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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Bank of America, they are coming to get ‘ya. Dickie Durbin (D-Ill), 2nd ranking Democrat in the Senate, is after your hide. He’s aiming for you. He can send the power of the entire federal government down on your head, so watch out. He’s telling your customers to leave: “Bank of America customers, vote with your feet, get the heck out of that bank. Find yourself a bank or credit union that won’t gouge you for $5 a month and still will give you a debit card that you can use every single day. What Bank of America has done is an outrage.” Yeah, that’s right, those are Durbin’s exact words.

Dickie’s tirade has to do with BOA’s new fee of $5 per month to users of BOA’s debit cards. He’s upset at the audacity of BOA charging for debit card services, so on the floor of the U. S. Senate he takes BOA to task and tells people to get the heck out of BOA.

The real truth is that BOA’s new debit card fee is a direct result of the Dodd Frank Bill, a behemoth regulation that is partly responsible for no jobs being created by the Jobs President. The Durbin Amendment to Dodd Frank floated around for almost a year before it was finally adopted when Durbin pushed the issue. The Durbin Amendment gives the Federal Reserve the power to regulate debit card swipe fees. Oh, sounds so warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it? Gonna save the consumer from the horrible big banks, let’s get right to it. And so they did.

For the readers who don’t know what a “swipe fee” is, I will explain. Every time a consumer uses a debit card, any debit card, by the way, the business is charged a “swipe fee” by the bank issuing the debit card. This fee averages 44 cents per transaction. But Durbin and the Federal Reserve have taken the position that the 44 cent swipe fee is highway robbery, it’s bank chicanery, bank gouging. They have mandated that the most banks can now charge is 24 cents per swipe. Oh, this all sounds good for the consumer, wouldn’t you think?

But wait, The Fed released their final rule on the matter and determined that the combination of reduced fees, restrictions and caps is going to cost banks nearly $14 billion annually. Do the Fed and Dickie Durbin think the banks will just lose $14 billion annually without making it up somewhere? Could they be that stupid? I guess so because they are now regulating the swipe fee. They must not understand “unintended consequences.”

Now Durbin has come under great fire from media around the country who argue BOA’s new monthly fee is a direct result of Durbin’s amendment to the Dodd Frank so-called financial reform bill. The Chicago Tribune said the “charge, which other banks are likely to adopt, is a direct result of his lawmaking. Call it the Durbin Fee.”

Wells Fargo is going to charge $3 per month. J. P. Morgan Chase will be imposing a similar fee. All banks will eventually do the same thing. They are not about to “eat” billions in loses because Durbin and his compatriots are ignorant of how the market place operates.

And of course, now Durbin is pointing his finger at everyone else in trying to deflect attention from the truth of the matter.

Because Dodd Frank and Senator Durbin stuck their liberal noses into a marketplace issue, consumers are now being harmed as a direct result of their handy work.

While Dickie Durbin stands on the floor of the U.S. Senate and berates BOA and big banks, I wanted to ask him, if he hates big banks so much, why did he vote for the 2008 $45 billion bailout of BOA. If he really thinks big banks are crooks, cheaters and gougers, why’d he approve bailing BOA out of a mess that they created?

And the most important thing I’d ask him is who does he think he is using the floor of the U. S. Senate to encourage the American public to boycott a business? The Founding Fathers surely never intended the U. S. Senate to be used for such egregious, flagrant, grossly shameless behavior by a sitting U. S. Senator.

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