Gangsta Black-Market Sock Club, Part III

These socks are still rockin.

The brouhaha over the sock-club’s sorrow has cooled down, but there’s one last thing I’d like to mention. Several commenters on various blog-posts about Blue Moon’s bank nightmare have noted that the bank may have backed out over experiencing some sort of inconvenience over having to put through a huge wad of bank charges all made within the same few days. Which is what happened when Blue Moon put through all its bank charges for a sock-knitting club that starts in January, and billed several hundred people for shipping them a half-dozen sock-knitting kits over the course of the calendar year.

It seems that according to some commenters, there’s a precedent for banks being unwilling to work with customers that run through lots of charges very quickly, with little activity over the rest of the year. Which would make the bank’s actions selfish and self-protective dumbassery, but not discrimination.

Based on my own experiences out there in the world, I found it ridiculuously easy to believe that Blue Moon’s woes were caused by bank officials discriminating against a woman-owned business. I easily envisioned clueless bank officials simply not being able to believe that a woman selling expensive, fiddly craft kits — mostly though not exclusively to other women — could make a killing doing so. But perhaps the bank’s decision was just one of selfish disregard for the well-being of its small client. That too I find ridiculously easy to believe.

I may never know what really happened. But in light of my coming to believe that the bank’s decision might rest in corporate self-interest rather than garden-variety discrimination… I just wanted to make sure I was on the record as showing that I’d come across another believable reason for the seemingly inexplicable actions of the bank.

It’s just that so many of my own experiences and others’ made discrimination the most obvious choice to explain the bank’s extreme and almost punitive behavior.

2 responses to “Gangsta Black-Market Sock Club, Part III

  1. Shelley from Asheville

    Okay,

    I appreciate your discussion of alternatives to this being something other than sex discrimination and Id respectfully like to comment.

    I believe that to achieve social justice and/or to find creative solutions to an issue, we need to know who the true adversaries are.

    I’d argue that in the sock business vs big bank, the problem is corporate capitalism not sex discrimination.

    Having worked in the world of high finance for 8 years, I can guarentee you that there really is very little sex discrimination when it comes to making money off of someone (read capitalism) (now this may not be totaly true in the south, many things are strange to me here in this part of the country, but that aside).

    A lender is not going to turn away the prospect of PROFIT because the lendee is female. In this case the bank may not have even known the owners were women, many men run ‘women targeted businesses’.

    Banks will however, discriminate against a SMALL business if it is too much work (read expense) or too much risk (read expense in the future) for them.

    Small business tend to be independently owned or at most class C corporations rather than public owned corporations. Independents and class C corporations are ALWAYS a more risky investment for a bank for a variety of reasons which I wont dwell on here, no matter what sex is running them. Or the bank could have decided “like the other writers suggested’ that this small business was costing them too much profit to want to deal with that business anymore.

    Now since more women run small businesses (independently owned, or C corporations) than large business (publically traded corporations) it can look like the discrimnation is due to the sex of the owner. But that’s not the whole story.

    Im definately NOT saying that women are free from discrimination IN the business, political, or social world. That would be like saying that African or Hispanic Americans are not discrimnated against. But money truely is green and sexless… Long live capitalism, smirk…. this is one of the reasons I got out of the corporate finance world – money was not my god so I never really fit in.

    So what’s the solution?……
    Cooperative lending?
    Credit Unions?
    Perhaps we should follow the lead of the latest Nobel Peace price winner, Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank and the idea of micro credit.
    I don’t know for sure… that

  2. > I’d argue that in the sock business vs big bank, the
    > problem is corporate capitalism not sex
    > discrimination.

    I’d argue that you are probably right — but we’ll never know until we are privy to what really went on at the bank meeting.

    > Or the bank could
    > have decided “like the other writers suggested’ that
    > this small business was costing them too much profit
    > to want to deal with that business anymore.

    Exactly. All my information comes secondhand. What really happened, I may never know. “It’s just that so many of my own experiences and others’ made discrimination the most obvious choice to explain the bank’s extreme and almost punitive behavior.” Until I realized that the far more likely candidate was exactly what you name: corporate capitalism.

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