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In Fight Over Debit Card Fees, a Loss for the Banks

What’s arguably been the biggest lobbying brawl so far this year came to a head today in the Senate when lawmakers voted against delaying a controversial element of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. The vote clears the way for the Federal Reserve to set rules that would limit banks’ revenue from debit card fees and cut costs for retailers—potentially lowering prices for consumers in the checkout line.

For months, the nation’s biggest banks and retailers have been fighting fiercely over the Federal Reserve’s proposal to cap debit card fees—specifically, the fees that retailers have to pay to banks each time a transaction is made using a debit card. (Here’s our guide on the issue.) Today’s vote—a win for the merchants—defeated a major effort by the banks to delay the cap, which is now scheduled to take effect mid-July.  

Banks had pushed hard to roll back the cap and thus avoid a big loss in revenue. They advertised in D.C. subways, started a website aimed at debit card users, and even launched a rather confusing Twitter campaign, as we’ve reported. They scored a small victory when Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, introduced legislation to delay the rules, and they showered him with thousands of dollars in campaign donations. Huffington Post reports that from January to April, the banks and others opposed to the fee cap spent about $2.5 million fighting to kill or delay it.

Today’s vote on Tester’s amendment was what some saw as the ultimate test of the influence of Wall Street. “If banks win, it will not just be the traditional story of the banks’ routing the consumer groups,” wrote Georgetown University law professor Adam Levitin on his blog, Credit Slips. “If the banks win, it will show that the financial services sector is more powerful than the largest retailers in the US.”

Major retail groups fought against the delay just as hard as the banks fought for it. The more vocal groups advertised and sent merchants to D.C. to make their case, though others were supportive but mostly silent.

We’ve written quite a bit on the Fed’s rules and what they would mean. Now that the bid to delay them has failed, here’s an overview of the issue and what will happen when the proposal takes effect next month:

  • According to the Federal Reserve, debit card interchange fee rates have been rising along with the popularity of debit cards generally, meaning merchants have been handing over larger sums to the banks that issue debit cards.
     
  • The Fed has proposed capping the fees at 12 cents per transaction. Banks currently get about 1 to 2 percent of each debit transaction, which averages out to about 44 cents. The plan will bring U.S. debit fee rates closer to the rates of other countries, including Australia and the EU.
  • The rules only apply to banks with more than $10 billion in assets. Despite that, credit unions and smaller banks lobbied fiercely alongside the big banks.
     
  • Some merchants have promised that if the Fed rules go through, they’ll pass along the savings to consumers. The law doesn’t require them to do so—it leaves it to consumer price sensitivity and competition between merchants to make that happen. Whether it will, of course, isn’t clear.
     
  • The fee battle isn’t the only part of the debit card regulations—it’s just the part that’s gotten the most attention. As we’ve noted, another part of the Fed's rules is expected by many to increase competition in a market dominated by Visa, and that increased competition could also bring debit card fees down.

If you’re interested in reading more, here’s our backgrounder on debit card fees and our guide to cutting through the spin

bob mclaughlin

June 8, 2011, 4:37 p.m.

Finally, a victory over the vested interests, we need more of this type of legislation to help the consumer and small businesses.
Peace

Its about time.
I hope this starts a turning of the tides and we start seeing things change because its in the best interest of all.
From Juneau AK

This is precisely the type of legislation that show sthat merchants know who butters their bread and with consumer spending down, they’d better be mindful of doing whatever it takes to hold or lower prices.  Interesting that the banks’ customers (the merchants) aren’t even factored in to the banks’ lobbying efforts.  Shows you how the big financial institutions couldn’t care less about their customers, only profits.  A sliver, albeit a tiny, in the lamentably greed driven economy that seems to drive everything these days.

“Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, introduced legislation to delay the rules, and they showered him with thousands of dollars in campaign donations.”

You know, this kind of stuff ought to be illegal.  I don’t see how in the world we ever expect to have OUR REPRESENTATIVES that WE ELECTED doing THE BEST FOR US when DADDY WARBUCKS and THE BANKS AND FINANCIAL SECTOR or WHOEVER can “donate” to them.

Though it appears in this one case to have hopefully not panned out for them, I think overall it does.  And I don’t see that ever changing unless there is some way to cut off this revenue source and opportunity for bribery that occurs hundreds of times a day no doubt, polluting the processes of our government.

On the subject, off the subject ... what about the additional fee at the gas pump for using a credit/debit card?  Some stations are charging up to 12 cents a gallon.

