I’m traveling this week on business, but I didn’t want to leave town without a comment on the visit of Esther George. head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, to Denver last week. She was invited to meet with Colorado Representatives Polis and Perlmutter, who’ve been trying to find a way around the inconvenient fact that what might be legal in Colorado in the way of raising, refining, and selling marijuana for recreational use is still a violation of Colorado criminal laws, as is the handling of funds derived from such illegal activities by banks. According to Rep. Polis, George gave them the Mount Rushmore Response: impassive staring with no audible sound.
George was “circumspect” in her comments about banking for marijuana businesses, Perlmutter said.
“She wouldn’t give us a ‘yes, no or maybe,'” he said.
But George “expressed great interest in learning about the challenges” marijuana businesses are facing, said Perlmutter, D-Golden.
In other words, like Bill Clinton, she felt their pain in a rhetorical sense only.
The application of Colorado’s Fourth Corner Credit Union, formed top bank the unbankable state-legal Mary Jane businesses in Colorado, for an FRB master account has been hung up for months at the Fed. It is likely in Washington, D.C., where it may be sucked into a black hole, eaten by a goat, or consigned to Elizabeth Warren’s S&M dungeon.
What actually caught my attention was the assertion by Polis that eight banks and two credit unions were secretly banking marijuana businesses. In other words, eight banks, with the “tacit” collusion of bank regulators, are engaged in illegal drug money laundering.
I understand. The banking regulators are too busy trying to drive legitimate payday lending businesses out of business through Operation Choke Point to bother with federal criminal laws. This is perfectly understandable in the Humpty-Dumpty, Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass world in which we live today.