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June 4, 2024 57 mins

When you think about it, credit cards are a pretty fascinating idea -- they're convenient, ubiquitous and, often, predatory. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max explore the strange origin story of the credit card.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Ridiculous History is a production of iHeartRadio. Welcome back to

(00:27):
the show Ridiculous Historians. Thank you, as always so much
for tuning in. Credit on the production goes to our
super producer, mister Max Williams.

Speaker 2 (00:37):
Swipe my credit cards. I don't know if it is.

Speaker 1 (00:45):
Get to the magnetic stripe. There's a story behind that.

Speaker 2 (00:47):
It was that come hithertone, Max, I dig it very
very sylvia of you, sir.

Speaker 1 (00:54):
I am Ben Bullen, joined as always with the man,
the myth, the legend, mister Noel Brown does mister Brown.

Speaker 2 (01:02):
Yes, sir, I've got to ask you. Do you have
credit cards? You know I do?

Speaker 3 (01:08):
And it's funny. It's funny you should ask. Not really,
it's actually very in character that you had asked.

Speaker 2 (01:15):
Podcast.

Speaker 3 (01:16):
It's totally cool, man, we see through your ruse. Ben Bowlin,
you'll reindeer games.

Speaker 2 (01:21):
Well, give me some credit. I will.

Speaker 3 (01:23):
I'll give you all the credit. I'll give you more
credit than you deserve. No, untrue, you deserve every scrap
of credit.

Speaker 2 (01:29):
Though. Thank you very much.

Speaker 3 (01:30):
Is heaps I heap it upon you, but no to
answer your question, I I remember a time where I
felt so scared about my financial future. And then I
was like, oh, I haven't done any of the things.
I'm not going to have any credit established. And you know,
at this point, I think I was in my teens.
Looking back on it now, though, I realized I kind
of did everything at the exact appropriate time. I got

(01:52):
my first you know, debit card and stuff when I
was a teenager, and then I didn't get a credit
card until I was probably you know, twenty, maybe eighteen nineteen,
something like that. But for any kids out there, you
young people out there, it is a good idea to
get and utilize a credit card very responsibly early in life,

(02:12):
because you're establishing a credit history and you can't just
build that out a whole cloth.

Speaker 2 (02:18):
It's a history, and you want to kind of build
on that.

Speaker 3 (02:20):
So yeah, I think I do remember having a period
though where I was in not crippling credit card debt,
but more than I.

Speaker 2 (02:28):
Would have been comfortable with.

Speaker 3 (02:30):
And thankfully, through the magic of podcasting, I've pulled myself
out of that. And now I do have two credit
cards that I earn points with, so I try to
use them and then pay them off and reap those points.

Speaker 1 (02:42):
Maybe children also make your parents and authority figures get
you a prepaid credit card. The rat race has begun,
says America.

Speaker 2 (02:52):
It's time to run and scamp or Max, You're not
like it, but we're in it. You know, there's nothing
we can do about Yeah, give.

Speaker 4 (03:00):
It to us. I mean, so, as I've joked on
here before, I am the fiscal education business and Greek guy.
I have actually five credit cards at this point, now
I have I don't carry any bounce on any of them.
But I have one card that I only use for travel,
has great travel points, and it's got like benefits of unredewing,
and so I'm playing this trip. And it's then kind

(03:21):
of a hellish process of booking, like some state in
New York.

Speaker 2 (03:28):
And last night finally.

Speaker 4 (03:30):
Got confirmation ten thirty pm, super tired, barely awake, I went,
I booked the stuff, and then I realized after I
booked it that my debit card and my credit card
looked very similar. And I booked it on the worst
possible of all of my cards, so meaning a higher
interest rate, lower points, just a waste of time or
is it one of.

Speaker 2 (03:50):
Those ones where you have to pay in blood at
the end of the month, the blood price I mean
I get to quarterly quarterly, Yeah.

Speaker 1 (03:59):
Because you chased the blood, how about you? Man, oh man,
thank you so much for asking. Well, Yeah, so I
have I have several cards in a specific arrangement.

Speaker 3 (04:10):
I don't And by that I mean, I bet you
mean in your wallet even an order you know of operation,
that you've got them stored in.

Speaker 1 (04:17):
Order of operations fits for sure. I definitely I don't
use them to the point where the credit card or
the credit rating system here in the US is a
bag of badgers all its own. It's a future episode.
But I recently got news, and this happens every so often.
I'll get news from one of the credit card companies

(04:39):
that they're going to deactivate my account because I have
not used the card, but in activity, they're going to
hold my credit card or my credit score ransom unless
I mess with them a little.

Speaker 2 (04:54):
And so then I'll go to a.

Speaker 1 (04:56):
Place and buy something gum, right whatever, right and uh
And just for the record, Noel did say gum like
chewing gum, not a gum.

Speaker 2 (05:05):
I said a gum. Yeah, don't come after us, and
then we'll uh.

Speaker 1 (05:11):
And then what I'll do is immediately go and pay
that pay that off, usually before it even posts beat
the interest rate, and uh, it's always kind of a
haha moment. But that's because credit cards and the credit system,
I think, became their own sort of fascinating, at times

(05:32):
scary and certainly ridiculous game. I mean, how would we
explain a credit card to someone from nine hundred BCED.

Speaker 3 (05:49):
I promise to pay you for this later, uh, and
am legally bound to do so by contract.

Speaker 2 (05:57):
I got to jump in here.

Speaker 4 (05:59):
No, I know you've playing fall At four more recently
have you run into It's not a random encounter, it's
an actual plan accounter. The guy trying to pitch you
on a CAP's credit card. I have not, so it's
an I don't I don't want to spill too much
of it. But it's an eastern Boston by the by
the coast. You can run into a guy who is like,
for one hundred and twenty five caps, I'll give you

(06:21):
this car that's worth one hundred caps.

Speaker 2 (06:22):
You can use anywhere, but the convenience, it's obviously a griff.
Sounds like a Magic Beans kind of scenario. Bro, I
promise you, if we run into it, buy it.

Speaker 4 (06:32):
Because twenty five caps isn't worth that much, because it's
just like the jokes they build into the game behind
that card is more than worth.

Speaker 2 (06:38):
It for the ready. But when they're when they're fired,
they're fire.

Speaker 3 (06:43):
And honestly, some things they've done to sort of fix
Fallout for have really made it a much more playable game.
I'm a little annoyed by all the reminders that my
villages are being sacked because I really don't freaking care about.

Speaker 2 (06:54):
That aspect of the game.

