sector appeared in our society. “Why” wasn’t apparent! We couldn’t see that if the wealthy remained the top 1%, and the middle-class was diminishing… poverty had to be flourishing! The American way of life had transformed. Things that made us what we were, were disappearing or being stifled and rebranded as counter-productive to our economy. War became acceptable as a sadly necessary part of our culture and the times we live in! International Treaties were deemed inapplicable to the United States government. It seemed that almost out of nowhere America was grabbing people and shuffling them off to clandestine locations, torturing them and defying international law. The government didn’t need warrants to wiretap and spy on its people. Privacy was unimportant. Americans, like the enemy, could be locked up without “habeas corpus” in the process, and for indeterminate lengths of time with no legal representation. Two-percent (2%) of the population would, over the course of each year, be incarcerated. Doctors were being assassinated for carrying out legal procedures. Civil rights were first being given to citizens and then taken away in backlashes of the Religious far-right interfering with government and the law. Government mandated that citizens must buy a poor quality product from unethical businesses under the threat of penalties, with no acceptable, reasonable product offered under that law (health insurance). Federal authorities intervened in legal conflict with State laws, arresting people for things that their State had deemed legal (medical marijuana)! Maybe worst of all, no one will take responsibility for the environment of our Planet and the destructive effect we are so obviously having on it. This has all culminated into the financial melt-down of 2009, and still the people struggle for justice and for the government to come to their aid, but it falls on deaf ears that have been silenced by financial reward from lobbying (bribery) by the Military-Industrial-Complex that silently has instituted a coup on the United States Congress, stripping the people of their representation in the Federal governing system. Half measures that appease the people and sustain the power of the top 1%, yet really change nothing, are all we can get out of them.

Campaign Finance Reform – Insiders Versus Outsiders

Should voters in New York be allowed to contribute to local elections in New Hampshire?
Should voters in Concord, NH be allowed to contribute to elections in Manchester, NH?
If you can not vote in an election, why should you be allowed to contribute to that election?
Whom do you want politicians to raise money from, their constituents or people that can NOT vote for them?

Campaign Finance Reform should be about Insiders versus Outsiders not hard money versus soft money.

US Citizens – An Example for US Citizens Who Live, Vote and Pay Taxes in the Government District:

Three people contribute to a campaign. One contributes $10,000 worth of time, one contributes $10,000 worth of resources and one contributes $10,000 in cash.
Which has violated campaign finance laws?

The person that contributes $10,000 cash. The persons that contributed $10,000 worth of time and resources are making legal contributions. But all three people live under regulations, pay taxes, and earn income in the government district that the candidate represents.

Question:
If you are not going to limit the time and resources a voter may contribute to a candidate, why is it fair to limit the cash a voter can contribute?

Answer:
Time, resources and money are all acceptable and equivalent contributions. There should be no limits on contributions by people who can vote in an election. They pay taxes and live under that government’s regulations so they should be allowed to help select their representative any way they can, with time, money or resources.

Conversely, if a person can NOT vote in an election then they should not be allowed to contribute anything to a candidate, not time, money or resources.

Voting in an election is the key determiner of Insider versus Outsider. If it were not so, we could vote in all 50 states, for 50 governors, 100 senators, etc. Because we are limited to whom we can vote for, we should also be limited to whom we can contribute to. This limit applies to time, money and resources.

An Example for Unlimited Campaign Contributions by Voters in an Election District:
Let’s use New York City as an example. Two billionaires live in New York city and one billionaire we’ll call Michael, wants to be mayor of New York city. Michael contributes $10 million to his own campaign, which is perfectly legal under the current campaign finance laws. The other billionaire, we’ll call Donald, does not want to be mayor, but he also does not want Michael to be mayor. He would like to contribute $10 million to another candidate. This is not legal. Why? They both live, work, pay taxes and vote in New York city.

If you are having problems with allowing voters to give unlimited campaign contributions please ask yourself these questions:
If you had a million dollars investment in the stock market, would you pay a stock broker to manage that investment.
If you paid one million dollars in taxes, would you not contribute to a politician to manage your “investment” in government?
If you received one million dollars in government contracts or tax deductions or subsidies, would you not contribute to a politician to manage your “revenue” from government?
If you paid one million dollars to comply with government regulations would you not contribute to a politician to manage your “investment” with the government?

Remember that billionaires can only make unlimited contributions in one election district, the one they can vote in.

Non-voting US Residents:
The Supreme Court has ruled that people that can not vote in the US, but pay taxes to the US can participate in a limited way in elections. This ruling applied to permanent residents who are not yet citizens. The Supreme Court did allow restrictions on the amount of money non-citizens could contribute to an election. They limited their contributions to only the amount of money the person earned in the US.

Question:
Two people make the same amount of money in a government district and pay the same taxes to that government, but only one of them can vote in that district. Should the contributions by the nonresident be limited to the same amount of contributions as the voters in that district? Should nonresidents be banned from making contributions of time and resources because placing a value on it and accounting for it is difficult to impossible?

An Example for People that Can Not Vote in a Government District:
Two people work in an election district, but only one can vote in that district. Think of people who live in one district/state but work in another such as traveling sales people.
Person A represent the average constituent in the election district. He makes $100K, pays $10K in taxes in that election district. He contributes $100 to the election he can vote in.
If Person B who is not a constituent, represents Outsiders who are affected by the government in the election district. He makes $100K and pays $10K in taxes in that election district. He should be allowed to contribute $100 to that district. If person B makes the 10 times the money or pays 10 times the taxes, he should be allowed to contribute 10 times the campaign contribution as person A.

