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Iowa Caucuses: What th’ – ?, and CIBC: SBT

:: The US political system is not something to be understood easily. For example, the Iowa Caucuses. Whatinhell are they? I found explanations on the ‘net, but after reading them, I have a headache. You may fare differently. Try Jim Morrill’s description from the Charlotte Observer, or another take from MSNBC. There is also a detailed explanation on CNN’s site, but it’s a java pop-up window, so I cannot link to it. As of today, it’s on this page, in the “Related” box, about a third of the way down the page.

:: As if we need more proof that banks like CIBC are cold-blooded, heartless behemoths that care nil about their lunch bucket customers, I experienced more of CIBC’s slow but steady withdrawal of basic services today. While driving home from dim sum, I stopped at a Shell station to get cash, only to discover the CIBC machine there had been pulled and replaced by a Scotiabank machine. Undaunted, I drove further down Calgary Trail to a Petro-Canada station, only to discover that its CIBC machine had been swapped for a PetroCanada quick cash machine – you know, the generic kind, where the machine tells you that to withdraw any money will cost you an additional $1.50. Disappointed but not surprised, I drove to the local 7-11, which, thankfully, still has its CIBC bank machine.

But don’t let CIBC tell you otherwise. From their Public Accountability Statement 2003 web page, under “Affordable Accesible Banking”: In 2003, CIBC took steps to make banking more accessible to Canadians by enhancing products and services and upgrading delivery channels. Eh? From the same accountability statement: “CIBC offers customers a wider choice of banking services through Amicus Bank, a member of the CIBC group of companies.” Well, the two Amicus Bank machines I tried to use this afternoon aren’t there anymore.

CIBC over the years has pulled seven of its eight bank machines from my university campus. Now they are pulling machines from retail locations as well. “Enhancing products and services?” “Upgrading delivery channels?”

Er, no. Oh, SBT? Sucks Big Time.

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