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Dear Uncle Norm,
Thanks for applying to this bank for a home mortgage. The 25-page ‘‘spending analysis’’ you completed for us complies with the Government’s new credit rules.
These are made for your own good. The Government wants to protect you from yourself.
You record that on December 12 last you paid $12 to dry clean a pair of trousers. A financially responsible person would have home washed these!
Moreover, CTV footage confirms your admission you recently exited an Arrowtown bottle shop carrying a paper bag which probably contained alcohol.
Your form specifies two casual purchases of Jimmy’s pies ($4 each) during September. (Pies fatten the citizenry and fill up our hospitals). Your receipts also reveal you order double cheese on pizzas.
This picture of wanton risk is confirmed by your couch-potato monthly spend of $11.99 on Netflix (on top of your Sky Sport!), and the salt and vinegar chips on your supermarket dockets.
Regrettably your application fails to meet the new safe-borrowing guidelines, so we must decline it. Please re-contact me if you are prepared to commit to a lifestyle in keeping with the Government’s concept of responsible lending.
Ms N. Anny-State, (for) Regional Manager.
Dear Manager. I have reformed myself since receiving your rejection letter and beg leave to reapply.
I am now a vegan. I have substituted elderflower water for pinot and begin my day with a Pilates video.
Furthermore, I have removed various financial indulgences as per the list you suggested. I drowned Tiddles the cat on Wednesday and attach proof that I have cancelled donations previously made via monthly deductions for the Salvation Army and the Cancer Society.
Hi Uncle Norm,
With baby on the way, we started house-hunting last September. Our bank gave us a thumbs-up to our proposed mortgage amount. We’ve now found the house, but the bank has reviewed us and says our loan is now a no-go because we have “inappropriate expenditures”.
Our plans are in tatters. The loans manager blamed new government legislation, but is he just covering his backside?
Sherry & Mike (by email)
His backside is blameless. You’ve been done in by clueless legislative incompetence.
The banks vigorously warned the Ardern Government that its new Finance & Credit legislation was sloppy.
Labour’s reforms aim to reign in pay-day lenders and small-time loan sharks, but the banks predicted their larger effect would be a rules-created credit crunch that affected normal lending.
The banks’ concerns were, of course, ignored. (Wellington knows best).
There should be general hilarity over Commerce Minister David Clark’s hurt statement that by golly he’d have the Council of Financial Regulators investigate whether the banks were implementing the legislation “as intended”.
Business can implement rules. But “intentions?” Spare us.
We are watching a masterclass in strangling an industry and its customers with huge rolls of red tape. The Government leads by inventing a raft of new rules, after which the banks’ legal departments —no red tape slouches either — compound the problems via their attempts to interpret them.
The resulting idiocy is lethal to normal Kiwis. Like you.
Dear Uncle Norm
Sidney Poitier was worth a cool $30 million when he died in the New Year, aged 94.
In 1963 he became the first Black American to win a Best Actor Academy Award. And the roles he played in movies like To Sir With Love, Guess
Who’s Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night made him the cinema’s first black matinee idol.
His top roles involved “respectable” black men in suits. It strikes me that despite being an equality symbol during the early civil rights era, he was totally out of touch with the hard scrabble life of many modern black Americans.
You couldn’t be more wrong.
Poitier was only 15 when, alone, he made it from the Caribbean to the US. It was 1943. For two years he did a string of wretchedly paid jobs, and often slept rough. Longing to get back home, he wrote a letter that is astonishing in its desperation, naivete, and its target.
Dear President Roosevelt,
My name is Sidney Poitier and I am here in the United States in New York City. I am from the Bahamas. I would like to go back to the Bahamas but I don’t have the money. I would like to borrow from you $100.
I will send it back to you when I get there. I miss my mother and father and I miss my brothers and sisters and I miss my home in the Caribbean . . .
If you will loan me $100 to get back home, I would certainly appreciate it very much.
Your fellow American,
John Lapsley is an Arrowtown writer.