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Jon G. Tidd

THE LOWDOWN ON POSTAL MONEY ORDERS CIRCA 1963

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Sandy,

The regulation says that cash letters "may" be used by the sending bank. It doesn't say it "MUST" be done that way.

Why couldn't First National have a certain way of processing checks and a different procedure for processing Postal Money Orders?

"MAY" doesn't equal "MUST".

Just as "SHOULD" does not mean "MUST".

1960-FRB-Regulations--Number-12.png

DVP,

Sorry old chap, but it doesn't actually say whether or not cash letters may / should be / must be used by the sending bank when making bulk deposits, it says only that cash items listed in a cash letter may be listed either without a description (i.e., with just the dollar amount, I suppose) or with a description (several kinds of descriptive categories come to mind), and then it goes on to suggest that the latter practice (i.e., with description) be employed for identification and legal purposes in case any problems should arise.

That's my "take" on it.

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Why are those bank stamps there, David?? When one stamp on the cash letter would have sufficed?

Probably because you're talking about CHECKS and not POSTAL MONEY ORDERS in this example, Sandy. That's why. Big difference. The First National Bank of Chicago very likely handled Postal Money Orders differently (in bulk) than they did checks.

Also note that checks say, "Pay To The Order Of" whereas Postal Money Orders say, "Pay To."

--Tommy :sun

Right, they say different things because they are different kinds of instruments.. But that doesn't lead to what David is saying.

BTW Tommy, I understand where Lance is coming from when he says that banks act as agents in the case of PMOs. It's because banks don't own a deposited PMO like they do a deposited check. Therefore, the bank must be acting as an agent for the owner of the PMO and is collecting for the owner. In contrast, for a deposited check the bank is collecting for itself. However, this is not as straightforward as it seems. And I can see that it causes Lance problems, because sometimes he says that banks are acting as agents for the owners of PMO, and other times he says that banks are acting as agents for the Postal Service.

Let me explain and you'll see what I mean.

First some basics. A "cash item" is an instrument that the bank will give you credit for right away when you cash or deposit it. A "non-cash item" is one that you must wait for to clear before you get your cash. A check can be either a cash item or a non-cash item, depending upon how much the bank trusts you. A PMO is always a cash item. In our debate we are dealing only with cash items.

A negotiable instrument is one that can be legally transferred to another person. Checks are negotiable. A transfer is made my endorsing the item over to another person.

PMOs are negotiable just once. That is because of the one-endorsement rule for PMOs. The original owner can deposit the PMO or can transfer it to someone else by endorsing it. After that, no more transfers are allowed. But the new owner can deposit it, of course.

Now let's look at what happens when you deposit a check as compared to depositing a PMO. When you deposit a check, the bank credits your account immediately. (Remember, we are talking about cash items here.) You in return endorse the check over to your bank and the bank becomes the owner. The bank in turn does the same with the FRB, at which point the FRB is the owner.

Now consider a PMO. For this example, assume that somebody first endorses their PMO over to you. (You will see in a moment why I'm doing it this way.) You are now the new owner and the one-endorsement limit has been reached. The PMO is no longer negotiable... there can be no more transfers. You deposit the PMO at your bank. You cannot endorse the PMO over to the bank. The PMO remains yours. Therefore, the bank acts as a collecting agent for you. It collects money from an FRB, and the FRB in turn collects money from the Postal Service (through the Treasury).

That seems straight forward enough, doesn't it. In summary: In the case of checks, banks own them and collect for themselves; in the case of PMOs, banks collect as agents for the owners of the PMOs.

But there is one problem: When you hand the money order over to the bank, the bank give you the cash immediately. That being the case, how can we say that the bank is acting as an agent on your behalf by collecting the money? You already have the money! In reality what is happening is one of the following two scenarios:

1) The bank loans you the money when you deposit the PMO. Then it collects from the FRB to pay off the loan.

or

2) The bank isn't really acting as an agent for the PMO owner. It is acting as an agent for the Postal Service! So when the bank gives you cash for the PMO, they, as agents for the Postal Service, are paying you as though you submitted the PMO directly to the Postal Service.

You can see why Lance wants to go with #2, where banks are agents of the Postal Service. It's because that's the solution that doesn't have nasty little loans that need to be repaid. So why does he sometimes revert back to the other model, where the agent acts on behalf of the PMO owner? Apparently he does so because in a case study, U.S. v. Cambridge Trust Company, there is a paragraph that specifically addresses the issue I'm writing about now. And in it, it indicates that banks act as agents for PMO owners, not for the Postal Service.

That's the bad news. The good news is that none of this really matters. Because as a practical matter, banks treat PMOs in exactly the same way as they treat checks. As far as the banks and their account holders go, checks and PMOs are no different. (NOTE: There ARE some difference in the way FRBs treat them.)

But wait, there is one more bit of bad news. Remember above where I described you depositing a PMO that had been transferred over to you? I did that so I could demonstrate the effect of the one-endorsement rule. The one endorsement rule is what necessitates the need for banks acting as agents.

Now consider what happens if you are the original owner of the PMO and you deposit it. I'm not sure about this, but it seems that you should be able to endorse the PMO over to the bank, just like you would a check. You see, that doesn't violate the one-endorsement limit. In this case the bank would treat the PMO just like it would a check. The bank pays you the money and in return owns the PMO. However, this works only with the first bank. After that the PMO cannot be transferred, and any other subsequent holder of the PMO will act as an agent, either for the owner of the PO (the first bank of deposit) or the Postal Service.

But again, the good news: In practice none of these subtleties makes any difference. PMOs are simply treated the same way checks are. Period. (Note: The subtleties only come into play when interpreting laws.)

Since banks treat PMOs precisely the same way they treat checks, it makes sense to me that they should be bank "endorsed" the same way checks are as well. Legally, the "endorsement" stamp is not really an endorsement. As it states right on PMOs, bank stamps are not regarded as endorsements. They are just bank stamps. But as a practical matter they can be called endorsements. And they are... in Regulation J (in Regulation CC beginning in 1987).

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Sandy,

The regulation says that cash letters "may" be used by the sending bank. It doesn't say it "MUST" be done that way.

Why couldn't First National have a certain way of processing checks and a different procedure for processing Postal Money Orders?

Well of course First National could do that if Federal Reserve Banks allowed them to. But 1) there is nothing indicating that banks treated PMOs any different than checks, and 2) this is really a moot point anyway because there is no indication that banks were allowed by FRBs to stamp the cash letter and not individual items.

"MAY" doesn't equal "MUST".

Just as "SHOULD" does not mean "MUST".

1960-FRB-Regulations--Number-12.png

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Why are those bank stamps there, David?? When one stamp on the cash letter would have sufficed?

Probably because you're talking about CHECKS and not POSTAL MONEY ORDERS in this example, Sandy. That's why. Big difference. The First National Bank of Chicago very likely handled Postal Money Orders differently (in bulk) than they did checks.

Also note that checks say, "Pay To The Order Of" whereas Postal Money Orders say, "Pay To."

--Tommy :sun

Right, they say different things because they are different kinds of instruments.. But that doesn't lead to what David is saying.

BTW Tommy, I understand where Lance is coming from when he says that banks act as agents in the case of PMOs. It's because banks don't own a deposited PMO like they do a deposited check. Therefore, the bank must be acting as an agent for the owner of the PMO and is collecting for the owner. In contrast, for a deposited check the bank is collecting for itself. However, this is not as straightforward as it seems. And I can see that it causes Lance problems, because sometimes he says that banks are acting as agents for the owners of PMO, and other times he says that banks are acting as agents for the Postal Service.

Let me explain and you'll see what I mean.

First some basics. A "cash item" is an instrument that the bank will give you credit for right away when you cash or deposit it. A "non-cash item" is one that you must wait for to clear before you get your cash. A check can be either a cash item or a non-cash item, depending upon how much the bank trusts you. A PMO is always a cash item. In our debate we are dealing only with cash items.

A negotiable instrument is one that can be legally transferred to another person. Checks are negotiable. A transfer is made my endorsing the item over to another person.

PMOs are negotiable just once. That is because of the one-endorsement rule for PMOs. The original owner can deposit the PMO or can transfer it to someone else by endorsing it. After that, no more transfers are allowed. But the new owner can deposit it, of course.