The Fed is privately owned and is the Godfather of banking.
It is trying to tell the Commercial Trading Banks to back off as they all well know that all cost associated with banking cost absolutely nothing by the simple expedient of honouring their own cheques.
It would be an extremely destabilizing force if due to rising debt charges millions of Americans started to cut up their credit cards and decided to save.
An indebted people cannot make a run on the Bank.
Now let’s see, I am going to run down to the bank and withdraw my cash, oh dear, I don’t have any!
Keeping the people enslaved on plastic ensures a compliant populace.
Like the Russian said to the American, “We know we are not free, you only think you are free”

I’m hoping for a little clarity here: if you use a credit/debit card for purchases and you opt for the ‘credit’ option, this doesn’t make a shread of difference, correct? Only for the debit option? The only store I go to that requires the debit option, Aldi’s, I always bring cash with me to buy groceries, because it costs me more to use a debit card.

Peter is on to something, but when one pays with cash, why not pass a law requiring the banks to allow the stores to pass along the savings with, say, a 1% discount off the price? Here in Hong Kong we usually save 3% if we pay cash. Time for the US to move into the 21st century. God forbid that the free market should come to America.

I used to pay my auto mechanic with a credit card issued by a bank from another state. I asked him if I could use my bank’s debit card to pay him and he said yes. Now,  I use my bank debit card to pay him for the work he does on my auto. Incidentally, we both use the same in-state bank. He gets the money from my account deposited immediately into his account. For this convenience, he discounts the repair cost on my auto by 5%.  It’s a win-win situation.

But Howard, isn’t what your mechanic is doing illegal in the sense that its violates the terms of his contract with the bank? The law should be changed so that what he is doing is NOT illegal.

Jim - What’s with the Weed stuff, don’t begrudge those who need a little relief from reality.

All this entire fiasco proves is that Walmart is slightly stronger than Goldman-Sachs and spread more money around.

The real problem is the Citizens United decision by the US Supreme Court. Until the likes of Thomas, Alieto, and Roberts are eliminated from the court and replaced with others than are not influenced by gifts, nothing is going to change and the downward spiral will just continue..

James B Storer

June 9, 2011, 8:41 a.m.

Trubee:  As usual, you go to the heart of “The real problem…”
I still occasionally recall, with disgust, the shallow Leahy, Specter, Alieto Senate Confirmation Circus televised on CSpan.  We must all realize that the results of many procedures and decisions of government can have extremely serious consequences down the road.
Skartishu, Granby MO

Darrell Freeman

June 9, 2011, 9:36 a.m.

A loss for the banks?  Financially they are still extracting exorbitant fees compared to the cost of service, including the cost of capital to maintain and grow the enterprise.  A rational regulation would permit a reasonable connection charge to cover the terminal connections and the processing infrastructure with an added use fee based on usage and processing cost per use.

I agree with Anne in K.C. - the longer we keep allowing businesses to “bribe” our politicians to vote “their” way, the less and less we’ll be considered whenever a vote comes up for something that will help you and I.  Our current group of politicians are in the pockets of big business, and they care MORE about how they vote for them than they do for our welfare.  The sad part is that we pay their salaries, but that apparently doesn’t matter since the corporations can give them so much more than their salaries to vote “their way.”  And, the Supreme Court just made it easier when they said “corporations” were considered to be “people” in lieu of what they actually are….entities!!

Fourth Quadrant Asset Management

June 9, 2011, 11:22 a.m.

While it may feel good to bash banks and financial institutions we think most of what the government is doing is off base.  First, government controlling what businesses charge for anything is contrary to good economics, as price fixing has a very poor track record and intended consequences are rarely accomplished.  More often than not, price fixing only limits supply from existing companies and reduces those who wish to enter the business, which could lower prices.  Two, most assuredly, institutions that lose in this scenario will make up lost fees by charging consumers and retailers in another way negating possible cost reduction on a macro level.  Three, odds are low that retailers are going to pass along the price break.  They are already facing price pressures from raw material increases and this reduction will only help offset margin compression.  What is needed is policy that encourages competition to allow more players in the field of play, not discouraging practices like price fixing.  If profit margins from debit card transactions are excessive, competition will come in and should normalize the anomaly.

@Fourth Quadrant Asset Managment - well there you go, you are obviously not a person - you are a part of the problem. 

Your statement that the government should keep hands off control of what banks and other financial institutions charge falls right in line with the banks who were ripping people off re-arranging debits to checking accounts so they could get 4 overlimit fees instead of 1 had they been in the proper order.

