30th March 2011
After I wrote about Durbin’s amendment to the financial reform package, the Wall Street Journal took him on as well. The Wall Street Journal noted, “Congress’s 2009 effort to regulate credit cards shows what will happen. Do you like free checking? Enjoy it while you can, because unless you’re a high roller you will soon be paying for check-writing privileges. The price controls have also caused banks to deny credit to marginal borrowers—i.e., those with low incomes. Many have been forced out of the formal banking system and into the arms of payday lenders (if they’re lucky) and loan sharks (if they’re not). Mr. Durbin should have called his amendment the Payday Lender Empowerment Act.”
It is truly astonishing the number of nominally intelligent but actually appallingly stupid people get elected to public office. (I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and blame it on their being corrupt, but sometimes that’s a hard position to hold.)
In a nutshell, the Durbin Amendment will allow the Federal Reserve to price fix charges from banks. As a result, banks are responding with eradicating debit cards, restricting purchases, ending free checking, and driving up fees.
It was a foreseeable action by banks and one Congress can’t stop unless they get rid of the Durbin Amendment. The Senate will consider doing just that today. If the Senate fails to repeal it, say goodbye to free checking and unlimited debit card purchases.
Your tax dollars at work.