Now let's look at what happens when you deposit a check as compared to depositing a PMO. When you deposit a check, the bank credits your account immediately. (Remember, we are talking about cash items here.) You in return endorse the check over to your bank and the bank becomes the owner. The bank in turn does the same with the FRB, at which point the FRB is the owner.

Now consider a PMO. For this example, assume that somebody first endorses their PMO over to you. (You will see in a moment why I'm doing it this way.) You are now the new owner and the one-endorsement limit has been reached. The PMO is no longer negotiable... there can be no more transfers. You deposit the PMO at your bank. You cannot endorse the PMO over to the bank. The PMO remains yours. Therefore, the bank acts as a collecting agent for you. It collects money from an FRB, and the FRB in turn collects money from the Postal Service (through the Treasury).

That seems straight forward enough, doesn't it. In summary: In the case of checks, banks own them and collect for themselves; in the case of PMOs, banks collect as agents for the owners of the PMOs.

But there is one problem: When you hand the money order over to the bank, the bank give you the cash immediately. That being the case, how can we say that the bank is acting as an agent on your behalf by collecting the money? You already have the money! In reality what is happening is one of the following two scenarios:

1) The bank loans you the money when you deposit the PMO. Then it collects from the FRB to pay off the loan.

or

2) The bank isn't really acting as an agent for the PMO owner. It is acting as an agent for the Postal Service! So when the bank gives you cash for the PMO, they, as agents for the Postal Service, are paying you as though you submitted the PMO directly to the Postal Service.

You can see why Lance wants to go with #2, where banks are agents of the Postal Service. It's because that's the solution that doesn't have nasty little loans that need to be repaid. So why does he sometimes revert back to the other model, where the agent acts on behalf of the PMO owner? Apparently he does so because in a case study, U.S. v. Cambridge Trust Company, there is a paragraph that specifically addresses the issue I'm writing about now. And in it, it indicates that banks act as agents for PMO owners, not for the Postal Service.

That's the bad news. The good news is that none of this really matters. Because as a practical matter, banks treat PMOs in exactly the same way as they treat checks. As far as the banks and their account holders go, checks and PMOs are no different. (NOTE: There ARE some difference in the way FRBs treat them.)

But wait, there is one more bit of bad news. Remember above where I described you depositing a PMO that had been transferred over to you? I did that so I could demonstrate the effect of the one-endorsement rule. The one endorsement rule is what necessitates the need for banks acting as agents.

Now consider what happens if you are the original owner of the PMO and you deposit it. I'm not sure about this, but it seems that you should be able to endorse the PMO over to the bank, just like you would a check. You see, that doesn't violate the one-endorsement limit. In this case the bank would treat the PMO just like it would a check. The bank pays you the money and in return owns the PMO. However, this works only with the first bank. After that the PMO cannot be transferred, and any other subsequent holder of the PMO will act as an agent, either for the owner of the PO (the first bank of deposit) or the Postal Service.

But again, the good news: In practice none of these subtleties makes any difference. PMOs are simply treated the same way checks are. Period. (Note: The subtleties only come into play when interpreting laws.)

Since banks treat PMOs precisely the same way they treat checks, it makes sense to me that they should be bank "endorsed" the same way checks are as well. Legally, the "endorsement" stamp is not really an endorsement. As it states right on PMOs, bank stamps are not regarded as endorsements. They are just bank stamps. But as a practical matter they can be called endorsements. And they are... in Regulation J (in Regulation CC beginning in 1987).

Sandy,

OK. Thanks. I'll think about it some more after I get some sleep. Hopefully, Lance will have responded to it by then.

--Tommy :sun

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Why are those bank stamps there, David?? When one stamp on the cash letter would have sufficed?

Probably because you're talking about CHECKS and not POSTAL MONEY ORDERS in this example, Sandy. That's why. Big difference. The First National Bank of Chicago very likely handled Postal Money Orders differently (in bulk) than they did checks.

Also note that checks say, "Pay To The Order Of" whereas Postal Money Orders say, "Pay To."

--Tommy :sun

Right, they say different things because they are different kinds of instruments.. But that doesn't lead to what David is saying.

