Tag Archives: Banks

I’m With The Government, I’m Here To Help You

I wish life were a Jon Stewart show.

I love watching me some Stewart.  Now, I don’t watch it daily, in fact, I don’t watch it weekly, but I record it and watch 4-5-6 episodes a night every so often.  And I’m always glad I did.  He’s hilarious.  His comedic rhythm is very nearly unmatched, his voices are crazy funny and the physical communication he brings to his verbal communication is nothing short of perfect,

The man is mad skilled.

And he’s able to see the funny in the everyday.

Yes indeed, I wish that everyday was a Jon Stewart show.

Today, I have good news for you.  Today is a Jon Stewart show kinda day.  The day when you blissfully walk through life and the normal inane aspects of the day strike you as hilarious.  Simply hilarious.

So, we all know that the bankers on Wall Street caused the crash in 07 ’cause they’re greedy.  Right?  And after the crash of 07, the government bailed out those bankers in order that our financial system didn’t completely crash.  And, after getting bailed out by said government, those banks went on to report record profits and lavish themselves with more high salaries and bigger bonuses.

With me still?

So, then, in response to the unfairness of the whole thing, the government, led by the Intrepid Due of Frank and Dodd, crafted and then passed legislation into law that would protect the consumer from the predatory actions of those mean banks that crashed the system and then stole the government’s bailout money.

One of the things that said legislation did was to restrict the amount of money that banks could charge merchants for using a debit card at the point of transaction.  See, banks have record profits already and by the use of those fees, they were strangling economic growth at the checkout counter all over America.

Poof.  Just like that, the fees used to pay for the use of a debit card were sliced in half.

Thank gawd for that, right?


It turns out that managing debit card transactions isn’t free.  Further, that cost isn’t negligible.  And now that the banks are unable to charge the merchant, the banks went after another target to gather their money; the consumer!  Ahh yes, the very consumer that Dodd and Frank were trying to protect.  The irony is as delicious as it was unpredictable.  Certainly NO ONE would have seen this coming.

Dear Government, thank you for trying to save me from myself by passing ignorant laws that only make matters worse.  However, the consequences of your well intentioned law is that I am actually worse off now than I was before.  Can you please help me?



And just like a great Jon Stewart show, the hits just keep coming:

WASHINGTON — North Carolina Democrat Congressman Brad Miller has introduced legislation he said will make it easier for customers to change banks if they aren’t happy with new fees.

The bill will modernize and streamline the opening and closing of personal checking and savings accounts, Miller said Tuesday.

“As megabanks flirt with menus of new fees, an increasing number of Americans will want to switch banks,” Miller said. “That is the way things work in a competitive, free market as unrepentant banks are still trying to rake in vulgar profits from their customers.”

With such flowing and beautiful language, I’m sure, just SURE, that this bill is gonna be a good one!

Miller’s legislation would allow customers to close an account without being charged a fee, even if the account has a negative balance. Customers would also be allowed to close accounts without actually showing up in person.

It would also prohibit banks from levying fees to a customer’s account after the account has been requested to be closed.

The great thing about great comedy is that future riffs are set up by hilarious content early in the show.  A great comic is able to set himself up for future use.  Most often this is done within the context of the single show and will have to be re-created for the next one.  But the truly great are able to so skillfully build content that it can span episodes.

This is one of those times.

I predict nothing but really great news for consumers should Brad Miller’s bill make it to law.

Okay okay okay.  In all seriousness.  I have already demonstrated that Liberals don’t understand things like economics.  So the fact that Miller is proposing this legislation isn’t so much surprising as it is an argument for better public education.

Bank Regulations: Incentives

I am fascinated by the study of the use of scare resources which have alternative uses.  Further, I’m frustrated by the fact that I shrugged off Economics while I was going to college.  Instead, I focused on engineering and math, physics and chemistry.  In retrospect, how boring and useless ;-).

But the idea that all things have alternate uses is fascinating.  And critical.  Combine this with the fact that all people will pursue their individual self-interests and you will find the decisions people make to be interesting as well.

And it’s within this light that I judge and critique government policy.

Continue reading

Banks Report Loss: Barack Obama at 11:00

Barack Obama has refined the art of turned profit making into an evil horrible endeavor.

If you are a bank that makes money, you are the evil rich taking advantage of middle class America, who is suffering through the worst recession since the flood.

Oil company?  Corporate greed destroying the planet all the while taking billions in tax payer money to fund their record breaking profits*.

It never ends.  Well, actually, it does.  It ends when Obama actually LIKE a company and would enjoy that company to reap profits.  Like windmill farms, battery corporations and other green firms that go bankrupt in months after Obama comes calling.

After the recession ended and the banks began to report their earnings, Obama was on the news reporting their profits.  “Record breaking and excessive.”

I expect that he’ll be on the same bully pulpit expressing concern for our brothers on Wall Street:

Bank of America reported a second-quarter net loss of $8.8 billion, or 90 cents a share, against a profit of $3.1 billion, or 27 cents a year ago. Economists had forecast a loss of 85 cents a share.

$8.8 billion.  That’s “illion” with a “B”!

I don’t expect Obama to announce this or perhaps even notice this.  But I find it interesting and even irritating that he continues class warfare even as that class he hates drives, or tries to drive, our economy.

Free Checking Accounts: This For That

There was a time, not so long ago, that people were free to choose.  They could do a thing, and, based on that thing, expect a specific outcome.

This was as true in banking as it is in everything in life.  There is no free lunch.

However, then came along lawmakers.  Those people who think they can institute “fairness” and legislate morality.

These people felt they could pass laws that would limit banks and limit ill begotten profits all in the name of “the common man”.

Now we see the fruits of their labor.

Continue reading

Payday Loans. Rip Off or Last Resort?

Heave you ever heard of Clark HowardMr. Howard is a nationally syndicated radio show host talking about consumer finances and protection.  His show is full of advice on how to save money, invest money get out of debt and find great deals.  I love it.

But once in awhile, he gets on a topic and stays there.  Time after time he comes back and just continues to hammer it.

And one of my pet peeves is his take on Payday Loans.

Continue reading