Speaker 3 (06:55):
Yeah, find those notifications to be a little they take
me out of it. But I'm looking forward to playing
Nuca Cola World and I'm about to start the far
hardware deals.

Speaker 4 (07:04):
Yeah, I mean the whole settlement thing. It's like the
Scarrim Civil War. It's the part of the game that
I wish I could just take out.

Speaker 3 (07:10):
But I mentioned the magic Beans scenario because I think
that's actually a pretty cool, you know, sort of allegorical
stand in for a credit card.

Speaker 2 (07:19):
It's sort of like this promise of future prosperity.

Speaker 3 (07:24):
It's a way of buying in to being one of
the swells, even if you can't actually afford it. Right now,
that's at its worst, right the way we've described it
at the top of the show. We're trying to pitch
it as more of a financially responsible tool that you
can use to build your credit and then become one
of those swells. But when people use it to reach
an economic status that they actually can't afford, that's when

(07:47):
things get real nasty, and therein kind of lies the grift.

Speaker 1 (07:51):
Right. Here's how it works. These credit cards are extremely
common throughout the world, in the United States in particular.
The u United States is the home of the modern
credit card, as we'll see, But the basic idea is simple.
Think of Popeye. We'll have an episode on Popeye coming
along too. Wimpy will gladly pay you on Wednesday or

(08:13):
whatever for a Hamburger earlier in the week. That is
the heart of the credit card. A company provides you
with a certain amount of credit, a floating IOU opportunity,
and with this account you can pay for things without
spending cash on hand at the time of purchase. In theory,
when everything works well and is not predatory, you pay

(08:36):
back what you owe at the end of each cycle,
which is usually a monthly billion cycle for the company,
and the company makes a bit of a profit, a
bit of a vigorous by charging interest on the money
that you have borrowed for the amount of time that
you borrowed it. There are also other fees, like maybe
annual fees, maybe you know, any other kind of.

Speaker 3 (08:55):
For the privilege of a certain type of card, like
I believe American Express is an annual fee, but you're
also supposed to pay your ballance off every single month,
that's the idea, and if you don't, that interest rate
can be rapacious.

Speaker 1 (09:10):
So the idea then is that these other fees could
be what we would call financial accoutrement. It's simple enough
in theory, but it gets much more complicated in credit
an incredibly quick rate. Interest rates speaking, rates can vary widely.
Some can be profoundly dangerous, predatory, usurious. A lot of

(09:32):
cards have countless perks, like we mentioned Skymiles. You might
get annual gifts, discounts on other financial products which improve
with the perceived eliteness of the card. Some cards are
only for specific demographics of income or credit or profession.
Some cards are invitation only. In short, it's a messy,
messy bowl, a very expensive, very profitable spaghetti.

Speaker 2 (09:55):
So how do we get here?

Speaker 3 (09:57):
Well, it turns out, like most things, we go into
our ridiculous history, the origins of credit gods are more
ancient than one might think, you know, as is the
origin story of currency itself. The moment currency became a thing,
someone kind of probably figured out, probably several people in
parallel that, you know, I could lend the currency to

(10:20):
people and make money on that alone, because I have
more than they do. They need what I have, therefore
I can capitalize on them.

Speaker 1 (10:30):
Yeah. In the ridiculous cinematic universe, I like to picture
sort of a Space Odyssey two thousand and one moment,
but instead of a monolith, there was the idea of
invisible value. Someone came up with the idea of cash,
someone else wanting to borrow it. This third guy, who
might be an alien shows up and says, hey, I

(10:50):
have an idea, and then you know, off to the
races ticket in teams.

Speaker 3 (10:56):
Let's check out the Point Sky, which is a great resource,
by the way, for the kind of stuf we're talking about.

Speaker 2 (11:00):
In terms of which card you might want to get,
what kind of works.

Speaker 3 (11:04):
You might be seeking. It's good stuff, he says. It's
not really one single company. There is one single points
guy but I like to think of it that way,
so we'll go with this, he said. The Mesopotamian and
harpen civilizations use clay tablets to track their trade and transactions,
much like modern day credit cards, according al Gosha, And
by the way, think about the flintstones. We've ever seen

(11:25):
a credit card depicted on the flintstones. It's a big,
giant piece of stone, a piece of slate, probably, so
much like modern day credit cards.

Speaker 2 (11:35):
These the clay tablets.

Speaker 3 (11:36):
According to Jonathan Mark Kinoyer, an archaeologist and professor of
anthropology at the University of Wisconsin Madison, earthen tablets bore
seals from the two civilizations and were used out of necessity.

Speaker 2 (11:48):
What does that sound like, Ben, The seals almost like a.

Speaker 3 (11:52):
Bank insignia or the particular whoever issues your credit card.
The volume of goods being traded between them was so
large that paying with physical money would have been too cumbersome.

Speaker 1 (12:03):
Yeah, it's part of why currency is a thing, right,
even gold backed currency. You can't give people.

Speaker 2 (12:12):
Really difficult to part it around ten thousand bucks worth
of gold.

Speaker 1 (12:17):
So if we fast forward later in the Babylonian age
or in the Babylonian Empire. We see that the Code
of Hamerabi, which is fascinating one of the earliest examples
of modern law, or the predecessor thereof. The Code of
Hamarabi has a lot of rules and it mentions the

(12:38):
concept of credit, and it talks about credit in terms
that we would associate today with things like loans. They
had rules around what happens when you don't make good
on a loan you owe, or which you are fraudulent.

Speaker 2 (12:52):
The rules were strict.

Speaker 1 (12:54):
They're mirrored in a bit diluted, more civilized form in
n credit card protections and regulations, and as we know,
you know, consumer credit. The concept of it made agriculture possible.

Speaker 2 (13:11):
Totally in a very real way.

Speaker 3 (13:13):
Well, I mean to think about it in general, like
you know, in order to start a business, Let's think
of agriculture as like one of the earliest forms of
like setting up shop. You need capital, and you can't
make capital if you don't have the business. It's sort
of a chicken or the egg kind of scenario. So
you need someone to be an investor in you, aka

(13:34):
loan you some money. And if that's done at a
reasonable rate and you're good at agriculturing, you can pay
that back lickety split, and then before you know it,
you're raking in the corns or whatever it might be
and reaping the benefit, reaping the harvest, et cetera.