BTW Tommy, I understand where Lance is coming from when he says that banks act as agents in the case of PMOs. It's because banks don't own a deposited PMO like they do a deposited check. Therefore, the bank must be acting as an agent for the owner of the PMO and is collecting for the owner. In contrast, for a deposited check the bank is collecting for itself. However, this is not as straightforward as it seems. And I can see that it causes Lance problems, because sometimes he says that banks are acting as agents for the owners of PMO, and other times he says that banks are acting as agents for the Postal Service.

Let me explain and you'll see what I mean.

First some basics. A "cash item" is an instrument that the bank will give you credit for right away when you cash or deposit it. A "non-cash item" is one that you must wait for to clear before you get your cash. A check can be either a cash item or a non-cash item, depending upon how much the bank trusts you. A PMO is always a cash item. In our debate we are dealing only with cash items.

A negotiable instrument is one that can be legally transferred to another person. Checks are negotiable. A transfer is made my endorsing the item over to another person.

PMOs are negotiable just once. That is because of the one-endorsement rule for PMOs. The original owner can deposit the PMO or can transfer it to someone else by endorsing it. After that, no more transfers are allowed. But the new owner can deposit it, of course.

Now let's look at what happens when you deposit a check as compared to depositing a PMO. When you deposit a check, the bank credits your account immediately. (Remember, we are talking about cash items here.) You in return endorse the check over to your bank and the bank becomes the owner. The bank in turn does the same with the FRB, at which point the FRB is the owner.

Now consider a PMO. For this example, assume that somebody first endorses their PMO over to you. (You will see in a moment why I'm doing it this way.) You are now the new owner and the one-endorsement limit has been reached. The PMO is no longer negotiable... there can be no more transfers. You deposit the PMO at your bank. You cannot endorse the PMO over to the bank. The PMO remains yours. Therefore, the bank acts as a collecting agent for you. It collects money from an FRB, and the FRB in turn collects money from the Postal Service (through the Treasury).

That seems straight forward enough, doesn't it. In summary: In the case of checks, banks own them and collect for themselves; in the case of PMOs, banks collect as agents for the owners of the PMOs.

But there is one problem: When you hand the money order over to the bank, the bank give you the cash immediately. That being the case, how can we say that the bank is acting as an agent on your behalf by collecting the money? You already have the money! In reality what is happening is one of the following two scenarios:

1) The bank loans you the money when you deposit the PMO. Then it collects from the FRB to pay off the loan.

or

2) The bank isn't really acting as an agent for the PMO owner. It is acting as an agent for the Postal Service! So when the bank gives you cash for the PMO, they, as agents for the Postal Service, are paying you as though you submitted the PMO directly to the Postal Service.

You can see why Lance wants to go with #2, where banks are agents of the Postal Service. It's because that's the solution that doesn't have nasty little loans that need to be repaid. So why does he sometimes revert back to the other model, where the agent acts on behalf of the PMO owner? Apparently he does so because in a case study, U.S. v. Cambridge Trust Company, there is a paragraph that specifically addresses the issue I'm writing about now. And in it, it indicates that banks act as agents for PMO owners, not for the Postal Service.

That's the bad news. The good news is that none of this really matters. Because as a practical matter, banks treat PMOs in exactly the same way as they treat checks. As far as the banks and their account holders go, checks and PMOs are no different. (NOTE: There ARE some difference in the way FRBs treat them.)

But wait, there is one more bit of bad news. Remember above where I described you depositing a PMO that had been transferred over to you? I did that so I could demonstrate the effect of the one-endorsement rule. The one endorsement rule is what necessitates the need for banks acting as agents.

Now consider what happens if you are the original owner of the PMO and you deposit it. I'm not sure about this, but it seems that you should be able to endorse the PMO over to the bank, just like you would a check. You see, that doesn't violate the one-endorsement limit. In this case the bank would treat the PMO just like it would a check. The bank pays you the money and in return owns the PMO. However, this works only with the first bank. After that the PMO cannot be transferred, and any other subsequent holder of the PMO will act as an agent, either for the owner of the PO (the first bank of deposit) or the Postal Service.

But again, the good news: In practice none of these subtleties makes any difference. PMOs are simply treated the same way checks are. Period. (Note: The subtleties only come into play when interpreting laws.)