Notice that if voters (Insiders) do NOT makes cash campaign contributions and only contribute time and resources, then person B can NOT make any cash contributions. This means that people who vote in an election determine how much money will be spent on a campaign. It is not the Outsiders, because their contributions are limited. The limitation is calculated by dividing the total Insider donations by the number of constituents in the district.

Conclusion:
People that can vote in an election have unlimited contributions to the candidates running in that district.
Voters determine how much money is spent in an election.
People that can NOT vote in an election but who are affected by that government’s by taxes, laws and regulations have some limited contribution to the candidates running in that district based on what Insiders contribute.
People that can NOT vote in an election are NOT allowed to contribute time or resources to that election.
People that are NOT affected by that government may NOT contribute to the candidates running in that district. Not time, not money and not resources.

The Best Free Android Finance Apps

Obviously many people will be skeptical as to how good free apps actually are, with many consumers actually purposefully not downloading free apps due to fears that they will crash or being infected with various ways of stealing your money. However these fears are totally unfounded and without evidence so do not let this put you off. Now to the apps:

PayPal

If you have been on the internet at some point then you will have undoubtedly heard of PayPal. The service facilitates payments between people via a simple email address, avoiding the complexities usually associated with bank transfers and the like. The PayPal Android app allows users to manage their PayPal account just as they would through the official website. The app is totally secure and allows you to make purchases or deposits also amongst other activities on the move, a very useful addition to the marketplace.

Quote Pro

Quote Pro is also an incredibly useful app, used by many on a daily basis it has fast become one of the most downloaded in its range. Not only can you obtain extremely detailed and accurate information about the range of stocks you have an interest in, but you can also keep an eye on your portfolio of stocks and shares.

Tip Calculator by TradeFields

Tip Calculator is perhaps one of the most imaginative apps I have personally seen on the app marketplace. It is incredibly useful for an aspect you will have probably have struggled with every time you’ve been out for a meal, the tip. Not only will the app inform you of the total tip you should be leaving behind, but will also divide the total tip amount between the number of people at the dinner, saving much embarrassment, delays and napkin calculations!

Currency Converter

How many times have you been in a foreign country or at the airport and have been wondering how much you will actually get in return for your dollars? Numerous times in all probability. The currency converter provided by Pocketools will enable you to be provided with an accurate, up to date and independent currency exchange valuation allowing you to shop around to find the best exchange rate. Not only does this app provide you with the current exchange rate, it will also give you data on the currency of your choice over the last 5 year period through the use of many easy to read graphs.

Mileage

This is without doubt one of the best apps I have personally seen. With the rising prices of gas which look set to continue for the foreseeable future it is a great way of ensuring that you are driving as economically as possible and therefore saving as much gas as possible. I haven’t an idea about how it works but it does, the interface is also extremely slick, simple to navigate through and to understand.

Finance

Finance, whilst the name of the app may not excite you or conjure up ideas that this app is going to change the world it certainly fills a gap in the market which needed a simple app. It’s similar to Google search in many aspects, it provides a very basic user interface, but one that is incredibly effective and performs its job excellently. If you already use Google Finance or are considering starting to use it then this app is vital, it synchronizes everything meaning it’s like being on your main PC.

Financisto

Financisto is another great money manager. The ability to create long and short term budgets for holidays, short breaks or just a simple shopping trip is a real plus point for this app and one which has seen it rocket in terms of popularity. In addition to this the app has the capability to check your recurring payments amongst many other essential financial activities; this has left many users of the marketplace wondering why there is no charge.

Where to Find Car Loan Low Interest Finance

You may be surprised to learn how much you will be able to save when you take out car loan low interest finance. If you have been working hard to negotiate the best sale price on your new car, you certainly won’t want to negate the savings you make by paying dearly for finance. There are many companies around who can offer you a good deal on an auto loan and, when looking for car finance, you should aim to pay the lowest rate you can.

When looking for car loan low interest finance you should ensure that you consider all options available to you. A lot of people feel more comfortable sticking with their own financial institutions or the larger bank lenders as they seem to think they will be able to provide the best loans at the best rates. This is not always the case. These days there are a large number of non-bank lenders who provide car loan low interest finance.

Probably the best place to start looking for car loan low interest finance is on the internet. The majority of non-bank loan providers operate solely online as it is an easy way to set up their business without having to outlay a lot of capital. These companies also have minimal running costs, so they can afford to offer car loan low interest finance and still make a reasonable profit.

It is important, when searching for car loan low interest finance, that you realize that interest rates can vary considerably between lenders these days. Ensure that you take the time to shop around and get as many quotes as possible, as you may never know when you will come across the perfect auto loan at the lowest price around. It is only by approaching as many lenders as you can that you will have any success in finding car loan low interest finance.

Looking for car loan low interest rate financing is quick and easy when you do it online. Not only can you compare lenders at a time that is convenient for you, but you will only need to enter your details once in order to receive multiple quotes. The other great thing about getting car loan low interest finance online is that the application process is incredibly straight forward. Once you have found a great rate from a reliable lender, you will be able to apply for your loan online by completing a standard application form. Your application will be submitted to your lender immediately and so the processing of your application is a lot faster.

One thing that you will need to be cautious about when getting car loan low interest finance online is that you will need to ensure that the lender you go with is legitimate and reputable. Sometimes a company that offers ridiculously low rates may not be the most trustworthy, so always take the time to find out more about a lender before signing on the dotted line. You can check out the business ratings of various lenders online through the Better Business Bureau or through auto finance review sites.