Speaker 1 (13:49):
Right, Yeah, let's go to Lewis Mandel, financial economist and
author of a book called the Credit Card Industry, a
history which we read for this show. Consumer credit, he says,
is characteristic of agrarian societies. Quote, they very often have
to finance agricultural operations by borrowing money for seeds and

(14:11):
other things to keep them going until harvest. Just like
a credit card interest rate. As long as the weather
is okay, then you're gonna make good at the end
of the year. So the idea is ancient, but the
application changes in step with technology. I love that you
mentioned American Express on the way there. We got to
mention our Knights Templar episode from Stuff they Don't want.

Speaker 2 (14:33):
You to know, absolutely the creators of the very first bank.

Speaker 3 (14:37):
I also believe we all agreed a pretty surefire inspiration
for the Iron Bank in the Songs of Ice and
Fire novels by George R. M.

Speaker 2 (14:48):
Martin.

Speaker 3 (14:49):
So yeah, the Knights Templar, creators of that very first
Bank made to help safely, I guess, guarantee the safe
transit of money during the Crusades. That was a whole,
big part of it, and it was very, very interesting.
They took a little cut from those transactions. And because
once again they were kind of first to market. Wasn't

(15:10):
the deal that they amassed so much freaking wealth that
they rivaled the powers that be and therefore became a
giant threat.

Speaker 2 (15:17):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (15:18):
Yeah, King Philip in particular did not dig these guys.
I think the main reason they fell, yeah, was King
Philip the fourth of France, because.

Speaker 3 (15:30):
That's the deal with the Iron Bank too. And then
in the books is that they are basically the power
behind the throne. They are so wealthy they command isn't
it the Golden Company, or they're in charge of like
this entire private army that could topple the entire the
whatever the realm.

Speaker 1 (15:48):
Yes, yeah, they're having kingdoms. Also, King Philip owed the
Templars money, which is where things started to go wrong.
But anyway that happened, learn more about it and stuff
they don't want you to know. We mentioned America, American Express,
I should say at the top, So let's head to America.
American Express specifically, and learn a little bit about them

(16:11):
because they're a big player in.

Speaker 2 (16:12):
These early days.

Speaker 3 (16:14):
Very interesting because a lot of the companies that we're
going to mention that were part of this merger are
to this day their own thing, or at least a
couple of them separately.

Speaker 2 (16:24):
Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 3 (16:26):
So American Express was the product of a merger of
three companies, Wells and Company, Livingstone Fargo and Company, h
and Wells Butterfield. How Wells gets to be in two
of these operations. These are the same Wells. It's got
to be and could be awkward names, very true, but
we certainly know I am currently not really, I'm honestly

(16:48):
out of laziness due to several acquisitions.

Speaker 2 (16:51):
Am a member of Wells Fargo, which is they had
some issues.

Speaker 3 (16:56):
Right Ben, remember with the secret fees and the inflation
of those fees in order to make quotas and all
of that.

Speaker 2 (17:04):
Didn't work right with me. But in the buttet twitch banks.

Speaker 1 (17:07):
Yeah, and not to keep referencing stuff there on what
you know, but check out the Wells Fargo episode up
there wherein it's proven that they non consensually created accounts
for holders.

Speaker 2 (17:19):
Imagine that.

Speaker 1 (17:21):
Yeah, well for acount, real people, real accounts that have
an account made exactly dummy accounts that allowed them to
inflate those numbers so that they could meet their sales quotas.

Speaker 2 (17:32):
And I still have Wells Fargo as well. I mentioned
that episode. So okay, good to know that I'm not
the only rube out here. You shook a finger. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
jump in there.

Speaker 4 (17:42):
I just know of they talk about that fake account
thing on last Week Tonight in one of the couple
of seasons ago. So there's good information about that last
Week tonight. And yeah, I mean I bank with Truest,
which is a weird conglomerate with a terrible name.

Speaker 2 (17:57):
Yeah, and it's uh, it's keep it over interest.

Speaker 1 (18:01):
Also shout out to the writers of Last Week Tonight
for following stuff they'll want you to know.

Speaker 3 (18:06):
Yeah, true, no, no, no, they have very parallel stories
that haven't write around the same time.

Speaker 2 (18:11):
But good information in both of those resources.

Speaker 1 (18:14):
And so American Express was quite successful. By eighteen sixty five,
they had nine hundred offices in a total of ten states.
This was extraordinary and awesome for any financial company. At
this point. There were big things on the horizon. This
is where we start to see the early signs of

(18:34):
the modern credit card. By eighteen sixty five, they still
are not called American Express yet, But by eighteen sixty
five they introduced something called the charge coin, a literal token.
We'll get to it in a second. But it wasn't
until let's see, eighteen sixty eight they merged again and
they became the American Merchants Union Express Company. Five years

(18:56):
after that, eighteen seventy three, they become the American Express Company.
Also around this time they start creating their first money
orders and travelers checks.

Speaker 2 (19:07):
Well you know what it is, too, Ben.

Speaker 3 (19:09):
In a lot of ways, the history of credit is
a history of virtual payment, a history of payment without
actually forking over the cash.

Speaker 2 (19:19):
Right, it's all backed by cash.

Speaker 3 (19:21):
You're paying with a promise or a promisory note or
whatever it might be. But no one ever, really, I
don't think, even in these days, gets paid. The counts
are settled and they're balanced, but I don't know, like,
was somebody at one point or another, if you were
buying something on credit, delivering the loot or was it
just kind of like you now have credit through this creditor,

(19:43):
Like it does seem to be if it's not exactly
virtual money at this point, it's tending toward that direction
because it is a practical problem that needs to be solved.
To your point about carting all this gold and specie.

Speaker 1 (19:58):
Around, also check out our earlier Ridiculous History episode.

Speaker 2 (20:02):
What do we call it?

Speaker 1 (20:04):
Weird things that have been used as currency?

Speaker 2 (20:06):
I think that's right.

Speaker 1 (20:07):
Peppercorns, coscos, the conks, yes, conk shells. So we do
to your point, No, we see a trend, a slow
trend toward the idea of money or value over the
physical representation thereof, and between nineteen hundred and nineteen forty

(20:28):
we see an increase in credit as a form of payment.
This is where we see those charge coins, and then
something called shoppers plates. So department stores issue these little

(20:48):
metal plates, and they've got a customer's specific number, their
ID number, and then a little mark a seal again
of the merchant.

Speaker 2 (20:59):
But you can't really take those with you.

Speaker 1 (21:02):
You can take the charge going with you, but the
shopper plate kind of stays at the store.

Speaker 3 (21:08):
And just to go back to the whole idea of money,
orders and traveler checks once again, that is like a
way of virtually transmitting payments, and it saves you back
to that whole Knight's Templar thing. It ensures the safe
passage of those funds and the Knight's templar. It was
in a lot of ways about protecting people from being

(21:29):
robbed physically. In this case, it's more like, well, you
don't even have We'll keep the money here and we'll
issue you this piece of paper, this document that is
a stand in for the money that you can then
pay it on the other side of wherever you're going
and then will balance the accounts with them after the facts.

Speaker 1 (21:47):
Yeah, exactly, and for a little bit of a transaction fee.
And if we happen to loan out some of your
money to other people for this part of the game, right,
well that's fine.

Speaker 2 (21:58):
You'll get what you need and it's time.

Speaker 1 (22:01):
Western Union also introduced what they were calling metal money
in nineteen fourteen, and this was a kind of kind
of elite thing, also a plate kind of situation, right exactly,
as a metal plate. It would give to the customers
they liked. And then ten years later, it's like nineteen
twenty four, gas companies start doing this. General Petroleum Corporation

(22:25):
issues metal cards and you could take this card to
your gas or your mechanic service, and you can't just
pay later. And these companies took this idea. This is
important because they took the idea of a single store
credit token and they let you take it to multiple

(22:45):
branches of the same business, which is.

Speaker 3 (22:48):
A big deal because you know, prior, you know, even
with like company credit or like a company store script
or whatever, you can only use it in very specific places.
And the idea, yeah, what this is heading towards is
a more universal system of credit acceptance. And nowadays, you know,
if a place has you know, it's funny, isn't it funny? Ben,

(23:09):
Pretty much anywhere we'll take Visa MasterCard, but not everyone
will take American Express.

Speaker 2 (23:16):
You got to check on that one, right, Yeah, part
of it.

Speaker 1 (23:20):
American Express, perhaps due to their age, still has some
different rules, right, like higher fees in many cases for
the business owner. And then additionally the idea which doesn't
apply in every case, but the idea that one must
pay the entirety of the balance at the conclusion of

(23:40):
each monthly billion cycle.

Speaker 4 (23:42):
Yeah, and jump in here real quick, as you know,
I managed restaurants for a number of years and at
the end of at the end of a shift of
every employee of the restaurant order, you print up the
entire sheet of all the transactions and you would have
a breakdown. Is cash, demit, credit card AMEX Alex is
not a separate one. And the reason why is because
AMES generally passes a lot more of the cost the

(24:03):
fees onto the vendor and not the consumer. That's why
Amex generally gives you much better rewards than a lot
of cards. Another one is that way is Discover and
the two cards I use for my day to day
is Amex and Discover for that reason because I get
great points on them.

Speaker 1 (24:19):
Oh and we should say no credit card company nor
financial institution reached out to us to ask about this episode. Absolutely,
so we are being objective here. Those metal plates, those
precursions of the modern credit card, they were about two
and a half by one in a fourth inches. They
add your name as a customer, you're billing address, and

(24:42):
in department stores like your Macy's and what have you,
that shopper plate would be kept in the store. You
would go there, you would tell them who you were,
and they would make sure you were there by checking
your plate. It's simpler in some ways to like old
school beer gardens that might keep a specific stying for

(25:06):
regular customers.

Speaker 2 (25:07):
Oh fun, Yeah, I never thought about that. Yeah, it
makes sense.

Speaker 3 (25:10):
And let's you know, yeah that you're that you're a
It's almost like loyalty programs or something like yeah, sorry,
as a.

Speaker 1 (25:18):
Loyalty program, like going to Lyndall calder a history professor
at Augustana College out in Illinois. Different stores like Macy's
again might also issue brass tokens or paper certificates to
their their very best customers, and you would walk in,
you would show the customer the token, you would walk

(25:40):
out of the store with whatever you want, and it
was assumed you would pay the thing by the end
of the month. If you did not, you would have
other additional fees. You would be in trouble and you
would be embarrassed at the Macy's.

Speaker 3 (25:55):
Are we kind of been still in boom times here?
We haven't hit depression times quite yet. Right, We've survived
depress You've survived depression times.

Speaker 2 (26:02):
We've had it now.

Speaker 3 (26:04):
Credit now is back to being pretty cheap, pretty attainable, right,
I don't know that we have yet necessarily those kind
of usurious predatory practices. I'm sure they exist. But you know,
as long as there have been people slinging credit, we
have things that we talked about this on, stuff that

(26:24):
I want you to know too, like these rent to
own rent to centers, the predatory practice of that once
again capitalizing on this notion of you too can live
the American dream, you too can have the sectional sofa
and the and the color television. But then there's all
of these hidden interest rates that are absolutely backbreaking.

Speaker 1 (26:46):
Yes, and absolutely on purpose in some ways. In the
early system, it was kind of like the old practice
of layaway in your Walmart or your kmart.

Speaker 3 (26:55):
You know, I guess that's what I'm saying, right, It
doesn't seem like people are as nasty. It seems like
it is a little more beneficial to the consumer early on.
It doesn't quite devolve into some of the nasty things
we know until a little later.

Speaker 1 (27:09):
Yeah, predatory rates were not as normalized at this point.
I think that's right, school, and maybe maybe people have
better financial home training, so you would be less likely
to agree to anything that would charge you twenty five
percent of a purchase, you know what I mean, Because
it's terrible stuff. But in nineteen forty six things were

(27:32):
still often geographically based. This is where we see folks
like John C. Biggins from Flatbush National Bank in Brooklyn
create a system called charge it charge.

Speaker 2 (27:44):
Without an E.

Speaker 1 (27:45):
So, you know, what's cool. Apps do the same thing today.

Speaker 2 (27:48):
A Z and there's got to be a spot for
a Z in there somewhere. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (27:53):
And this this card came from the Flatbush National Bank,
and if you were a Flatbush National Bank customer, you
could charge purchases directly to the bank in a two
block radius.

Speaker 2 (28:12):
Wow. So like in the neighborhood. It was great, very localized.
That's wild, isn't it funny?

Speaker 3 (28:17):
Though, been the way the term the word charge right,
It used to me and I the merchant charge you
a price for this thing. But then it kind of
got flipped where the term charge came to represent more
of like pay later, charge it charging it must be
from this, Honestly, the whole expression of charge it, you know,

(28:38):
musta although if you look at it on paper, it
really says charget.

Speaker 4 (28:42):
Man.

Speaker 2 (28:42):
Let's just be honest, it says charget.

Speaker 3 (28:44):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (28:44):
It's American English, which sounds like a god dang it
gotten target. Big Jungus and everything.

Speaker 1 (28:52):
Changes in nineteen fifty post in a New York minute,
post World War two American man the diners Club. You know,
for a lot of us listening today, you may have
memories of your predecessors having diners Club, or you may
have still around.

Speaker 3 (29:08):
I think it is I checked very very rarely. Is
it accepted though, I believe if it's sort of almost
a running.

Speaker 2 (29:16):
Gag in a way.

Speaker 3 (29:16):
I'm sure they've done things to try to modernize a
little bit, but it accepts diners Club.

Speaker 2 (29:22):
It's very unique.

Speaker 1 (29:23):
And to finish what I was saying, like the the
idea is that you might associate with older relatives, or
you might associate it with sketch comedy, right, because there
is something humorous at this point. But it turns out
the diners club concept is really the heart of the
modern credit card.

Speaker 3 (29:42):
That makes a lot of sense. Ben founded by Frank X.
I knew we could drop a Zer and X in
there somewhere McNamara and Ralph Schneider. Diner's Club was the
first independent car company, soon joined by Bloomingdale's Alfred Bloomingdale
had a very similar idea, and we also associate even
to this day credit cards with department stores, the idea

(30:04):
of having a charge accounts, you know, with Bloemy's. So,
as the story goes, Frank McNamara, he already was a
very successful businessman. He had an absolutely horrifically embarrassing experience
at a restaurant New York called Major's Cabin Grill.

Speaker 2 (30:23):
So it's the Major's Cabin. I got it.

Speaker 3 (30:25):
You're in the Major's cabin. You're being grilled for He
had a fine meal at Major's Cabin. Then, oh, heaven's
to Betsy, I've forgotten me wallet. I left it in
me other pants. I don't know why he's talking like
a pirate, but he is.

Speaker 1 (30:41):
And luckily, according to the story, and this is from
the Diner's Club website, his wife came to bail him
out and pay the tab. He had one other recourse,
because this was the day wherein you couldn't you know,
you've seen it before, folks. Somebody might try a card
of some sort and for one reason or another, it

(31:02):
doesn't work. They usually have another card. His embarrassment is
like being herded on the precipice of a cliff, and
his wife saves him from the chasm. But according to
the Good Folks Diners Club. This social trauma transformed Frank.

Speaker 2 (31:18):
They say. A year later, in February of.

Speaker 1 (31:21):
Nineteen fifty, he returned to Major's Cabin Grill with his
partner Ralph Schneider. When the bill arrived, McNamara paid with
a small cardboard card known today as a Diner's Club card.
This event was hailed as the first Supper, paving the
way for the world's first multipurpose charge card.

Speaker 3 (31:41):
Not to be confused with the Last Supper, but equally
as historically profound.

Speaker 1 (31:46):
Everybody's eaten. We've got a little vintage picture of the
Major's cabin grill. By the way, there were a steakhouse.

Speaker 2 (31:51):
Oh you know, they were dropping some steaks.

Speaker 1 (31:54):
I saw this, I saw another, so I got a
little deep in this one. Apparently there is a different
narrative from locals and contemporaries of the neighborhood, and the
story is that mc namara may have kind of created
his own myth because he was already friends with the
dude Major, the restauranteur.

Speaker 2 (32:14):
Who oh, Major's cabin grill. You think he could have
given him a pass and not made a big scene.

Speaker 3 (32:19):
He just created this scene as an apocryphal sort of story, right.

Speaker 1 (32:23):
Even weirder, it sounds like it sounds like Majors and
his buddy mc namara, where they were just pals, such
that Majors was the only restaurant in town who would
be the pilot, the pilot program for this dynasye because
then it could be like, oh, it could be great
for my restaurant too. And later they made up the

(32:45):
forgotten wallet story.

Speaker 3 (32:47):
That's what I'm saying, though. Man, if they were pals,
he would have let him go fetch his wallets.

Speaker 2 (32:52):
He would have given him come back tomorrow. I mean,
and io you was.

Speaker 3 (32:56):
Absolutely a thing, you know, because the credit card didn't exist.

Speaker 2 (33:00):
Oh heavens, what a story. So what are you see up?
Do you? What do you think the Is there a
myth here or is it totally there?

Speaker 3 (33:07):
Always is Most of these about us on these legacy companies,
they all feel kind of fifty may I'm not going
to say fifty percent, twenty percent bullshnitt, thirty percent maybe yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (33:22):
And so a lot of other credit card companies tried
to do the same thing, and just like the early
days of Soda Pop, a lot of these other companies
failed diners Club was successful explosively, so they started with
two hundred people and just fourteen restaurants in the entirety
of New York, and by one year that number had

(33:45):
drastically changed.

Speaker 3 (33:47):
Forty two thousand card holders with around five hundred half
a million dollars in transactions, three hundred and thirty businesses
agreeing to accept this within a single month. Five years
into this whole scheme, approaching half a million members, three

(34:09):
hundred thousand members.

Speaker 1 (34:11):
Quick inflation calculator. Those great numbers store aboo beep five
hundred thousand dollars per month in nineteen fifty one. Is
a dude a boo beat about six million, twenty nine
thou seven hundred and sixty nine dollars and twenty three
cents per month.

Speaker 3 (34:31):
Sounds like he's rocking and a rolling into what we
might consider the modern day of credit and credit card companies,
because he you know this, this is like absolutely a smash,
and when that happens, you start seeing people looking at it.
How can we improve upon this? How can we add

(34:52):
features that benefit us, the card issuers, while also selling
it as features that benefit the card holders.

Speaker 2 (35:00):
Somewhere in the middle is the truth.

Speaker 3 (35:01):
Because you know, again, with all these points and stuff,
you got to kind of do your homework. Just because
the thing offers you points, you got to balance it
with what the annual fee might be, with how much
you have to spend to get the points. Are the
points actually of value or is it just kind of
pixie dust?

Speaker 1 (35:17):
You know? Right? And this thing to be clear, the
Diners Club was kind of more of a charge card
at this point. They would let you get away with
it for a little bit, but you had to pay
everything off at the end of the month. You couldn't
carry the revolving balance, which is the real difference between
oh yeah, a modern credit card and a charge card.

Speaker 3 (35:35):
That is kind of where the nastiness comes in is
with revolving credit and not to say there can't be
you know, I mean, I think most all modern credit cards,
well no, not all. In fact, it's odd. It's more
unusual for them not to be so the majority are revolving.
But you got to be really careful and know how
to calculate that. APR. We'll talk about that again. Hey,
it's kind of cool to have a ridiculous history episode

(35:56):
that also offers a little bit of meager financial advice,
because this is not stuff that's taught in schools, and
we always talk about how that's kind of jacked up
that there's not Maybe there are today, But when I
came up, they didn't talk about APR with us.