As I recall it was the financial institutions and other assorted moneygrubbers who sought the bankruptcy reform which made it next to impossible in many cases for anyone to get a fresh start EVEN THOUGH businesses file for “reorganization” without a problem.  That’s the philosophy that allows, for example in the state I currently live in (Missouri)) to keep hands off finances while allowing payday loans to desperate people with an annual interest as high as 1,500 percent.  WHY does anyone need to charge a rate like that which used to be EXTORTION, USURY, something the mob was in charge of?  The reason is that now people just as devoid of ethics or compassion as the mob can now LEGALLY charge rates that used to be illegal.  In response here in Missouri our benefactors, i.e. the state legislature (which is now bragging about how they are looking after us, especially the poor and struggling) voted to lower the interest rate chargeable by payday loans down from approximately 1,900 percent per year.  WOW, that will help by lowering it to 1,500 percent.  EITHER ONE is unconscionable and has a ripple effect.  If these people couldn’t manage their finances before loaning them money at such a high rate isn’t helping, it only digs them into deeper financial trouble.  Oh, and they allow 4 rollovers of the loan when the people can’t pay back as required each of which comes with an additional set of fees.  These are the kinds of people who eventually end up homeless in a shelter and require public assistance to get back on their feet (food stamps, Section 8 housing) so the financial institutions are getting rich of the sweat of the poor and are eventually subsidized by the rest of the citizenry.

Things in this country are SO CORRUPT, it is a sham of justice.  Especially when people like you say that government should leave such things to the bankers.  OMG, why not just throw everyone in a mass grave and be done with it.

And yes, the earlier comment pointing out the disservice done us by the liberal supreme court making businesses into people who can buy themselves a representative was another great big giant shovel being dug for the grave of the working class.

The name of the game in the U.S. is basically the old “keepaway” game.  Its the job/goal of banks and the creme of society/rich to hang onto the wealth they’ve amassed - to keep it away from anyone else who might like to be able to breathe a sigh of relief when able to pay their debts on the first of the month instead of juggling peter to pay paul another month.

This country has turned into exactly what the writers of the Constitution were concerned about and wanted to avoid.  All their toil and labor and care writing checks and balances into the Constitution eventually is for not because those checks and balances have been overridden.  CONGRESS and the SUPREME COURT are in control almost without question - the power they have is frightening to those of us who are conscious and awake.

This will come to no good end, but that doesn’t matter to those greedy slimey politicians and money lenders.  For a while this country was a model of how it was possible, through hard work, to achieve the American dream.  That wasn’t acceptable ultimately.  MONEY and GREED are the source of all evil and they are winning out here and the rest of us are losing, everyone will eventually because the U.S. is on a fast track to destruction.

Fourth Quadrant Asset Management

June 9, 2011, 5:55 p.m.

@ Anne (and everyone for that matter):

We are people just like you and we certainly feel the impact and disservice from those engaging in unsavory activities.  However, we are part of the solution as we help people manage their investible assets intelligently, protecting our client’s downside exposure from the type of implosion experienced in 2008.  In addition, the centerpiece of our commentary was not about leaving banks and financial institutions to regulate themselves, it was rather the government’s “fix” is not going to be a fix at all.  In fact it is likely to lead to less choice and higher fees as banks create more obfuscated fees in other areas and retailers aren’t so ‘giving’ in lowering their prices.  The answer to the debit card fee as well as your payday loan scenario is to help facilitate more competition in areas where profit margins are excessive.  If the margins are excessive, competition will drive prices down and everyone will benefit, including the hardworking folks in Missouri.

“If the margins are excessive, competition will drive prices down and everyone will benefit, including the hardworking folks in Missouri. “

That statement is ALMOST FUNNY.  Let me say, first of all, that I have never been so desperate that I have been forced to use a last resort - A Payday Lender so I am not stating what I am in order to achieve something for myself.  I just have seen enough people writing about their experiences to comprehend the pain and the injustice. 

There is plenty of competition in the payday loan industry.  My neighborhood, which is struggling, has no decent grocery stores but it has a proliferation of payday loans.  I don’t see there ever being enough competition in the PDL arena to make a difference, partly because the people suffering have been largely abandoned by our government.  That’s why they are able to charge nearly 2,000 percent annually.  If this was something happened to the average person or certainly was taking advantage of the wealthy it would be dealt with in short order.

