I’m not exactly sure if the WSJ is actually surprised, here:
The Federal Reserve has aimed a seemingly nonstop spate of rules at the nation’s biggest banks as it tries to wring risk out of the U.S. financial system in the wake of the financial crisis.
Yet the central bank still lacks a Senate-confirmed official to formally oversee its continuing regulatory efforts.
Continue reading White House refuses to allow Senatorial oversight over Fed Reserve. Democrats… shrug.
See, I told you so. I freaking well TOLD YOU SO.
Congratulations, Congressional Democrats: you’ve managed to soak the working poor again.
Bank of America will start charging debit-card users $5 a month to pay for purchases. The move comes as the cards increasingly replace cash and as banks look for ways to offset the loss of revenue from a new rule that will limit how much they can collect from merchants.
Via Instapundit. You see, what happened here is that Senator Dick Durbin took a break from throwing minority kids out of private schools to extend his legislative magic to the field of merchant debit card fees. The plan? Force the banks to give up their greedy, greedy profits by limiting merchant-to-bank transaction fees, thus saving the merchants money, which they would then pass along to the customer in the form of lower prices. Which sounded… actually, it sounded stupid in theory, even then. It sounds really stupid now because Durbin and the rest of Team Jackass didn’t consider the possibility that their Congressional mishandling of the economy from 2007 to  might have resulted in a poor economy in 2011. So what happened? Well, the banks still need the revenue – because of the economy – so they’re going to raise debit card fees to make up for it. And the retailers aren’t doing much better – because of the economy – so they’re not racing to lower their retail prices. Assuming that they do it at all. End result? Your monthly expenses are probably about to go up. Hope you have a job! …Oh. Right.
Continue reading Bank of America, CARD Act, Dodd-Frank, and soaking the poor.
I thought that the title would get your attention.
If you’re upset by the title, well, my response will be tempered by your political affiliation. If you’re a Republican or an independent, my response is “Yes, it really is that awful. Here’s a list of some of the possible-to-plausible fallout from the CARD Act and Dodd/Frank (and its associated Durbin Amendment):
- Credit-card rates for new card-holders range from 14.72% to 20% for the range typically associated with young people to starting at 24% (and the sky’s-the-limit) if your credit rating is bad;
- Annual fees on debit cards;
- Limiting debit card reward programs;
- Creating a price cap on transactions using a debit card;
- Raising ATM non-customer fees;
- Increasing fees on checking accounts;
- Increasing minimum balance requirements for debit and checking accounts;
…and those are just the most obvious possibilities. There’s undoubtedly half a dozen that should have been listed, but weren’t.
Continue reading Democrat-backed bank ‘reform’ kicks poor in the face.
OK, here’s the situation on the Dodd-Frank financial bill. The Democrats need 60 to get it over the finish line, and they currently have 58 Democrats in the Senate. They got 60 aye votes on the first version.
- Senators Feingold (D) and Cantwell (D) both voted against Dodd-Frank last time.
- Senator Brown (R) voted for the first version, but is being reported now as having switched his vote to ‘no’ over the last-minute addition of new taxes to the final version (H/T: Instapundit).
- Senator Collins (R) also voted for the first version, and is likewise balking over the new taxes (no commitment).
- Senator Snowe (R), who also voted for the first version, is sounding iffy on voting for this one, again because of the new taxes.
- In other words: one switch to no and probably a second.
- Senator Grassley (R) is about the only remaining potential pickup (he voted for cloture), and he won’t commit to signing off on the final version.
- And, of course, Senator Byrd died last weekend.
Continue reading The Dodd-Frank procedural dance.