The Antifragile Chaos Monkey
I think Walmart is making a very good move going into financial services.Let's face it, Walmart caters to the sub-prime world. I could care less about union issues, but like any rational person, I like reduced charges and fees for services. I only shop in Walmart when I have the desire to brush arms with the proletariat. If you want to see some hot MILFs go to Target. A couple of months ago I was shopping in a Super-Walmart in Oldsmar, Florida, and it was the first time I noticed Walmart's financial offerings. There was a large area set up for fast finacial services, with several long lines of people willing to bank with Walmart. It appeared that a lot of those interested in the services were Mexican, and lo' and behold they had all kinds of products geared to Mexicans. Of particular interest to me was that Walmart was getting more than a point for wiring money to Mexico. More than a point for a riskless trade! Who wouldn't want that kind of action?Walmart's low prices are an illusion, a product of a big lie. If you repeat "Low Prices" and put dumb smiley faces all over your products, people tend to believe it. Anyhow...aside from liability issues, the sub-prime financial market is especially lucrative. I mention liability because I do a lot of work with mortgage lenders, and I can't believe how they're taking the poor and ignorant. I was recently appraising a house for a person who confessed to me that he couldn't afford the $300 appraisal fee. Usually I collect cash at the door from the sub-prime, but in this case the lender guaranteed payment. Here was a guy with a $300,000 house, who was struggling to get a $125,000 mortgage to do repair work, and he was paying over six points in fees and services!Walmart's success, like it or not, is well deserved.
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