Not kidding. Regular Americans must be stopped from taking out $1001 at a cash machine because it’s probably shady, but Iran getting $150B is just fine. The new ATM rule, fr the moment, applies to non-Chase account holders. Give it a little while and I bet it’ll apply to Chase accounts sooner than later. Do read the whole article and click through there to the original WSJ report.

Via Gizmodo.

As flesh-and-blood bank tellers disappear, ATMs are becoming the only way to get access to your cash. But new limits from Chase on how much you’re allowed to withdraw are a privacy advocate’s nightmare come true.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Chase is limiting cash withdrawals for non-customers to $1,000. This doesn’t seem like such a big deal to most people, and I suspect few Americans will be affected by this change. But it’s a crucial, if admittedly incremental, shift for people who care about privacy.

The third paragraph of the Wall Street Journal story is what’s really important in order to understand why any of this matters. Emphasis mine.

The bank run by Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said there doesn’t appear to be fraud involved. But in part due to heightened regulatory scrutiny, banks are paying more attention to large cash transfers that could be a sign of money laundering or other types of shady activity.

There’s “no fraud involved,” but withdrawing cash is “shady.”

How does one define shady activity? That’s not clear. But since precisely one lowly person went to prison after our economy was nearly destroyed by systemic corporate malfeasance, everything Wall Street did in the lead up to 2008 must not count as shady activity. Anything you’d like to do with $1,001 in cash, well, that’s probably shady.

Again, this is a rule for non-customers, which Chase has every legal right to impose. And there are probably plenty of seedy characters doing morally reprehensible shit with their large cash withdrawals. But the normalization of treating all large cash transactions as “shady” starts to make it seem like total government and corporate surveillance is inevitable.


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4 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Maynard says:

    I’m unclear on what this means. “Limiting cash withdrawals for non-customers to $1,000”? Isn’t the technical term for a cash withdrawal by a non-customer a “bank robbery”? And hasn’t the standard daily limit for ATM withdrawals been $500 for a long time? I always took this as a limit made for practical reasons rather than social control.

  2. Alain41 says:

    Agree with Maynard that ATMs have had daily limits such as $500/day. This may deal with tellerless banks and their associated ATMs. Mexico instituted similar limits 5 yrs back because of the amount of remittances from America which included drug cartel money. I read this as drug cartels are in NYC. Wonder if it is also a preemptive strike against Panama Papers disclosures. Having no border wall has no effect on our privacy. Sarc off.

  3. Tammy says:

    All I know is, it makes me very nervous when banks start deciding to place limits on the money you can withdraw. After all it is your money and it’s really no business of the govt or the bank how it got in there. That is, until there is a legitimate criminal complaint, or warrant. It just makes me very nervous.

    • Maynard says:

      I appreciate the anonymity of cash, and I don’t want to ever see us come to a cashless society. But the convenience of cashless transactions is strong. I wouldn’t want to limit myself to cash transactions.

      I don’t know the relevance of this ATM report, but here’s the part that matters: Federal law requires that the bank file a report based upon any withdrawal or deposit of $10,000 or more on any single given day. They’ll also report you if you’re acting “funny”…meaning if you withdraw $9,999, and maybe the next day and return and do it again. The law was designed to put a damper on money laundering, sophisticated counterfeiting and other federal crimes.

      Bottom line is if you get into trouble for dealing in cash, even if you’re completely legit. This is what should concern us.

      For an example, click to this case: “IRS Seizes Iowa Restaurant’s Money Despite ‘Not Doing Anything Wrong’, Case Gets National Attention”.

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