Since banks treat PMOs precisely the same way they treat checks, it makes sense to me that they should be bank "endorsed" the same way checks are as well. Legally, the "endorsement" stamp is not really an endorsement. As it states right on PMOs, bank stamps are not regarded as endorsements. They are just bank stamps. But as a practical matter they can be called endorsements. And they are... in Regulation J (in Regulation CC beginning in 1987).

Sandy,

OK. Thanks. I'll think about it some more after I get some sleep. Hopefully, Lance will have responded to it by then.

--Tommy :sun

Bumped for Lance. Lance? .....

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Sandy is correct, as usual.

The point of this thread is that PMOs in 1963 were governed by law.

There is a 1960s law review article on PMOs: "Legal Aspects of Postal Money Orders", by John D. O'Malley, 52 Cornell L. Review 357 1966-67.

A suggestion to DVP and Lance: Comment further here after digesting this article.

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Someone on this forum in some thread has written that the Hidell PMO was recovered from an FRB facility.

If in fact the PMO was recovered from an FRB facility, it was never paid by the Post Office, meaning it's a fraud.

Why? In 1963, the Fed charged the Treasury for the amount it credited against a PMO. Ultimately, the Post Office paid the Treasury the amount of the PMO and then received the PMO. This was the procedure called for by law.

The fact the Post Office never took final possession of the Hidell PMO means the Post Office never paid Treasury. Meaning the U.S. taxpayers picked up the cost of the Mannlicher-Carcanno. You think?

FOOTNOTE: If the Post Office rejected a PMO because it was stolen or forged, the Post Office had to go after the bank that took the PMO as a deposit. Here, that was First National Bank of Chicago (First). But because First hadn't stamped the Hidell PMO, the Post Office had no recourse against it. Again, that's law.

Maybe the taxpayers did pay for the Mannlicher-Carcano. Just a joke.

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Someone on this forum in some thread has written that the Hidell PMO was recovered from an FRB facility.

If in fact the PMO was recovered from an FRB facility, it was never paid by the Post Office, meaning it's a fraud.

Why? In 1963, the Fed charged the Treasury for the amount it credited against a PMO. Ultimately, the Post Office paid the Treasury the amount of the PMO and then received the PMO. This was the procedure called for by law.

The fact the Post Office never took final possession of the Hidell PMO means the Post Office never paid Treasury. Meaning the U.S. taxpayers picked up the cost of the Mannlicher-Carcanno. You think?

FOOTNOTE: If the Post Office rejected a PMO because it was stolen or forged, the Post Office had to go after the bank that took the PMO as a deposit. Here, that was First National Bank of Chicago (First). But because First hadn't stamped the Hidell PMO, the Post Office had no recourse against it. Again, that's law.

Maybe the taxpayers did pay for the Mannlicher-Carcano. Just a joke.

Jon,

According to this page, the money order was found at a postal facility in Arlington, Virginia.

(BTW that article states that the PMO was supposed to have been found at a postal facility in Kansas City. But I believe that the location where PMOs were stored was changed to some place near Washington DC in 1963. John Armstrong has it in his new writeup, but that hasn't been posted yet.)

Edited by Sandy Larsen

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As I've posted previously about a dozen times, CD75 (aka CD7) explains that the PMO was recovered in Washington/(Alexandria), which is where 75% of the PMOs were being sent at the time by the Chicago FRB. Only 25% were sent to Kansas City....

http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10477#relPageId=673

Edited by David Von Pein

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Also note that checks say, "Pay To The Order Of" whereas Postal Money Orders say, "Pay To."

--Tommy :sun

Right, they say different things because they are different kinds of instruments.. But that doesn't lead to what David is saying.

BTW Tommy, I understand where Lance is coming from when he says that banks act as agents in the case of PMOs. It's because banks don't own a deposited PMO like they do a deposited check. Therefore, the bank must be acting as an agent for the owner of the PMO and is collecting for the owner. In contrast, for a deposited check the bank is collecting for itself. However, this is not as straightforward as it seems. And I can see that it causes Lance problems, because sometimes he says that banks are acting as agents for the owners of PMO, and other times he says that banks are acting as agents for the Postal Service.

Let me explain and you'll see what I mean.

First some basics. A "cash item" is an instrument that the bank will give you credit for right away when you cash or deposit it. A "non-cash item" is one that you must wait for to clear before you get your cash. A check can be either a cash item or a non-cash item, depending upon how much the bank trusts you. A PMO is always a cash item. In our debate we are dealing only with cash items.