I have heard people in the PDL business say “we provide a valuable service” and that there fore they should be respected.  That is pure poppycock.  Those people could still be very profitable charging 50 percent or 100 percent interest annually, so 2,000 percent is overkill.  If these people were struggling before (and who else would avail themselves of this “service”) I fail to see how saddling them with this kind of burden is going to help them get on their feet.

They say “well they don’t need to use us if they don’t want to”.  Poppycock again - what do you do if you have no credit cards and live month to month and your employer says if you miss one more day or even are an hour late that you’re fired?  What do you do when due to the baby needing medication or food or some unexpected expense occurs that meant you used your gas money for medicine and so you can make a choice: don’t use the Payday Loan Business and lose your job (in today’s economy good luck getting another); or you can borrow the money and get your gas to get to work but now paying the loan back means something else gets bumped next month so you’re going to be right back where you started.

There used to be laws against this kind of thing.  The mob used to break kneecaps for not paying them back.  That didn’t sit well with people so there were laws against it.  (Ever hear of the RICO Statutes?).  Today, somewhere along the line, just as we see in the foreclosure business, the government and the courts have abandoned those desperate enough to need a payday loan.  People losing their homes based on fraudulent documents is wrong just as people eventually becoming homeless because they got on the merrygoround ride from hell with the PDL people is wrong.  Two different scenarios, same deal though.  The government has opened up the floodgates to greedy moneylenders and financiers and to those we the citizens bailed out.  These are Shylock characters who will get their pound of flesh and have no conscience, they are taking advantage of struggling people and at the same time holding themselves out as heroes for coming to the aid of their customers.

B.S. I say.

A few years ago there were major changes in banking laws and in laws governing bankruptcy.  Things got a whole lot tougher for the little guy and a whole lot more profitable for the merchants of greed.  The government opened up the floodgates to this abuse so they need to fix it NOW.

All of this, any of this having to do with fees paid to bankers etc. is all ultimately about the same thing: GREED.

Ahhhh…“Let the competition begin!”
Poppycock!
The only icon of Lasse-Faire (Lazy (un)Fair) capitalism is the continuing reference to the Adam Smith shibboleth of the “invisible hand” which is really represented by the “flipping of the bird” to ordinary citizens, in this case the financial moguls of the Western World.
Of course all this is backed by a thoroughly corrupt political and judicial system.

One small victory for citizens. Now watch for the SOTUS to overturn this legislation.

Good Job, Anne in K.C!  I share your comments exactly.  We have not been able to count on government, at any level, protecting us since the anti-trust laws were gutted and regulation was defunded during the Reagan administration.  Perhaps some of you noted, when our esteemed Speaker of the House Boehner explained how the republicans would guarantee that no positive change for average Americans would take place on his watch, that they will simply make sure new programs such as health care were not funded.  Games, games, games while the U.S. burns.  We must put a stop to it and elect reasonable, smart, caring Americans to represent the majority of us.

Jim Seymour wrote: “But Howard, isn’t what your mechanic is doing illegal in the sense that its violates the terms of his contract with the bank? The law should be changed so that what he is doing is NOT illegal.”

We’re not aware of any violations of his “contract” with the bank. If I gave him cash or wrote him a check, my mechanic would still give me the 5% discount.  Since I don’t use a credit card, his behavior comes down to: (1) rewarding me for paying cash, (2) saving the fee the credit card bank/issuer levies on him and then passes that along to me.  He likes my business and wants me to remain his customer. Win-win!

Howard - you misread my comment. I said nothing about YOUR contract with the bank (though you have such). On the contrary, I wrote “... isn’t what your mechanic is doing illegal in the sense that its violates the terms of his [repeat, HIS] contract with the bank? The law should be changed so that what he is doing is NOT illegal.”

Re:  “The plan will bring U.S. debit fee rates closer to the rates of other countries, including Australia and the EU.”

I’ve noticed that our banks like that argument - that we should be similar to other countries…that we should have “a level playing field” in competition with other countries - when the argument will increase their profits.  E.g., they use it all of the time (“We’ll lose business to other countries!”) when it comes to eliminating regulations.

Not so much, though, if the subject in question is designed to protect American consumer from predatory practices and so will curtail the banks’ profits.

But that is another constant…Corporate America as a whole is always arguing for a level or better-than-level playing field with other countries - except when it comes to, say, protecting the American worker/consumer/people from artificially cheaper offshore labor or the competitive advantage that nations with criminally negligent environmental laws enjoy.

It has become a rule of thumb:  If Corporate America - to include Wall Street and the rest of high finance in America - likes something, then it will inflict grievous harm upon the American people.