Speaker 2 (36:10):
They didn't talk about how to get a good mortgage
rate or what that even entailed, or I have check
back in and say, hey, can you lower this exactly? Yeah,
you got to ask. And I will always fondly remember.

Speaker 1 (36:27):
When I paid off credit card debt, because like a
lot of people, I had some credit card debt for
a little bit, and when I was paying it off
in full, I became an absolute revenge oriented monster. I
practiced something called malicious compliance. So I buy something that
was like five dollars, and then I would pay the
credit card company ten dollars immediately, and then I would

(36:52):
just never touch the card because eventually, at some point
they would send me a check for five dollars for
something like, yeah, five or four dollars, and I just
wanted to nickel and dime them on postage because I
took it absolutely.

Speaker 2 (37:09):
I took it personally. Man, No, I get it.

Speaker 3 (37:12):
But again, you know, there's a lot of positive stuff
to be said about a credit card system if you
use it correctly. And I think we've all been in
periods of our lives where maybe we were carrying more
a deva debt than we would like, or a balance
that we would like. So if you're anyone's out there
and they have that, or you have a really desperate situation,
there are resources out there for that too. You can

(37:34):
consolidate these things onto lower interest cards as long as
your credit rating isn't shot, which sometimes that comes with it.
You carry these balances and you don't pay, it really
tanks your credit. Honestly, the credit rating system might be
an episode undo itself. The history of that and the
different agencies. Yes, it's a very you know, but I
do recommend getting a free credit Karma account through buying

(37:58):
a car.

Speaker 2 (37:59):
I did really that. It's not exactly perfect, but it's
real close.

Speaker 3 (38:03):
It's close enough to know roughly where your credit score is,
and based on what the salesperson told me, it was
real close. And it doesn't put a hard hit on
your credit score every time you check your score, whereas
if you apply for a new credit card is something
called a hard inquiry that actually can lower your score

(38:24):
and those stay on your account for a handful of
years before they drop off, But checking your score with
credit Karma doesn't do that.

Speaker 1 (38:30):
And we'll tell you also, folks about the internal system
that financial institutions use, which is sometimes referred to as
the real credit score, not the consumer facing one.

Speaker 4 (38:41):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (38:42):
Yeah, I think it's a beautiful idea. Let's get on
the docket.

Speaker 1 (38:51):
Well, let's also note the Franklin National Bank put out
something in nineteen fifty two, a card that's sometimes called
the first true credit card because that's the one where
you could buy now you could keep a revolving balance
and just pay with interest. They're the ones who figured
out that if we get people to make a minimum payment,

(39:14):
then we will keep making money off of them at
least twelve times a year or actually compound interest, so
they're making way more than that.

Speaker 3 (39:24):
Well, I mean, what the modern credit card system sort
of became. It's just a much simpler route to a
loan that you always have a revolving.

Speaker 2 (39:32):
Loan, you know.

Speaker 3 (39:33):
I mean, we've we've known about loans as far back
as this Again, there was money, and that was something
you had to organize with an individual or an organization
or a bank or whatever. A credit card is a
one time thumbs up that gives you an amount that
you can you can't over you know, overcharge past that amount,

(39:53):
and as long as you're paying it back, you've got
this revolving line of credit that is essentially a running loan, right,
a running loan that.

Speaker 1 (40:01):
Is advantageous to the person's supply in the initial capital.
And this is why a lot of Americans were skeptical
about this new and I dare say ridiculously American invention. Again,
let's not forget this is the country that tried cocaine
and said needs a.

Speaker 2 (40:21):
Little more pep. So they did.

Speaker 1 (40:24):
They weren't familiar with the concept of loans, and they said,
now let's make it spicy. So Time magazine talked about
this at length. They had an article in nineteen fifty
eight where they said the following credit, which was once
the sign that a person had troubled meeting his bills,
has taken on a glamorous new meaning in recent years.

(40:45):
Now a man with a credit card can rent a
plane or boat or car, live it up in nightclubs,
take a safari to Africa, and even get to Kelly
Girl for temporary office help why because of the credit
card game.

Speaker 2 (41:00):
But isn't that describing living above one's means? Like, that's
what that is.

Speaker 3 (41:07):
It's like selling that BS American dream that is all
based in gross capitalism.

Speaker 2 (41:14):
You too, What the heck is a Kelly girl? Is
that like a girl Friday? It's like you're freaking like
a like a like an office assistant.

Speaker 1 (41:22):
So in nineteen forty six, this was a hot new thing.
It was an agency perhaps it was like, yeah, it
was founded by William Russell Kelly, and you could hire
temporary workers to do office admin got it, secretarial where
we might now use a task rabbit for right, Right,
Because they started calling them Kelly girls because the vast

(41:45):
majority of the temporary workers were female, and because because
Kelly was a big company, they would accept credit cards.

Speaker 3 (41:54):
I wonder if that's where Peggy Olsen originally came from
in the Mad Men series. It was a temp originally
like a typist, and then she, of course, you know,
graduated up the ranks and became a marketer or a seller.

Speaker 2 (42:08):
But that makes sense, yeah, And they.

Speaker 3 (42:10):
Would have been the lowest of the low in terms
of the office hierarchy.

Speaker 1 (42:14):
Right.

Speaker 2 (42:15):
It was a rough one.

Speaker 1 (42:16):
You know, we've seen how temporary workers get treated sometimes
because not the best and once the idea of credit
cards was out there, the competition, of course begins. American Express.
They're already known for their travelers checks. It was even
within our lifetimes. It was even a pro travel tip

(42:36):
to get some MX travelers or cashier's checks because they
couldn't be used.

Speaker 2 (42:41):
By people who might rob you.

Speaker 1 (42:45):
So anyway, American Express starts their credit card program in
nineteen fifty eight, the Hilton hotel chain says, all right,
we've already got a loyalty card, we'll make it a
credit card as well. That same year, in fifty eight,
Bank of amer America, which later became Visa, they tested
out something they called they test out credit cards by

(43:07):
doing their own weirdly militaresque campaign. They called it the
Fresno Drop. So they mailed sixty thousand Bank America cards
credit cards to people in Fresno, California. And this was
not perfect, to be honest. There was a lot of
fraud because people felt like they were getting free money.

