Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 17, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
32 THE IETHBRIDGE HEKAID Wedneidoy, February 17, Promotion spree launched to drum up trade Banks, once fortress oi commercial dignity, slip sharply in esteem By CHARLES FOLEY London Observer Service LOS ANGELES Banks, once fortresses of commercial dignity, have slipped sharply in American esteem of late and nowhere more so than in the bank ridden state of California, where, their critics say, the rot first set in. It all began with the recent cash shortage, when the banks, feeling the pinch, launched out on a give away binge, with circuses and side shows to match. Radios and women's wigs, steam irons, clocks, vacuum flasks and gilt tableware were lavished on clients opening new accounts. Housewives rushed from bank to bank, collecting the loot and moving on. Clerks grew dizzy signing them in and out again when the "free gifts" had been secured. Books and musical records were handed over by the truckload, if only to relieve space pressure in conference rooms and offices which were choked with gift-wrapped merchandise. One institution offered a four-door Chevrolet Impala to anyone depositing for five years, in lieu of interest. of million could de-pait in a chfuffeur driven Cadillac. Millions more dollars went into an advertising blitz to bring the shoppers in. To stem the stampede, California clamped the lid on what banks could spend on gifts. But the promotion spree made the citizens bank conscious. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, almost everywhere they looked, there was another bank. Four at the cross roads, six more down the street. Most of them were new and sparkling, often occupying high rise blocks that had seemingly mushroomed overnight. While people wondered where they all came from and who was paying for them the banks struck out anew to drum up trade. "An invitation from the President" popped into the post boxes, promising every householder "the kind of thoughtful attention which makes you feel like a person again instead of a number." The Manufacturers Bank of Beverly Hills invited you to their special display of antique timepieces featuring of medieval pocket sundials! State Mutual Savings' downtown office promised generous refreshments "Bring your friends, join us at our Hospitality with laminated place mat etchings to take away. Those wno deposited were given membership of a Statesman's Club, with newspapers, coffee and free longdistance telephone calls. Bv now it was tough work to cash a cheque among the hordes of depositors (and their friends) who rushed from one bank to another. Prudential Savings presented "the world's greatest entertainment from the gay nineties to the roaring twenties! Bring the youngsters for a bag of fragrant popcorn from an old-time popcorn wagon." (A group of musical and penny arcade entertainers, banging away at antique hit tunes in all four Among "rare treasures" on exhibition was "the magnificent violano virtuoso, the self-playing violin with piano- accompaniment, hai'ed as the most marvellous musical invention of the eenturv in 1908." the scenes, ears pugged with cottonwool, bank president Cyrus H. Gius, sat figuring out his balance sheet. an English holiday at California Federal (tea and crumpets, and continuous motion pictures of the Queen Mary being refitted at Long "A gala event with a British accent. Royal entertainment for your whole This somewhat static cruise was quickly countered by Manufacturers Bank (those medieval packet not such a big after with the offer of three weeks, American Express tour for two to Russia. Why Russia? "To see for yourself how much batter our free enterprise system really is." The challenge was promptly taken up. Not by Comrade Brezhnev but, on a West Coast visit, by U.S. Presidential hopeful Hubert Humphrey. "Our he said harshly, "are the only ones gaining rr'om inflation. And the greatest cause of that inflation is ths liigh interest rales imposed on this country." Senator Humphrey has tait-ped a spring of economic discontent across thj country. A Louis Harris opinion survey reveals a widespread belief, among businessleaders as well as the general public, that the banks are profiteering "at a time when fee! the pinch of less money in its pockets and the crunch of ever-higher of the inflationary impact is attributed to credit cards which are reported to have provided the biggest bonanza in the history of banking. Bank cards are honored in more than half a million business establishments. By financing the average seviv. per cent cost of collecting credit card bills the banks are said to earn as much as 70 per cent true annual interest on their money. Merchants must raise their prices to even up. While loans are tight for families trying a home, millions of people are given these cards to encourage them to buy on credit any extravagance that ta k e s their fancy. To protect their swollen profits from legislation, bankers offer "non partisan support" to politicians who in the words of a Union Bank letter "are sympat h e t i c with American banking and the free enterprise system." Funds are often raised by levies on staff "completely which run into many millions in swordfisli, has I But the word is getting around that the wildcat booze is increasingly lethal and the customers arc getting wary. Lead salts have been present in m o o n s h i n e for years but recently laboratory tests revealed dangerously high levels of mercury, which can damage the brain. "We have been unable fish pi determine the source of the said Jarvis Brewer of the division's regional office, "ft could come frcm the water, or the car batteries they are putting in the stuff now to help it ferment in the winter." Lead salts, which cause blindness, among other things, find their way into liquor through car radiators used in the condensing process. Brewer said Georgia is still the world's moonshine capital. Agents destroyed 824 stills in Georgia alone last year and seized more than 31.0CO gallons of roughly 40 per cent of all the whisky grabbed by the agency in the southeast during the year. ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) -Worried about the mercury in your swordfish and tuna? Down South it's turning up in the moonshine. And that, the "revenooers" say, is one of the reasons the moonshining industry in the rural South has fallen on hard times. The alcohol, tobacco and indu firearms division of the Internal Revenue Service says declining demand and such business pressures as the rising cost of ingredients have forced many small operators to give up the trade. Moonshine aficionados now have to pay up to a pint for the stuff, although legal whisky retails for as little as a GET THE BEST AND BUY FOR Tasty-Tender-Tempting Meats! SPARERIBS Fresh Side Pork Bake with Dressing K AflCt Standing Rib, 1st 5 ribs. Canada IWM4I Cnoiee Canada Good Beef Ib. ,09 Fowl Roast Chops Roast Ib. Pinecrest Stewing Canada Grade A Frozen Whole, 5-lb. avge....... Full Cut Chuck Canada Choice Canada Good Beef Fresh Pork Centre Rib Loin..........Ib. All Cut of Rump Canada Choice Canada Good Beef Pork Legs Bologna Fresh, lean boneless Ib. le Leaf, in the Ib. Maple Leaf skinless Reg. or Beef Vacuum packed...... 1-lb. net wt. pkg. HflHl Maple Leaf sliced, cooked I IWlli 0_gj. net wt. pkg. Bacon Buys ib. ib. 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