A negotiable instrument is one that can be legally transferred to another person. Checks are negotiable. A transfer is made my endorsing the item over to another person.

PMOs are negotiable just once. That is because of the one-endorsement rule for PMOs. The original owner can deposit the PMO or can transfer it to someone else by endorsing it. After that, no more transfers are allowed. But the new owner can deposit it, of course.

Now let's look at what happens when you deposit a check as compared to depositing a PMO. When you deposit a check, the bank credits your account immediately. (Remember, we are talking about cash items here.) You in return endorse the check over to your bank and the bank becomes the owner. The bank in turn does the same with the FRB, at which point the FRB is the owner.

Now consider a PMO. For this example, assume that somebody first endorses their PMO over to you. (You will see in a moment why I'm doing it this way.) You are now the new owner and the one-endorsement limit has been reached. The PMO is no longer negotiable... there can be no more transfers. You deposit the PMO at your bank. You cannot endorse the PMO over to the bank. The PMO remains yours. Therefore, the bank acts as a collecting agent for you. It collects money from an FRB, and the FRB in turn collects money from the Postal Service (through the Treasury).

That seems straight forward enough, doesn't it. In summary: In the case of checks, banks own them and collect for themselves; in the case of PMOs, banks collect as agents for the owners of the PMOs.

But there is one problem: When you hand the money order over to the bank, the bank give you the cash immediately. That being the case, how can we say that the bank is acting as an agent on your behalf by collecting the money? You already have the money! In reality what is happening is one of the following two scenarios:

1) The bank loans you the money when you deposit the PMO. Then it collects from the FRB to pay off the loan.

or

2) The bank isn't really acting as an agent for the PMO owner. It is acting as an agent for the Postal Service! So when the bank gives you cash for the PMO, they, as agents for the Postal Service, are paying you as though you submitted the PMO directly to the Postal Service.

You can see why Lance wants to go with #2, where banks are agents of the Postal Service. It's because that's the solution that doesn't have nasty little loans that need to be repaid. So why does he sometimes revert back to the other model, where the agent acts on behalf of the PMO owner? Apparently he does so because in a case study, U.S. v. Cambridge Trust Company, there is a paragraph that specifically addresses the issue I'm writing about now. And in it, it indicates that banks act as agents for PMO owners, not for the Postal Service.

That's the bad news. The good news is that none of this really matters. Because as a practical matter, banks treat PMOs in exactly the same way as they treat checks. As far as the banks and their account holders go, checks and PMOs are no different. (NOTE: There ARE some difference in the way FRBs treat them.)

But wait, there is one more bit of bad news. Remember above where I described you depositing a PMO that had been transferred over to you? I did that so I could demonstrate the effect of the one-endorsement rule. The one endorsement rule is what necessitates the need for banks acting as agents.

Now consider what happens if you are the original owner of the PMO and you deposit it. I'm not sure about this, but it seems that you should be able to endorse the PMO over to the bank, just like you would a check. You see, that doesn't violate the one-endorsement limit. In this case the bank would treat the PMO just like it would a check. The bank pays you the money and in return owns the PMO. However, this works only with the first bank. After that the PMO cannot be transferred, and any other subsequent holder of the PMO will act as an agent, either for the owner of the PO (the first bank of deposit) or the Postal Service.

But again, the good news: In practice none of these subtleties makes any difference. PMOs are simply treated the same way checks are. Period. (Note: The subtleties only come into play when interpreting laws.)

Since banks treat PMOs precisely the same way they treat checks, it makes sense to me that they should be bank "endorsed" the same way checks are as well. Legally, the "endorsement" stamp is not really an endorsement. As it states right on PMOs, bank stamps are not regarded as endorsements. They are just bank stamps. But as a practical matter they can be called endorsements. And they are... in Regulation J (in Regulation CC beginning in 1987).

Sandy,

OK. Thanks. I'll think about it some more after I get some sleep. Hopefully, Lance will have responded to it by then.

--Tommy :sun

Bumped for Lance. Lance? .....

Bumped for Lance. Lance? ....

