Unsecured Loan Tricks

I got my mail like any other day, and found this:   no return address, plain white envelope, heavy on one end, sure looks like a replacement debit or credit card, don’t it?

You can even see where the credit card numbers have rubbed through the envel—wait a goddamn minute…

Those rubbed-in numbers that make it look like there’s a credit card inside are literally printed on the envelope.   Those unsecured loan motherfuckers are getting tricky, they’ll do anything to get me to not throw away their crap without opening the envelope.  Sure enough, inside it says I’m approved for “$2,000 to $25,000″ as long as I use my “Personal Offer Code” when I go to their website.   Oh, and the offer expires in February, as if I won’t get twelve more offers like this in the mail in the next month.    And, yes, I’m on the “stop junk mail” lists, but this shit still keeps coming.

…You Know, For Kids!

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Payday loans fit in a certain niche in personal finance, but the abuse caused by short terms and high interest rates causes a huge impact on the poor.  But what about kids?  Pocket Money is a lender focused on giving children small “payday” loans — even though they don’t get paychecks — and teaches them the hard, painful truths about borrowing money.  (It’s not real.)

Fake Confederate Money

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I remember when I was a kid we went to Fort Detroit and I bought a little envelope with artificially-aged reprints of old U.S. and Confederate money inside. I know a lot of other tourist-traps sold this stuff, and over the years it has apparently lost the connection to souvenir status and people think they’ve got the real thing. Check this list before getting excited about your Confederate money: it’s likely to be a souvenir reprint like mine.

The All-Seeing Eye

Artist John Chirillo has created a work of art that required almost 15,000 one-dollar bills.  Chirillo took each dollar bill, carefullly cut out the all-seeing eyes from the reverse, until he had a whole jar-full of ‘em.  The whole lot of them were then mounted in rows, creating a fast expanse of eyes.

According to the notes in the Imgur page, all bills were put back into circulation.  Legal?  Yes: the mutilation wasn’t done to devalue or otherwise falsify the bills, and well over 2/3 of the original bill was intact.   This means that banks and businesses would have accepted them fine, but pretty much the instant they made it to a reserve bank they’d have gone into a shredder to be replaced by crisp new bills.

The all-seeing eye on the back of the dollar is one of the most controversial parts of our money.   First, its connection to Freemasonry squicks out a lot of people right off the bat. Created in 1935, the designer of the new dollar, Henry Wallace, found the symbol relevant and did some due diligence by asking a Catholic if he thought there’d be any problem with it.  That hasn’t stopped Christians from going off the deep-end over its symbolism, though.  From the other end, the recent overwhelming evidence of all-seeing government surveillance has brought the the all-seeing eye out as a symbol of the fascist surveillance state.   As a symbol, I think it worked, although maybe not as the original engraver intended.  When a symbol loses value, it just becomes an image lacking definition.  When it becomes a representation of an important concept, good or bad, then some Milwaukee artist feeds off that meaning and spend three years of his life cutting tiny triangles out of dollar bills.