(43:29):
But it was still successful enough that Bank of America
said we're going to expand this program. We're going to
do a Fresno drop across the world and now boom,
boom boom, we have visa and odds are a lot
of people listening to the show today have a visa
card or account somewhere attached to their identity.

Speaker 3 (43:49):
Yeah, maybe we could talk a little bit about that,
But I mean, what makes visa so pervasive?

Speaker 2 (43:55):
Do you have any insight into that bend.

Speaker 3 (43:58):
Might be outside of the scope of this conversation. That
one seems to be the catch all, the biggest one,
the one that is accepted everywhere.

Speaker 1 (44:06):
Well, I guess part of it is it's slightly more
skewed toward debit cards, right as well, Like a visa
is a debit cards, So already have people in the
door with a bank account that's a baby going down
or a checking the account so they can get what
they feels an advantageous rate on a credit card like MasterCard,

(44:26):
for instance, is much more associated with credit cards. And
it also says here I just did a quick search
that they have the lowest fees in terms of that.
That's really what it comes down to.

Speaker 3 (44:38):
American Express can charge two point five to three percent
and merchant costs, whereas Visa and MasterCard just charge way
less than that.

Speaker 2 (44:47):
Okay.

Speaker 1 (44:47):
Yeah, and we're talking at this point about a trillion
dollar industry.

Speaker 2 (44:53):
It is nuts. It might not even be real money.
But nobody blow on the house of cards too hard
or it'll all topple. Yes, that is a drug ball
thinko mix.

Speaker 1 (45:07):
So there's this other thing that happens, a feedback loop.
Right as credit card companies grow, more and more merchants.

Speaker 2 (45:16):
Want to be riding the wave. They accept these things.

Speaker 1 (45:19):
They don't want to just be cash only because now
they're losing customers. It's like Apple pay today, you know
what I mean, Like more and more places take Apple
Pay because more and more people have iPhones. You meet
folks where they are and that's where you take their money.

Speaker 3 (45:36):
Yeah, and it's just so convenient. People are just whipping
out the phones to do a tap pay. If you're
not able to accept that, you're losing out on sales,
you know, it's just as simple as that. Also, more
and more people and vendors online are taking things like
Venmo and cash app, and I think there's probably going
to become there's going to come something of a reckoning

(45:57):
with all of this stuff. Right where Venmo, you know
you're transferring money without paying any fees. At what point
is the government going to be like, that's not how
this works. You can't keep doing that. It feels like
we've been on the edge of this wild west of
payment the payment wars for quite a while.

Speaker 2 (46:16):
Now.

Speaker 1 (46:17):
Yeah, and above a certain amount for a single transfer,
the taxman comes.

Speaker 2 (46:24):
That's right.

Speaker 3 (46:24):
And I'm wondering when that happens, because I just transferred
somebody via Venmo a substantial amount of money for my
part of a vacation rental home and there were no
fees charged that were visible. It was just my my
amount that I put in in on my end out
the same amount on the other end. So you gotta wonder,

(46:47):
at what point is the taxman going to come?

Speaker 2 (46:49):
You know, knocking guys are going to space Jesus. So, yeah,
it is a good question.

Speaker 1 (46:57):
We know the legislation will inevitably be reactive towards the
technological innovation. That's something that keeps happening still, right, which
might in some way explain predatory usurious credit card rates.
We did promise that we would talked about the magnetic stripe.
So nineteen fifty nine, right until nineteen fifty nine, a

(47:20):
lot of these cards are paper right or their actual metal.
American Express introduces the plastic charge card. Diners Club follows
up a few years later in sixty one, and in
the nineteen sixties, IBM develops the magnetic stripe. Our stuff
A genius how stuff works is coming out here. The

(47:42):
story is like this, So designers knew magnetic tape. They
were all very hot about computers at IBM. What no way.
They knew that magnetic tape could be a great information
medium or conveyor of info. But they couldn't figure out
how to KEYP bit on the friggin card. They were baffled.

(48:03):
And then, speaking of women not getting a lot of credit,
an engineer's wife at IBM, uh said.

Speaker 2 (48:11):
Why don't you just try to iron it on the card?
And they did.

Speaker 1 (48:16):
They literally ironed the stripe onto a card.

Speaker 2 (48:20):
No way, Yeah, the iron like for shirts. Yeah. And
that's the.

Speaker 1 (48:25):
Story and this function for a long long time. A
lot of us listening tonight still have credit cards with stripes, right,
But more and more, I would say chips. People are
moving toward chips.

Speaker 2 (48:37):
Yeah, you know what I found though, The chips wear
out way faster, faster. Yeah, I don't know about you.

Speaker 1 (48:46):
I have to do that thing where it's like third
times the charm, try the chip several times, and you
have to swipe.

Speaker 2 (48:52):
Yeah, it's weird. There's some you know, it's sort of
a mystery.

Speaker 3 (48:54):
But it's like you got to try the chip a
certain number of times before it will allow you to
swipe as a secondary attempt. And it's all in the programming. Yeah,
I'm sure, I'm sure, but I think it's different. It
probably varies depending on the point of sale, you know.

Speaker 4 (49:09):
Yeah, I've had a number of like, you know, gas stations,
and I remember my first chip card. The chip like
died so quickly, and it was like this gas if
I went to all the time and I put in
one time and the guy's like, uh huh, all right,
second time.

Speaker 2 (49:22):
Third time, all right, and then swipe.

Speaker 1 (49:24):
And then also you've got to check for the fraud, right,
just very quickly. You need to check whenever you're going
to swipe something, especially at a gas station, any point
of sale like that, even the chip. Now, what you
need to do is take your hand. Make sure to
clean your hands later, but take your hand and give
that little bad boy a jing jiggle because if it

(49:44):
jiggles too much. It might be a skimmer.

Speaker 2 (49:47):
Oh yeah, that's absolutely thing.

Speaker 3 (49:49):
And we've talked again, how do we keep this just
very much in the wheelhouse of stuff that I want
you to know.

Speaker 2 (49:54):
I have talked recently about these.

Speaker 3 (49:56):
New long range skimmers that can be a thing and
that can actually grab data off of those RFID chips.
So you might even consider having one of those wallets
that shields electromagnetically shields that thing.

Speaker 2 (50:10):
Again, we're not suggesting that anybody live in.

Speaker 3 (50:13):
Fear of being ripped off all the time, but it's
just good to have your wits about you and know
you know what's going on out there.

Speaker 1 (50:19):
Don't live in fear, but live informed and be prepared
not to sound too much of an eagle scout about it.

