Dallas' MoneyGram Expands International Money Transfers, While Most Banks Are Slashing Services

Categories: International

Western Union made it's name as the fastest international transfer service available, but Dallas-based competitor MoneyGram may soon surpass them in customer retention.

It's an oft-repeated pattern in families of diverse nationalities and cultures: A family member goes to the United States to work and person sends money back to relatives in their home country. Repeat until further notice.

This is a way of life that could soon come to a screeching halt, or at least dramatically slowed down. A recent New York Times article detailed how several big-time banks are cutting down on international money transfers, particularly to Latin American and African countries. Transfer costs are skyrocketing, and some are considering slashing services altogether.

It's a move that is intended to curtail American dollars being sent to drug traffickers and terrorists. Yet the biggest effect could be on Latin American migrant workers, who often use international transfer services to wire money to relatives.

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Rick Perry and Texas Politicians Pressuring Mexico to Pay its Water Debt

Via Wikimedia
Rio Grande near Albuquerque
Mexico owes Texas water. And as the current drought presses onward, Texas politicians are trying to turn up the heat to get Mexico to pay.

Last Friday, the Texas House voted unanimously on a resolution that the federal government should pressure Mexico deliver water to the United States. The same week, Governor Rick Perry sent a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him and Secretary of State John Kerry to do the same thing:

"Without immediate and direct action from the White House and the U.S, Department of State, Texans along the Rio Grande will continue to suffer from a lack of available water," Perry wrote, "due to Mexico's failure to adhere to the terms of the 1944 Water Treaty between our two countries."

Under the 1944 treaty, in exchange for water from the Colorado River, Mexico is obligated to deliver water to the United States from six tributaries that feed into the Rio Grande every five years -- 1.75 million acre-feet of water to be exact. An acre-foot is the amount of water it takes for an acre of land to flood with a foot of water, over 325,000 gallons.

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Until Yesterday, the Web Site for Syria's State News Agency Was Hosted in Dallas

syrian arab news agency large.jpg
SANA's logo
This morning, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the conflict in Syria had reached "new and appalling heights of brutality and violence," as the clashes between government troops and opposition forces drag on. An estimated 40,000 people have died in the conflict, which began in March 2011. The Assad regime continues to periodically block Internet access in the country, something the U.S. State Department has condemned.

But Syrian government websites have still been available, because many of them have been hosted by U.S. companies. In fact, until yesterday, SANA, the official Syrian state news agency, was hosted by SoftLayer, a Dallas-based company, the New York Times reported.

As you might imagine, that's not really O.K. with the State Department.

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