Magazine article American Banker

First Lunar Branch of Lamar Savings Will Launch Banking into Outer Space; ATMs Will Likely Be Just a Short Moon-Walk from the Sea of Tranquility

Magazine article American Banker

First Lunar Branch of Lamar Savings Will Launch Banking into Outer Space; ATMs Will Likely Be Just a Short Moon-Walk from the Sea of Tranquility

Article excerpt

A Texas savings and loan association has set its sights on the moon.

Anticipating the colonization of the moon, Lamar Savings Association of Austin, Tex., has filed an application to locate a full-service lunar branch near the Sea of Tranquility.

The application, filed on Oct. 26 with the Texas Savings and Loan Department, requests an extension of 10 to 15 years to allow time to work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, and other firms to plan and design the branch. The extension would also be used to assess the financial needs of the businesses and people who will make up the space community.

Is the request by the $1.4 billion thrift a serious one or jsut a publicity stunt?

"I know it's a serious request," said Texas Savings and Loan Commissioner L.L. Bowman 3d. "They've spent a lot of money on this."

But the unprecedented application has left the thrift regulatory agency in a quandry.

"We're in the process of drafting a request to state Attorney General Jim Mattox to determine if we have any jurisdiction over this matter," the commissioner said Monday. Mr. Bowman said he originally believed that the application would unquestionably fall within federal jurisdiction, but after reading statements by the Reagan administration and NASA he's not so certain.

"President Reagan has indicated that he wants the moon developed by private industry," he said.

Lamar Savings believes that under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution the state has jurisdiction over the issue because of the absence of federal law. The thrift claims that while the so-called "Space Treaty" governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space has been ratified by the United States, Congress has yet to pass any legislation to implement the treaty.

"The commercial development of space is at hand," said Stanley Adams, board chairman of Lamar Savings. …

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