Whatever it is.

ibsteve: Yes, of course you are right.  Everything is skewed toward what will make big business, the banks, Wall Street happy.  It seems to me they have plenty reason to be happy already.  After all, they were bailed out by us, mr and mrs everyman, we saved their hide.  And in return for that they are screwing us over big time.

There’s nothing quite like the ultimate irony to make you see things the way they are.  HOW IS IT that the people who caused this entire catastrophe are the only ones to walk away unscathed?  It’s not enough we bailed them out, now they want to place the hardships on us, their saviors, to rebuild.

How very generous of them to include us in their plan.  They screwed us over by their dirty deals on Wall Street.  We bailed them out.  In return they were to create jobs and modify home loans.  They did not do what they promised.  So now everything is in chaos, jobs are all gone overseas and what’s left after that we’ve invited illegal immigrants in to take (and lets not forget their free education and health care - nor the fact that after they make their money here they send a great deal of it home to those in Mexico).  Used to be that being ILLEGAL meant you were out of luck, game over - you’re going back home.  Not anymore, it means stick around awhile so we can educate your children with college educations that our children can’t afford.

And who do they expect to bear the burdens, who do they expect to “bite the bullet, tighten your belts - times are tough”?  They expect us, again, the common man to be the one who suffers reduced health care, reduced aid, do away with medicare and social security.  THIS IS A GIANT MESS created by those who HAVE and those on Wall Street and in the banks and money changers but they aren’t hurting any, we are.  They are still hurting us, taking our homes with fraudulent documents.

How far, exactly, are we expected to bend over and take it, for how long will we take it?  SOME DAY, who knows when or how many months or years in the future, something will snap and the people, all the little drones and worker bees will say enough and do what people have done for as long as there is history.  A revolution will ensue.  What remains after its over will be nothing like the United States we USED TO HAVE.  Lets all pay homage to the power brokers driving this bus, shall we?  That is what they would have us believe that we should pay for their sins.

Their greed will destroy all of us, we know part of the story, how it started.  Where will it end, how many people will die because our government turned against us?  Do I feel bitter, you’re damn right I do.  The only ones who don’t feel bitter are those still in denial, those who haven’t felt the full force of what’s happening or lost their homes.  But soon they will see what the rest of us see already.  The day of reckoning, the day of atonement.  It’s on the way.

John Ray Smith

June 14, 2011, 7:58 a.m.

Dr Pieczenik. Lotta streng things happend since Dr Pieczenik showed up on Alex Jones’s show

John Ray Smith

June 14, 2011, 8:05 a.m.

Those strange things: Federal Reserve the first press conference and exposing that Deutsche Bank was greatest beneficiary of bailouts. It follows lawsuit against Deutsche Bank which is controled by Warburg family cofounders of Federal Reserve. Obama canceled bombing campain of Libya in Serbia style. Even ole McCain shutted down. We have to things with banks: Credit cards and Teamosha Geithna stepped up against 3 big banx. And finally Mr president is pushin’ Israel to pre 1967 lines. Lux like it is not bussiness as ussual anymo’.

As I have previously commented…“Now I know why Jesus ran the moneylenders away. It wasn’t just because it was the Sabbath”. He knew then what was to come.

James B Storer

June 20, 2011, 8:29 a.m.

Roy:  “…Jesus ran the money lenders away…” was a timely comment, reminding us that the particular “money lending profession” has been an unbroken cultural link throughout history.  It is not a modern invention.  I have little to do with the bible, or any other bible of any major religion.  However, I believe chasing of the lenders is ordinarily interpreted as a statement against despoiling the Sabbath.
  Your comment implying that it wasn’t just the Sabbath is very likely right on.  Of course, it happened on the Sabbath, for that is the day Jesus would certainly be in the House of Worship.  Perhaps, as you wrote, it contained a far-reaching warning.  From that time, over two-thousand years ago (and before), we have been continuosly plagued by “lenders.”
  Skartishu, Granby MO

It was that the money lenders had set up their tables on the temple steps, basically in the temple of God.

This was the only violent act of rage recorded of Jesus.
The sin of usury being transacted on the temple steps.

Since that time till the 18th century man has looked for ways of turning something less valuable into Gold.