Speaker 3 (50:24):
I think that's a good expression. Don't live in fear,
live informed. That's really that's a T shirt right there.

Speaker 1 (50:30):
Oh okay, we'll write it out. Hang on, I'm actually
in our research brief putting this in. Okay, that's very good,
all right, living forward, All right, we got that, folks,
NOL thank you so much for the shout out on that.
So we didn't want to leave you without a dope

(50:50):
beat the step two step two, step two, step two.
Wi Wick, did you ever want a black card?

Speaker 2 (50:57):
You guys? Well, my face card is black and quite heavy.

Speaker 3 (51:02):
It is not an official black car, which I know
is the invite only amx I believe, but I meant
to mention this earlier.

Speaker 2 (51:09):
You know, the whole history of the plates.

Speaker 3 (51:12):
And all of that, like, that's why amx is are
all about the gold and the platinum and they look
like But I do believe that some of the real
exclusive ones are printed on metal. There are ones that
actually have some kind of metal content. If I'm not mistaken, you're.

Speaker 2 (51:27):
One hundred percent correct.

Speaker 1 (51:29):
I have a hefty well, I have one of those
hefty amxes, and that that's like a psychological hack.

Speaker 2 (51:35):
They want you to feel the weight of it. That's right,
and you yailed it.

Speaker 1 (51:39):
With the invitation only cards, one of the most famous
is the Black card, friending fans of hip hop. It's
technically called the Centurion card from American Express. And then
there's the other invite cards are like the JP Morgan
Reserve card. Dubai has one, City Group has one. The

(52:00):
main difference is you are expected to spend a lot
of money with those cards, and in return they give
you bonkers perks, you know.

Speaker 3 (52:10):
Damn. I think even our meager American Express Platinum cards
have some metal content in them. They do have a
bit of hef to them. I didn't think about I
thought I didn't think we were Dang, we're with the
swells already.

Speaker 2 (52:20):
Man.

Speaker 3 (52:21):
Nice, Not quite but no, you're right that idea of
a limit. But again, you know, there have to be
some serious perks to a card like that. Otherwise what's
the point. Is it just about the prestige? Like what
does it get you? We can mere mortals like us
even google that stuff.

Speaker 1 (52:38):
Yeah, private planes, VIP services, you can call. You can
call a twenty four to seven line.

Speaker 2 (52:45):
Concier type of stuff.

Speaker 4 (52:47):
According to the Great Repository Knowledge Wikipedia, is ten thousand
dollars to join, with a five thousand dollars per year
annual fee for the Black Card.

Speaker 2 (52:59):
Five thousand year per er.

Speaker 4 (53:01):
Yes, as you are sold the amount of money you
have to spend a thing because granted, you're gonna get
incredible points back on it, but you have to be
spending a ridiculous amount of money.

Speaker 2 (53:09):
Because it takes wealth to make wealth.

Speaker 3 (53:11):
Well, I'm not super proud of this, but it's something
that I'd like to change in my behavior. But I
buy a lot of stuff on Amazon, a lot a
lot of stuff, and I have an Amazon Rewards Chase card,
and I rack up some serious points from all the
stuff that I buy, and I actually use that to

(53:33):
pay the card.

Speaker 2 (53:34):
You can even use it.

Speaker 3 (53:35):
It gives you monetary value points that you can go
back and use it to pay your credit card if
you want to. So you know, I have done the
math on that one. The interest rate's pretty low in general,
and it gives you those perks. And like I've I've
gotten to a place where I have like three or
four hundred dollars in points that I can use to
buy something for my kids, you know, or whatever. Again,

(53:57):
this is not this is having the opposite effect of
what I intended. I do think Amazon is a problematic company,
but god damn it's so convenience.

Speaker 1 (54:05):
Especially with their new medical services. Whoe betide. Folks be
well aware for statistics to end in the modern day.
At the end of twenty twenty three, per Forbes, the
average credit card debt per borrower was six three hundred
and sixty bucks. That's about ten percent higher than twenty
twenty two. This is ushering in an all time high collectively,

(54:30):
and part of this is due to all the financial
stress of the pandemic and the inflation involved tech. Right now,
we are estimating that there is fifty billion dollars in
new debt in a single quarter of the year, which
leads us to a total of one point one three
trillion in overall US card debt. Not super great. Don't

(54:56):
live in fear, live informed. We'll get the t shir. Yes,
that is a good slogan, ben. I hope it doesn't
already exist in my but I bet it doesn't, you know.

Speaker 3 (55:06):
And one way too to think about credits is you
are paying for a service, and there are times where
if the interest rate is low enough, sometimes carrying that
balance is in the end of the world if it
allows you to free up your cash. If I don't
have to pay for this now, and I've committed to
paying a slightly higher price for the privilege of paying

(55:28):
for it over time, that's cool. I also have a
line of credit through PayPal. There are a lot of
opportunities if you have a good credit score. PayPal credit
lets you buy things with zero percent interest for six months,
So if you pay the thing off in six months,
you don't pay any interest at all. So it's basically
like free money or free you know, free credits, and

(55:49):
that's pretty cool too, so and it accumulates or accrues
that per purchase, so that's something to look into as well.

Speaker 1 (55:56):
If the rate of interest that you're paying is less
than the rate of inflation, which is difficult to imagine
these days, but if that occurs, then you're in a
good spot, sort of like if you are investing in
stocks or indexes and so on, then you want that
return rate to be ideally higher than the rate of inflation.

(56:17):
It's an internal battle, just like our battle on whether
or not we wanted to make this a two parter.
I think our consensus is beefy one parter BF one Pete.

Speaker 2 (56:28):
We're beefed up with this, folks.

Speaker 1 (56:30):
Thanks so much for tuning in. We're going to have
an episode on credit scores coming out. We're returning to
micro nations, wal also answer the question about micro state
versus micronation.

Speaker 2 (56:40):
All that to come and more our ridiculous history.

Speaker 1 (56:43):
Thanks so much to our super producer, mister Max Williams.

Speaker 3 (56:48):
Eves, Jeff codes here and Spira aj Mohammas, Jacobs the Quizler, Jonathan.

Speaker 2 (56:55):
Mad Dog, Strickland the Puzzler. Wait a minute, flip that reverse?
It wonk of those bad boys, you know what I mean. Ben.

Speaker 3 (57:03):
Thanks to you for being the research associated extraordinariy on
this episode.

Speaker 2 (57:07):
I learned a lot, and I hope y'all at home
did too. Thanks folks, We'll see you next time.

Speaker 3 (57:20):
For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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