The wolves are among the sheep. The financial fortresses we rely on, the stalwarts of security known as US banks, are now playing puppeteer with the financial strings of everyday Americans. Fear grips the heart as accounts suddenly wink out, like stars swallowed by a black hole. The chilling whispers grow louder, painting a gruesome narrative: Banks closing accounts. Freezing assets. And all of it without warning, without explanation.
In the city of angels, where dreams are supposed to come true, a new American nightmare unfolds. Elad Nehorai, a mere mortal like any of us, attempted to access his Bank of America account one day. An ominous message flickered on his screen. Denied. When he approached the behemoth’s West LA branch, he was met with the cold truth. His account had been shut down. His life savings, inaccessible.
“They told me my account was closed,” Nehorai confessed, pain coloring his words. “No explanations. They said I’d get my money once ‘it‘ was resolved. And now, I’m broke. Unable to feed my family or pay expenses.” A man left powerless by the very institution he trusted with his livelihood.
Suspicion, you might say?
Surely there’s a reason.
Banks, after all, are known to shutter accounts over worries of shady behavior. But let’s not swallow this pill too easily. Only 4% of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) submitted by banks to law enforcement lead to any action. A pathetic fraction of these result in arrests or convictions.
In the days of yore, 2014 to be precise, banks had submitted a measly 830,000 SARs. Fast forward to 2021, and the number swells to a whopping 1.4 million. That’s nearly twice the reports in half a decade. Coincidence? I leave it to you, dear reader.
What about political bias and discrimination?
Consider this, the Republican attorneys general from 19 states recently called out JPMorgan for “persistently” singling out its own clients, axing their accounts without as much as a by-your-leave. The reasons? Alleged religious and political bias.
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After the financial gallows dropped on Nehorai, Bank of America, hoarding $1.4 trillion in assets under management, handed him another whammy – a 20-day review of his account. “It’s one of those situations where you feel powerless,” Nehorai confides. “How do you battle a mega-bank that calls the shots?“
Then, a twist in the tale. A CBS television crew, like the cavalry in a spaghetti western, arrives at the bank. Lo and behold, while Nehorai’s account remains in limbo, he’s allowed to transfer his money out.
Bank of America spills the beans to the news outlet. An FBI report, they claim, caused the shutdown. But get this: Nehorai was the one who filed that report. He had alerted the FBI about a scammer using his identity to coax money out of his clients.
The plot thickens, the questions pile up, and the trust in our banking system erodes. The grip of financial institutions over our lives tightens, and with it, the ominous sense that we’re dancing to their tune.
Today, it’s Nehorai.
Tomorrow, it could be you or me.
Stand informed, stand vigilant.
For when it comes to the game of money, we’re but pawns on the board of banking behemoths.