THE PROFITABILITY OF THE GLITCH EX MACHINA

As you might have gathered, I've been watching the news this past week with an eye on financial and cyber-hacking stories. And this one came along courtesy of Mr. N., and it made me wonder about all those stories we've seen lately of major banks having "glitches", which glitches shut down people's accounts, charge them overdraft fees, and so on. Recall such a major incident has already occurred in major U.K. banks, and now it appears to have happened to Wells Fargo:

Wells Fargo Glitch Leaves Customers With Empty Bank Accounts

In this case, the story is a familiar one:

Many Wells Fargo customers got a terrifying shock after finding their checking accounts drained due to a series of errors by the embattled bank. The Jan. 17 glitch reportedly emptied several customers’ accounts after processing their online bill payments twice and doubling transaction fees. (Emphasis added)

Now, before we get to my high octane speculation of the day, it should be noted that Wells Fargo admitted the error, and has made it clear all transaction fees caused by the "glitch" will be refunded:

“We are aware of the online Bill Pay situation which was caused by an internal processing error. We are currently working to correct it, and there is no action required for impacted customers at this time. Any fees or charges that may have been incurred as a result of this error will be taken care of. We apologize for any inconvenience,” Wells Fargo’s Steve Carlson said, via KCCI.

The problem here is that Wells Fargo was one of those "too-big-too-jail" banks that has resorted to some fancy shenanigans to make things look better on paper, as the article points out:

The glitch is the latest black eye for the company, which was involved in a massive scandal in 2016 after it was discovered Wells Fargo employees opened millions of fake accounts to meet sales goals. Several high-level executives at the banking giant have lost their jobs since the scandal broke.

Which brings us to that ever-useful glitch ex machina that always seems to be used to explain these types of events, and thus brings me to a question at the heart of today's high octane speculation. Needless to say, when big mega-banks start talking about "glitches" that just happen to drain everyone's accounts for a period of time until the "problem" has been "fixed", I cannot help but think of Allen Dulles talking about magic bullets in Dallas, Texas; something shines and stinks like a mackerel on a moonlit beach. After all, this is the week that has also seen the story of crypto-currency hacking reach a new level, and, yes, part of me is wondering if somehow they're connected stories.

But that possible connection isn't the subject of my question and today's high octane speculation. My question is one which the major corporate controlled lamestream media never asks when these stories occur: what is that money doing during the period of the glitch? Or to put it differently, what may these banks be doing with that money during the period of the supposed "glitch"? I wouldn't normally even raise such questions, but in a climate where crony finance crapitalism saw the bank bailouts with insistence of "no oversight", derivatives in excessive of $10,000,000,000,000,000 (that's ten quadrillion dollars), and sub-prime mortgages being "robo-signed" by banks, I'd believe these people are capable of just about anything, particularly the bigger they are. So again: what was that money doing during the "glitch"? For it strikes me as oddly convenient that if one wanted to use someone else's money in demand (checking) accounts, and needed to use a lot of it, to execute quick trades while no one was looking, or to execute such trades to shore up "weak areas" in the "ledger", that the way to do it would be to create a cover story like a "glitch," in which case "we're fixing the problems" translates to "we'll give you your money back when we're done using it for our own covert and very shady purposes. Don't worry, all is well, and we apologize for any inconvenience." And glitches ex machina are very useful too, for one can always claim, when authorities or other people start snooping around, that all the records of what that money was doing during the glitch ex machina was wiped out by the very same glitch.

Of course, all of that is illegal. Banks would never do such an underhanded thing...

But then there's the robo-signed mortgages, fake accounts... You get the idea. So the question is, why is this rather obvious question never asked when we hear about these "glitches"?

See you on the flip side...

18 thoughts on “THE PROFITABILITY OF THE GLITCH EX MACHINA”

  1. Could be as Jim Stone (82.221.129.208) was saying 7 years ago that Intel inside since CoreV even Celeron have Architecturally designed backdoors in them, a separate processor, and that the access to them might now be in the public domain or at least outside the Levites Tent… so even Robin Hood can Madoff With the Loot. Still trust crypto currencies?
    Came across Mark Twain quote in Robert Edward Edmonsons Book,
    https://ia800604.us.archive.org/2/items/ITestifyAgainstTheJews/ITestifyAgainstTheJews-RobertEdmondson.pdf
    12Mb – page 140 – I’ll leave that for those interested, you’ll not hear this from Twain anywhere.
    the relevant chapter was indeed deleted from the Twain book… the truth and the chosenites and never shall the Twain meet. 80Mb not OCR’d.
    https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.264502

  2. in the space of a few hours on Jan 17 the insanely volatile crypto prices shot up by 50%… anyone looking at the charts at that time could have seen it coming

  3. If you want to steal from the bank ad infinitum…
    Look to the international banking cartel…
    Going Galactic… ?

    Al Capone was right when he said he was small fry, compared to Wall Street.
    [rogue elements w/in all these organizations]

  4. Appropriate Mark Twain quotes:
    “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”
    “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”
    “Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater.”
    “The best of all lost arts is honesty”

    To the banksters:
    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
    “Most men die at 27; we just bury them at 72.”
    “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”
    “The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.”
    “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”
    (“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~Upton Sinclair)

    Favorites:
    “One learns people through the heart, not through the eyes or the intellect.”
    “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
    “Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.”
    “A well put together unreality is pretty hard to beat.”

