The SWIFT international banking system should not be confused with the Tammy Swift banking system – InForum

FARGO – Sacred cow.

I’ve been going viral lately.

I haven’t heard my last name this many times since Taylor Swift rolled her Suzuki Swift into the back of a Swift Trucking semi.

My family should have trademarked the Swift name before it became monopolized by the sausage sellers, the trucking company, or the insanely famous pop star.

Incidentally, we’re supposed to be one-time distant eighth cousins ​​of Taylor, which makes the term “distant cousins” even seem like a stretch. We also have a link to swifts making sausages. (Heh-heh – see what I did there?) Many years ago, my father’s sisters had spent a lot of time tracing the Swift family tree hundreds of years ago.

According to family lore, my gregarious (and seemingly fearless) Aunt May decided to pay a visit to the newest branch of Swift’s meatpacking fortune, perhaps thinking they’d be delighted to meet their small-town parents too. of the Midwest. like Aunt May was to learn that we were related to mega-millionaires.

The story goes that the door to their mansion was opened by a patrician-looking woman (who I like to imagine was wearing a monocle and clutching her pearls while looking like Miss Jane when she learned that the Clampetts had emptied the swimming pool and turned her into a possum rescue.)


Undeterred, Aunt May told her about her genealogical discovery, concluding with a statement that she believed we were distant cousins.

To which the WASP-y Swift replied, in a tone that could instantly freeze hot lava: “That’s highly unlikely,” and slammed the door.

But I digress.

The most famous Swift of late has never turned bacon into millions and never dated Jake Gyllenhaal.

Instead, it’s just an acronym.

Until last week, many of us knew little about the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), a universally accepted messaging system for money transfers, which is used in more than 200 countries around the world. worldwide.

In fact, the last time there was this much interest in a Swift banking system was in 1985, when mom and dad Swift wondered how I could spend a whole quarter of a student loan for shaker sweaters, trips to Target and Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers.


As many of you know by now, the idea behind a SWIFT ban from Russia is that the country’s banks would not be able to accept funds or make payments outside of Vladland, thereby exerting a pressure on their leader to withdraw from Ukraine.

This looks considerably different from the Swift Ban of my college years, after which I speculated that filling out a check in green ink would take longer for the bank to process, thereby ensuring that my paycheck would arrive to the bank before the aforementioned check.

Who knew that wasn’t reliable advice? Turns out, one really should be getting banking information from professionals rather than drunken girls standing next to you in line for the restroom at a Corey Hart concert.

Shortly after the green ink experience, my parents suddenly antagonized NATO, informing me that unless I straightened up, they would forbid me to use a checkbook, leaving to pay for all essential college supplies—including late-night meals at Ember and that Garfield with suction cups—with loose change found between the seats of my Chevy Citation.


In the end, parental sanctions worked. The good news is that they forced me to get a second job and stop thinking of checkbooks as magical “fake” money, which could be used to rent unicorns and sublet rainbows in an imaginary world of bottomless checking accounts.

The bad news is that around the same time I discovered credit cards.

I bet my monocle cousins ​​never had such problems.

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