Then the ability to ” create credit” or fractionalization was discovered by jewellers who were storeing or banking peoples coin in their more secure facilities and issuing receipts which then became currency in the community.
The jewellers soon came to realize that nobody came to pick up the coin and so the formula was established that equates to safe banking practice i.e. 9 - 1 = one dollar deposited allows 9 dollars to be created .
Federal reserve sees that 1 trillion dollars deposited in US banking system (remember usd is world reserve currency) from Chines and flood of petro dollars from increased oil prices allows debt (creation) to 9 trillion dollars.
The banks can not loan the 1 trillion it is liability.
The 9 trillion earns them interest.
The interest on 1 trillion is to encourage the deposit but also to make you belive they are lending it to someone else.

Now do you understand why they can afford bank bonuses.
Oh…as an aside, all costs associated with the bank does not cost it a cent, yes acquiring builds and assets, wages etc, by the simple exedient of honouring its own cheque.

This most powerful force on earth can be directed to good to help earths problems caused by humanity but instead we the people do not trust us with it and have handed it over to private enterprise , the private banks, with their private Federal Reserve as the supposed regulator.

The system has lost sight of the fact it was supposed to do a better job then politicians, politicians (the peoples representatives) were not to be trusted. This last WFC has impacted many nations, especialy China wich has huge usd reserves . The asian people are pragmatic people with 5000 year cultures. They are disgusted and can no longer trust Eurpean management of the world reserve currency.
They have banded together in a gruop called the Brics Countries i.e Brazil, Russia, India, China and recently SAfrica.
They are accumalating Gold as fast as they can with the ultimate goal of backing a currency of their choice, maybe the yuan, but possibly a new currency like the Euro.

The last perfect storm of petro dollars and Chinese deposits was squandered by the US banks on enslaving the American people through debts (taxes= after u picked up the tab because they were to big to fail. lol) and nothing on solving the problem of fossil fuel dependence and its enviromental damage i.e ocean acidification.

The Chinese are investing massively in alternative energy fast rail and the list goes on and on, whilst Americans quible about credit card charges.

Your days are numbered, the quicker the better.
This born out by the statistics, worse education levels and nearly everything else, but ultimately America is ruled by the Corporations who have been given all the rights of a human being, yet heartless.

What do you think “Jesus” would think of you that you allowed this to happen?
He broke bread with you and shared his power , his courage and his spirit, what have you done with it.
Did he not say you could move mountains.
Ron Paul understands.
I say the risk of him being assisinated by powerful forces is very high, more so then the risk associated with Obama being black.
Obama was a candidate of those forces, Ron Paul, NOT so.
It is aleged that Abe Lincoln was assisnated for refusing credit offered by private bankers to fight the civil war and the risk he would continue to issue notes and credit by the people for the people.

TIME FOR A CHANGE??

James B Storer

June 29, 2011, 8:57 a.m.

Ian (re comment 20Jun,7:10PM):  As you reminded us, banishing the money lenders from the temple “was the only violent act of rage recorded of Jesus.”  This singular act of rage is certainly understandable when viewed from today’s perspective.  It was, perhaps, prophetic of the seriousness of things to come.  Many places of worship flourish today by serving as hoarders, repositories, executers, or “headquarters” in the process of accumulating interest on money loaned often to the detriment of the charities they are sworn to.
  Your thought that we do not trust ourselves with “this most powerful force” and blindly hand it over to what I say is now “corporatism” is our downfall.  Our economic systems are designed and propagandized to worship greed.  Therefore, the farther up the financial ladder, the more cunning and ruthless and “successful” is the greed.  It is strange that those possessing the traits we profess to hate the most is where we shovel up our money in the form of interest.  “Too big to fail” is a totally erroneous and ruinous propaganda that we have been gullible enough to swallow so that the greediest of the greedy could be bailed out (with what is left of our money that they do not already have.)
  Thus is our situation in the restricted, national scene.  You have sketched out the probable future in the international context very well, indeed, in the latter part of you comment.  Thank you.      Skartishu, Granby, MO

Reading the paper tonight (what’s left of it - newspapers too are struggling) I read about all the cuts to this and that the political bozo’s are proposing.

Cuts to medicare, cuts to medicaid, cuts to whatever benefits you and me, its being cut.

With all the cutting going on, has anyone heard, perhaps, that Congress has proposed that THEIR benefits be cut.  Lord knows they are too big to begin with.

show me a politician who proposes that and he might gain at least a foothold on credibility in my book.

What are your chances, on any random day, of getting struck by lightning?  Whatever they are, multiply that by 100 and that’s how much chance I got of getting surprised as outlined.

Also check out the Akimbo Card, it helps avoid monthly debit card charges. I’ve been using it for a few months now and have had no troubles with it, plus they provide great customer service. It’s through the visa payment network. https://akimbocard.com/

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