Gouging banks: a good focus for Occupy Wall Street | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gouging banks: a good focus for Occupy Wall Street

Posted By on Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 7:12 AM

NEW FEE: Bank America debit card fee raises ruckus.
  • NEW FEE: Bank America debit card fee raises ruckus.
Joe Nocera reviews (link corrected) Bank America's gouging decision to impose a $5 monthly debit card fee. Blame it on deregulation. Blame it on greed. But don't expect fee-gouging to go away.

And they wonder why people are mad at Wall Street. The Republican messaging machine — oiled with Koch money — could harness that ragtag, but spreading Occupy Wall Street demonstration into something potent. Tax millionaires. Harness the banks. Provide health care like the rest of the developed world. (Not that the Repubs would ever countenance such messages; they just know how to do it.)

Writes Nocera:

President Obama got it right the first time: Banks don’t have an inherent right to oversized profits. No industry does. Banks play a special role in society, and they get special protections from the government. In return, government has the right to impose special responsibilities.

Every person needs a bank, no matter how rich or poor. The government will never force Bank of America — or any other bank — to reduce or eliminate its fees; it doesn’t have the nerve. But, at the least, it could insist that banks display their fees in a uniform way so that customers can compare how they’re being gouged and make banking decisions on that basis. That kind of reform could stir competition and bring down fees.

This, of course, is precisely what the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is supposed to do — and would do if the Senate Republicans would ever allow a director to be approved.

Speaking of debit card fees: I heard a new theory for a partial explanation of the financial shortage of the Arkansas state fund — financed by court costs — that pays for some state court salaries. Some locales have noticed a drop in fees from hot check courts. Are there fewer hot checks because of the growing ubiquity of the use of debit cards?

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (21)

Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • The prayers of Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert is keeping a close eye on the Alabama Senate race.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation