The Blanche Report: The Mayor, The Hernia & The Credit Card Caper




Rob Ford, Toronto’s illustrious mayor is back in the news. Not that he really ever left, but in his world stonewalling is a great tactical maneuver making him think that everyone forgot about his antics. The last time we heard about Ford was in May when a video surfaced that allegedly showed him smoking crack-cocaine. He and his brother shut down, stopped talking to anyone in the media and fired anyone around them who thought that maybe he should go for some help.

Well, he showed up Friday night at Toronto’s Taste of the Danforth Festival (a Greek festival serving lots of food and lots of alcohol)  repeatedly asking people “Where’s the party? Where’s the party?” Not exactly mayor-like if you get the drift.   It appears that Mayor Ford was, shall we delicately say, three sheets to the wind. 

As of this writing, the mayor has not responded to the allegations. News agencies attempted to reach the mayor’s office on Saturday but did not receive a response. Quel surprise! Don’t respond to allegations and poof! they go away. We have a sneaking suspicion that the bankers on Bay Street are not exactly enamored with their mayor. Here’s a name you may not be that familiar with: Jeff Bezos the founder of amazon.com. In 1995 he quit his Wall Street job and drove with his wife cross-country to Seattle. Bezos started building the foundation for Amazon.com in the garage of his rented house in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue. In 1995, the site opened for business. The rest, as they say, is history.

Last week, Mr. Bezos bought the Washington Post newspaper for $250 million. Why he bought the Post and what he plans to do with it is a mystery.  Stay tuned.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent an emergency hernia operation overnight Saturday. Moshe Ya’alon, defense minister became the acting Prime Minister as Netanyahu was put under general anesthesia for over an hour.  Seems like he (Bibi) will be able to continue the ‘peace’ talks during the week. Maybe somebody a bit higher than him is trying to tell him something and maybe he should listen. Whadda think? You know about those credit card companies that charge insane amounts of interest? Well, a Russian dude by the name of Dmitry Agarkov fixed their little wagon and good.

He received a credit card offer in the mail from a company called Tinkoff Credit Systems.  After reading the small print, Agarkov found the terms to be disagreeable, so he reportedly wrote his own — complete with zero percent interest, no fees and no credit limit. He then signed it and sent it in. He  also included various clauses penalizing the bank  should it fail to uphold the agreement. Infractions would result in a fine of 3 million rubles (approximately $91,400), while canceling the contract altogether would cost the bank 6 million rubles ($182,000).

Guess what? The geniuses at the company did not read what he wrote and issued him a credit card and a copy of his approved application. Doink!  Two years later Tinkoff took him to court for failure to pay his balance and associated fees. The court ruled in Agarkov’s favor, requiring he pay only the balance on the card. He has since counter-sued for 30 million rubles ($914,000) highlighting the amendments he’d written which tack on penalty fees every time the bank fails to follow the agreement, including the fee for breaking the contract altogether.

Suffice it to say the credit card company is apoplectic. However, this is one story that ain’t over till the fat lady sings and so far we haven’t heard anything.

In case you didn’t notice, Blanche did not do her regular report on Thursday, ergo tonight’s little news ditty. We were in New York for the birth of our grandson. G-d willing we will return to our regularly scheduled programming.

We’ll talk…

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