Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I Wonder If He'll Rename It The Hope and Change Bank

President Obama has done such a bang-up job as President, that he's thinking of branching out into bank management...
Banks should accept a lower profit so their customers won’t have to pay for debit cards, President Barack Obama told an ABC reporter today, when asked about Bank of America’s decision to charge its customers $5 per month for use of its debit cards.

... The bank’s decision to charge customers for its services “is exactly why we need somebody whose sole job it is to prevent this kind of stuff from happening,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “If you say to banks, ‘You don’t have some inherent right to get a certain amount of profit if your customers are being mistreated, that you have you have to treat them fairly and transparently,” then some will hopefully get the message, he said.

Obama used the question about the Bank of America’s decision to charge $5 for the use of its debit cards to champion extended government oversight of the banking industry, adding, “Without those kinds of protections, we’re going to continue to see these kinds of problems.” He also called for the Senate to confirm Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“Banks can make money — they can succeed the old-fashioned way — by earning it by lending to small business and by lending to consumers, by making sure we are building the economy together,” said Obama, who worked for non-profit groups in Chicago before being elected to the U.S. Senate.

Leading Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Monday the Bank of America’s action is an “outrage.”

...The bank levied the monthly $5 charge after Durbin led a successful effort to enact legislation that curbed banks’ ability to levy debit-card charges on retailers. Once those curbs came into force, the financially strapped bank shifted the levy from retailers’ prices over to customers’ monthly accounts, prompting the political complaints.
You know how President Obama gets offended when people call him a socialist? When a government official starts telling private companies how much profit they're entitled to earn, that smacks of socialism.

As an aside, this relates to my personal favorite thing about the Tea Party supporter who confronted Obama this summer.  Ryan Rhodes was offended about Joe Biden's seeming acquiesence to Congressional Democrats calling Tea Partiers "terrorists" following the debt ceiling standoff.  Obama's response was that he was in favor lowering the rhetoric, since he'd been called a Socialist.  Not to discourage the comparison, but it's unfair to equate Socialists with terrorists -- not all Socialists are terrorists. All Socialists follow a stupid economic philosophy, but that doesn't make them terrorists.

In any case, it's borderline offensive to have politicians instructing banks on how much money they're allowed to make, even after TARP, especially after the politicians created the situation by caving in to retailers.  And it's especially offensive when the same people can't even do their day job of running the government.

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