    And for Joseph:
    “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.”
    “Learning softeneth the heart and breedeth gentleness and charity.”
    “Books are the liberated spirits of men.”

  5. I wrote a response to this blog but it fell into the awaiting moderation state. That response might be useful to the debate since it poses some questions directly related to these transactions AND to the neglect in the crypto currency debate to consider the existing e-commerce connections for transactions in the financial world that links the media to the market. Those who might be interested should check later and review.

  6. This is a great blog but the source leaves a great deal of questions unanswered. Yes, it’s an easy thing to sell to the public–so the glitch ex machina is a very useful meme. But one cannot hope to fathom the root of the problem without answers to some basic questions:

    1.. Who wrote the software that is the direct contributor to the glitch? Was it written by the banking system or a third party?
    2. If the software was written by a third party, who was the third party? Who owns them? What role will they play in the liability for the glitch?
    3. If the source is within the EDI gateway itself and not within the payment system, who designed that system? Who designed the interface between them?
    4. Was the doubling of the transactions a consequence of running the same transaction sequence more than once? What controls are in place to prevent this?
    5. Were the transactions a consequence of an intermediary submitting them–like an electronic clearing house? If so, who were they? Who owns them? How did that happen?

    The list goes on.

    In the world with which I am familiar electronic commerce has plenty of opportunities for “strange transactions”. One receives them at such a rapid pace that it requires a great deal of effort to track it all. The higher the volume the greater the opportunities for mistakes or mischief. Wells Fargo could be culpable as the source, but so could a software firm or an external clearing house. There are possibly more actors on this stage, because clearing houses have clients who could be passing multiple copies of a single transactions for payment with one redirected to a false center as the receiver of the transferred funds. Though I am suspicious of Wells Fargo–I also know they could be the recipient of a hostile attack by some external agent. Either way they would not be very eager to talk about it publicly for customer service reasons.

    When viewed against these questions crypto currencies do not offer much protection against many of these practices for many of the same reasons. The only thing that’s changed is the currency media. In today’s monetary system, its still a digital currency attached to a US treasury note. In the crypto world the media would be a bitcoin within the domain of the bank’s purse. (The likelihood of holding one’s coins in one’s own purse will ultimately be curtailed due to the threat of counterfeit.) IF the US can steal proprietary software (like PROMIS), modify it and sell it to clients in modified form for data mining and covert banking activities, agents with the US would be sorely tempted to extort money from a banking institution for it’s own schemes leaving the institution and its insurers holding the bag for the liabilities. The currency media is immaterial because the backbone remains the systems utilizing the media in transactional form. This reality is lost in the whole cryptocurrency technology debate.

    1. OrigensChild, what probably got you moderated was the word “insti tution” (twice). The old “ti t” problem.

      Our moderation ‘system’ should be insti tutionalized… (grin)

  7. Wells Fargo and “missing money,” they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Right up there with Golden Sacks and HSBS as the most obvious criminal enterprises on the planet, and that’s a lot of competition.

  8. If the super-inflated price of equities was not enough for official “experts”, the long predicted dollar devaluation is becoming visible in precious metals, with prices spiking in dollar terms (but still mostly unchanged in terms of pounds and euros). Bankster accounting acrobatics will just increase, until the society at large finally decides to seriously face the issue of the definition of money, why we should keep on paying debts that are unpayable and how to ensure that money becomes a useful tool and not a factor of enslavement.

    1. Unfortunately Dana that conversation will never happen and they’ll just continue to dangle cryptos in front of the drooling, iGadget-entranced multitudes and go from paper to absolutely nothing.

      1. I think you fail to see the ultimate “utility” of crypto tokens. Like fiat currency or stock certificates, crypto tokens are symbols for transactional value. There are a few main advantages that crypto holds over fiat and equity shares.

        1. Crypto requires no 3rd party to verify a transaction. Yes most crypto traders use 3rd party exchanges but this is not required. They can be exchanged peer to peer and their are even decentralized exchanges coming online. The blockchain can be inspected by anyone. Also, when I pay with crypto I don’t have to get permission from my bank or have a credit check run. The smart contract only executes if the token exists in my wallet.
        2. Well designed Crypto tokens open up a vast universe of utility for their users. They can be used to pay for access to technology, VIP access to special events, discounts on products / services, special offers and they can even be used as collateral for a loan or margin trading where the collateral is not controlled by a bank or broker but stays securely in your crypto wallet but locked by a smart contract for the duration of the loan.
        3. If a publicly traded company goes bankrupt and is delisted from an exchange then their shares become worthless. If a company behind a utility token goes bankrupt, in most cases their blockchain and technology stack will continue to run or a group of technologists from their user group will fork the tech. / blockchain and the token will continue to be used and still retain value.

        Read the comments coming out of Davos on crypto. They are trying to demonize it. They are very afraid of losing control of their ponzi money printing scheme. They should be because a growing number of people are leaving their artificial world and creating one where their centralized fraud can be ignored.

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