Somewhere a bank executive in an office building near Wall Street was reading the Declaration of Independence, when a light bulb lit up over his head as he read the line “…all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” In short, if you’re used to something, you’ll probably suffer with it rather than expend the effort to change it.
I had a WTF moment last night during a broadcast of NBC’s Nightly News broadcast when dependable Brian reported that beginning Thursday, Bank of America would begin charging customers a monthly $5 fee just for using their debit cards… In fact before I realized I’d done it, I jumped up and yelled “WHAT???” at the top of my lungs (scaring the hell out of my cat sleeping peacefully beside me.)
The only thing that immediately came to mind was to wonder if Bank of America had recently hired suicidal financial advisors away from Netflix. Upon further research (in fear that my own bank was next,) I discovered that Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are plotting to do the same. This is definitely going to cause a customer backlash akin to the one that resulted in the Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act that limits the fees that banks can charge stores etc. for debit card purchases. In fact, this is probably the result of that amendment. Banks are famous for having a reserve of lawyers who go over federal regulations in advance to find ways around them before they’re even signed into law, so we naïve Americans should’ve seen this coming (refer back to the first paragraph of this article.)
After all Wall Street execs can’t survive without their 7-figure bonus checks every year.
For a decade or so now, the banks have plotted to do away with paper money, turning America into a plastic society. As a result, most Americans pay with debit cards for everything from a quick hamburger on the fly at the neighborhood McDonald’s to movie tickets with the family at the local theater. The banks loved this concept because they used to be able to get away with charging insane overdraft fees on each and every transaction if you momentarily lost track of your balance, and at the end of the month those last 12 morning coffees at Burger King on your way to work ran $35 each because you were overdrawn by a mere 16 cents; and they joyfully got away with it because at the time Wall Street owned and operated the GOP-led congress that made it all legal!