Down with the moneychangers!

(I am reposting this because it disappeared from WordPress an hour or two after I posted it and I don’t understand why, it is possible someone misinterpreted the title, but if so that is disturbing because I thought that blogs here, unlike those at, can be politically incorrect…)

I am writing a post about “Political Religions” but I got sidetracked today with various family-related errands involving driving 400 miles across 4 different states, and I’m out of patience, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. I did want to post, though, about my horrible experience at JFK airport today. I wanted to change $100 into Japanese yen and Travelex Currency Services, Inc., informed me that I could get 78 yen per dollar, and if I wanted dollars I could get them for 103 yen each, and by the way there is a $10 fee for each transaction.

I’m good at math but I was so angry I couldn’t calculate in my head how huge their cut was. Obviously they can only do this because of their monopoly, if there were another firm changing money at the airport I estimate that the competition would cut their profits by 90% or so.

What I really want to know: which New York politicians granted this monopoly concession, and how much of a kickback did they get, and where can you buy tar and feathers?


About Polymath

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3 Responses to Down with the moneychangers!

  1. Polymath says:

    The original title of this post was “{opposite of up} with the {biblical word for exchangers of currency}!” and I wonder if it triggered some WordPress anti-anti-Semitism bot, because the post disappeared despite the usual notification that it was up appearing in my email, and when I reloaded the page in my browser that had shown the post a “page not found” error came up.

  2. Polymath says:

    When my daughter got to Japan the ATM gave her yen at the rate of 90.26 to the dollar at a time when the market rate on the currency exchanges was 91, so my estimate that 90% of the profit would go away in a competitive environment was too conservative!

  3. Polymath says:

    Old title restored, we’ll see if the post gets taken down again….

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