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I say, let's see these records:

-- the record showing the Post Office paid Treasury for the PMO

-- the record showing the Fed charged the Treasury for the PMO

-- the record showing the FRB of Chicago credited First National Bank of Chicago for the PMO

Challenge to DVP: Provide just one of these records, just one, and I'll back whatever you write here. Why? Because for me the Hidell PMO is a smoking gun, perhaps the only provable smoking gun. Federal financial records are a far different kettle of fish from eyewitness accounts, autopsy materials, dictabelt recordings, biographies, and other matters subject to opinion and interpretation. Federal financial records are granite. Immutable. Pristine.

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To all here:

I've made a good offer to DVP. He hasn't accepted it. Not because he is at fault. But because he cannot accept my offer.

There is no provable payment chain to the Hidell PMO.

This means the Hidell PMO never moved through the banking system to the Post Office.

Think about it: A. Hidell allegedly sent a PMO to Klein's as payment for an M-C rifle. Fine. Klein's endorsed the PMO for deposit into its account at First National Bank of Chicago. Fine. End of story, except for an FRB routing number which means nothing, that's nothing, in 1963. Nothing when not accompanied by First's stamp. Nothing. There is no proof, none whatsoever, First got credited for its payment to Kleins.

Sleep well, CT'ers. DVP will never produce facts showing I'm wrong.

Sleep well, CTers. The Hidell PMO is a provable fraud. Which proves the Oswald-did-it-alone thesis of the Warren Report is provably false. Not arguably false. Provably false.

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Jon,

Are you actually suggesting that you have provided PROOF that the Hidell money order is a "fraud"?

Really?

You must be joking.

Please tell me, Jon, how the presence of a stamp placed on the Hidell PMO by the First National Bank of Chicago would prove that First National "got credited for its payment to Klein's"?

Even if such a bank stamp had been on the Hidell money order, it certainly wouldn't be proof that First National got credited for the $21.45 face value of the PMO. Such a stamp would have been put on the PMO by First National itself, not by the Federal Reserve Bank.

Seems to me that the File Locator Number, placed on the money order by the Federal Reserve Bank AFTER the PMO had been handled by both Klein's and First National Bank, is a very strong indication that First National was, indeed, credited for the money order.

I also find it very humorous that Jon G. Tidd seems to think that the lack of a bank stamp on the back of the money order somehow completely dismantles this huge pile of accumulated evidence that all points toward Lee Harvey Oswald as the sole assassin of President Kennedy.

That's one hell of a powerful Postal Money Order, huh?

Edited by David Von Pein

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DVP,

The fact First didn't stamp the PMO is not proof First didn't receive a credit from the Fed. Any more than a bank stamp by First would be proof that First did receive a credit from the Fed.

The absence of First's stamp means it's highly unlikely received credit from the Fed. So unlikely I'd bet half my retirement savings there's no paper record showing the Fed credited First. Why just half? The IRS is going to get the other half.

On a more serious note, it's become clear to me that if LHO didn't kill JFK with some remarkably lucky shots from a corroded, beat-up rifle, JFK was killed as the result of [a] powerful individuals agreeing he had to be killed, and a sophisticated and ruthless intelligence agency arranging for him to be killed and for LHO to be fingered for the crime.

I'd gladly subscribe to the proposition that LHO killed JFK, as I did on the afternoon of 11-22-63.

What's undermined my belief that LHO did it, all by himself, is Oswald's murder (which in hindsight was so predictable); the failings of the Warren Commission, as pointed out in the 1960s by Lane, Meagher, and Weisberg; the revelations of the Church Committee; the revelations of the ARRB; and the works of certain researchers. I appreciate, especially, the work of Mantik and Lifton, not to downplay the work of many others.

My mind is not made up, as is yours. I'll bend to the facts, including any facts you present.

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Jon,

You and I have had our differences in other areas of JFK research, particularly our respective views on Vietnam.

However, I commend both you and Sandy for advancing impeccably cogent arguments built on solid evidence regarding the PMO issue.

Again, the application of Occam's Razor to the equation is instructive. The simplest explanation that is adequate to the evidence is preferable to that which is unnecessarily complex.

In my experience with LN's I have found that they will cling to unreasonably complex solutions in order to avoid conceding even the mere possibility, let alone reality, of conspiracy irrespective of facts to the contrary.

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