Merchant Credit Card Fees – Walmart Edition

An interesting analysis of the Canadian retail market, and why the box stores want you to have their credit card so very badly:

yxesimonsays

A recent news item has popped up on one of my favorite topics, merchant credit card fees. Walmart Canada has announced that they will stop accepting VISA as a form of payment, with the phase-out to begin in mid-July in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The debate over merchant fees is one that is frequently not well reported by the media, and often is nothing more than the media regurgitating some absurd clap-trap from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Often lost in the lackluster reporting is that the credit card companies like VISA and MasterCard generate their revenue from the merchant fees. Their SEC 10-k disclosures are clear, “Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for account holders on Visa-branded cards and payment products“. It is the bank or financial institution that issues the card that gets the credit card…

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B-17 Flying Fortress over Regina

Regina was lucky to get a visit from the famous World War II bomber plane.

I spent a few days running outside in the morning when I heard it roaring overhead, and snapping some photos and shooting videos. My older SD video camera has a much better 12X real zoom (48X digital), but my phone has HD video and less decent 4X digital zoom.
B-17

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress

Clinton Lied But No Consequence. It’s Like It’s the 1990s Still

“Here, for the record, is Clinton saying, on March 10, 2015, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email.””

I’m particularly offended by this oligarchy-outcome because Clinton is guilty of doing what she persecutes American hero Ed Snowden for doing – “mishandling classified information”. Yet he lives in exile in Russia, and she’ll run the whole darn United States of America. Snowden tried to do the right thing and tell Americans of secret crimes against them, and Clinton tried to do the wrong thing (hide her emails from public scrutiny while she was supposed to be a transparent public servant). She’s rich and powerful, and he was with no influence; The Rule of Law is not well in the USA.

By ignoring the damning information uncovered by the FBI — that Clinton’s elaborate system for avoiding the requirement that public servants should make their official correspondence available in public archives had exposed dozens of messages containing secret information to potential interception — the candidate clearly hoped to put the matter behind her.

While that satisfied many of her supporters — and predictably angered most of her detractors — treating the FBI director’s conclusion of “not criminal” as a seal of approval seemed to leave many Americans feeling queasy, and others wondering if the laws on mishandling classified information just do not apply to those in power.

Clinton = #FBImWithHer
Does that mean Trump is better? Heck no. I don’t envy American voters who can’t fight their corrupt media/government/justice systems. They are desperate, with good reason, to stop Trump. Sanders so far hasn’t made a big deal of Clinton’s email scandal, he dismissed it during a debate, in an apparent effort to prevent it from becoming a sideshow that could hurt the Democrats he at that time hoped still to lead.

Sask Party Not Getting the Best Rate For You

“Our principle here … is that we do no further harm to an economy that already has its hands full.” – Brad Wall

“We’ve always been in competition,” said Boyd about Saskatchewan and Alberta competing for oil and gas investment. “Certainly we’ve had productive conversations here in Calgary.”

Why would we want to compete with Alberta? Competition drives the price of extracting our non-renewable resource down and means lower royalty payments upon which much of our economy is based.

Obviously Wall and Boyd in the Sask Party are working from the perspective that they have to get the best, lowest rate for Big Oil companies. They’re supposed to be considering what is best for Saskatchewan’s people, however. I’m sure they are not influenced by their former Minister McMillian who is now head spokesperson for the oil and gas industry in Canada.

“Today, there continues an existential threat to this industry, this industry that is so important in my province,” Wall told an appreciative luncheon crowd.

The Saskatchewan government didn’t do a good job acquiring land for the Global Transportation Hub near Regina and as a result paid too much, the provincial auditor says.

SaskPower renegotiated contract to avoid $91.8M penalty

It seems routine for this Sask Party government to never be found technically corrupt while they continually deliver poor deals for tax/rate payers, and great deals for their friends in the Oil and Gas industry.


Another example of the Saskatchewan government giving up in favour of corporations over citizens.
“Province abandons low-income housing project after cost overruns
48-unit apartment building reverts to private developer – renting at market rates”

Leave Or Remain In? The Former UK Chooses Out And About Does Itself In

Brexit: It’s a term I first heard months ago on Twitter in relation to people mostly angry with immigration in the UK. It means “British Exit from the European Union”. The country narrowly voted to leave the EU, and the economy/currency Pound Sterling soon crashed from the uncertainty of the Prime Minister resigning, the opposition leader being turfed by MPs, and the Brexit Leave leaders having no effing plan. One of the Brexit leaders is the former mayor of London, and the other is the leader of the UK Independence Party, a sort of extreme Reform Party hell bent on blocking Muslim immigrants much how Trump has envisioned for the United States.

A great British comic in the US, John Oliver, says there are no do-overs for the Brexit referendum vote. I tend to disagree on this point, even though the rest of his analysis is fine and funny.

There are do-overs, because we have elections every few years or if the loss of confidence in the ruling government takes place. It’s pretty obvious Britons have no confidence in the current government or the choice to Leave. Therefore it’s not anti-democratic to take another vote to determine public opinion following the initial consequences of their earlier vote last week. After all, if people are still satisfied with all of the Brexit results, they’ll again vote for it, correct? It might keep the UK united, otherwise Scotland is set to leave so they’ll stay with the EU, as is Ireland which may unite with Northern Ireland.

Keep in mind I’m no expert on British politics, so if you’ve a correction to make to this summary, please leave it in the comments.

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