That “anti-woke” bank called itself GloriFi, a portmanteau of “glory” and “financial malpractice” that premised itself on being, well, not woke. No, that was the whole gimmick. It was going to be a bank for MAGA-type Republicans who didn’t want to put their money in a bank unless it catered to gun-toting, white nationalism-adjacent flag-humping cultural anti-wokeness. Among its appeals to the (ahem) Trumpy class were, as Rolling Stone puts it, “plans to offer gun owners discounts on home insurance, credit cards made of shell casing material, and assistance paying legal bills if customers shot someone in self-defense.”

You can glean from this description what all the people involved with this new bank believed “anti-woke” to mean. “Woke” means not getting to shoot at people you don’t like, and “anti-woke” means getting a discount on financial products if you do shoot people you don’t like. There’s no singing “America the Beautiful” for this crowd—it was guns, guns, murder, and guns.

It turns out that was not, by itself, a sufficient business plan. The Journal had previously noted that the plan to make credit cards out of shell casing metal turned into a big oops because the people promising such a thing hadn’t realized that making a credit card out of metal might “interfere with security chips and potentially be too thick for payment terminals,” which is one of those science-type oversights that you’re going to get when your biggest-brained ideas revolve around “what would sound like a good idea to the sort of people who think Donald Trump was history’s smartest president.”

Mind you, there were probably a lot of people out there who wanted a credit card-shaped object made out of shell casing metal and didn’t give a damn if it wasn’t actually functional as a credit card. Many of them are also the sort who like to take assault rifles into Chipotle so that they can look more intimidating when the barely minimum-wage cashier explains to them that their credit card-shaped paperweight doesn’t actually do anything. But there aren’t enough of those sorts of people to base an entire financial institution around, because those sort of people have already spent all their money on guns. Their portfolio consists of ammunition, not mutual funds.

There’s a much less prosaic reason for the failure of the Thiel-Ayers-MAGA startup, however. In a well-written bit of journalism by The Wall Street Journal last October, the Journal revealed that the startup was already looking quite, uh, doomed. The startup was run out of co-founder Toby Neugebauer’s 16,000 square foot mansion in Dallas, Texas, and the Journal‘s sources portrayed Neugebauer as a frequently drunk, often “volatile” executive who would berate employees and vendors and was rapidly losing the confidence of investors.

If “anti-woke” means putting your money into a “bank” run out of a belligerent rich drunk’s house, it turns out that most people would rather be “woke” after all. Go figure! We won’t lie, it’s a bit of a shock to all of us who thought “hand over all your money to a rich drunk guy” was the very heart of conservatism.

That’s that, then. We’ve got ourselves the financial equivalent of a dead parrot. It wasn’t even two full months ago that fascist figurehead Owens was touting this weird gun-obsessed startup as something that “will overtake Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase & #Paypal very quickly.” Now it’s cooked like a Thanksgiving turkey.

Not that, you know, any of the people who were conned into giving the “bank” money will take any lessons from this, mind you. The customers this “anti-woke” bank was courting were the sort of people who wouldn’t mind giving their money to a weird half-bank founded in a belligerent drunk guy’s living room if it meant potentially getting discounts on legal fees for shooting somebody. These aren’t the sort of people who learn “lessons.”


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