Newman

Replacing the checks into cash and cash for titles businesses.

Via Front Page

Why not turn an organization that can’t figure out how to make money into a bank?

The Post Office can’t pay its bills by delivering the mail. Surely it can make money lending money to people who can’t pay it back.

This brilliant can’t fail scheme comes from the mind of the Post Office Inspector General and Elizabeth Warren. It was said of Napoleon III that insane schemes multiplied in his brain faster than rabbits. I don’t even want to picture what the inside of Elizabeth Warren’s brain looks like.

As the U.S. Postal Service continues to lose money each year, a new report suggests a way to add to its bottom line: offer banklike services, such as a check cashing card that would allow holders to make purchases and pay bills online or even take out small loans. The idea is to provide services that are now unavailable in many communities.

Sure the USPS can’t figure out how to make money on its core function, so why not have it branch out into a risky and complicated line of work that it has no experience with.

It can’t miss.

But at least the Post Office will be targeting profitable sectors where it will make money? Oh right, of course not.

More than a quarter of all Americans, some 68 million, are now underserved by banks — “underbanked,” as the white paper from the Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service calls them. They live in places where there are no bank branches, or just one. Many have to rely on check cashing outlets and payday loans, which often charge exorbitant fees.

Betsy Cavendish, president of Appleseed Network, says being able to go to the post office for simple financial transactions would be “win-win. Many people are spending $2,500 a year or so in extra fees.”

“They have a lack of options for small-dollar loans and too few savings vehicles. Meanwhile, the Postal Service is in every zip code in the country and could potentially offer needed financial services,” she says.

It’s a win for the people who will get cheap loans from the Post Office, it won’t be a win for the taxpayers or the Post Office.

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HT Doug Ross