‘Banks’ were sold to the average human being as reliable institutions where one would keep one’s money to protect it, have immediate access to it, and make a modest return on it. Do you feel that the above statement is true, or is getting your money out of your bank like pulling teeth on a wet cat?
On July 15, 2010, the FrankenDodd Financial Regulatory Reform bill was passed opening the door to even more looting of the middle and poorer classes in America. Everything in this law that was passed to ‘protect Mainstreet’ from Wall Street goes far beyond ‘unintentional consequences‘ when one adds up the amounts of money being drained from average Americans’ wallets through additional fees and fines.
By Blake Ellis, staff reporterMarch 10, 2011: 9:34 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Declined! Your debit card may soon be denied for purchases greater than $100 — or even as little as $50.
JPMorgan Chase, one of the nation’s largest banks, is considering capping debit card transactions at either $50 or $100, according to a source with knowledge of the proposal. And the cap would apply even if you run your debit card as credit.
Why? Because of a tricky thing called interchange fees.
Right now, every time you swipe your debit card your bank charges the retailer an average fee of 44 cents, which it shares with its partners. Those little fees, however, add up to about $16 billion per year, according to 2009 data from the Federal Reserve.
But as part of the Wall Street reform legislation that was passed last year, these fees are being slashed. The Fed is currently proposing rules that would go into effect in July and would cap interchange fees at 12 cents.
That’s a big enough cut to cost Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) more than $1 billion a year. And Chase may not be alone. Other major issuers are also projecting huge losses from the interchange fee cap.
Joe Price, president of consumer banking for Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), said in an e-mailed statement that the lower fee wouldn’t fairly compensate the bank for the infrastructure and services it provides to retailers.
And consumers would end up feeling the pain when Bank of America is forced to recoup costs “by increasing the cost of their everyday debit card transactions, limiting their payment choices, and impacting industry innovation,” according to the email.
So can you tell me why: A.) you still have your money tied up in Federal Reserve Notes, and B.) why you still have them in a bank account?
Have you not been paying attention? If you want some type of control over what is happening, you have to make proactive decisions about where to keep your money, how to spend it, and how to ‘store’ your wealth (and at this point, goods (i.e. FOOD) instead of Federal Reserve notes makes more sense due to Ben Bernanke’s hyper-inflation.)
On the heels of Bank of America’s new forgiveness program, Bahana C. Obama plans to ‘expand foreclosure prevention efforts”.
Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me? Three years after the beginning of this mess, the Obama administration and the banks want to help? This is all about protecting a bottom line that would go straight to the bottom of the Mariana Trench if Americans, en masse, just walked away from their underwater homes until the market resets itself. Double bonus, though, guess who gets to foot the bill for Obama’s re-distribution of wealth? $14 Billion in ‘red’ money will be used from the TARP program.
At some point, the peaceful civil disobedience of the American citizen will get the message through to the banks and corporations that THEY DON’T OWN US if we ain’t buying. A national strike is looking better and better.
First Bank of America from this morning’s Palm Beach Post, Money section:
Bank of America Corp. will permanently cut up to 30 percent from home loan balances for tens of thousands of struggling borrowers under a new program that some predict will become industry norm.
The plan, announced Wednesday, was virtually unthinkable just months ago.
So taboo was the idea of forgiving principal amounts, that some lenders refused to comment when Ron Faris, president of West Palm Beach-based Ocwen Financial Services, promoted it as a solution to the continuing foreclosure crisis before a congressional committee earlier this month.
But with millions of Americans underwater on their home loans, and increasingly willing to walk away, bank officials said Wednesday that cutting loan amounts is necessary to reduce defaults.
“The banks have been reluctant to come to the reality that ‘Houston, we have a problem,'” said Michael Sichenzia, president of Dynamic Consulting Enterprises in Deerfield Beach. “It’s inevitable more banks will follow. The cost to administer foreclosures is growing exponentially.”
Bank of America, which estimates it has 1.5 million home loans that are 60 or more days behind on payments, calls its plan “earned principal forgiveness.”
To qualify, a borrower must prove financial hardship, be two months delinquent in payments, and owe at least 20 percent more on the loan than the home is worth.
The program targets the riskiest home loans awarded during the real estate boom including subprime adjustable rate mortgages and certain loans that have a fixed interest rate for the first two years before adjusting annually.
Under the new plan, which begins in May, a portion of the principal balance will be set aside interest free. That principal can then be forgiven over five years if the homeowner stays current on new lowered payments.
The White House will announce Friday an expansion of its foreclosure-prevention efforts to include reducing the mortgage loan balances for some distressed borrowers and giving temporary help to the unemployed, people familiar with the plans said.
In the latest overhaul of the year-old mortgage-loan modification program, these people said, the White House will announce plans to allow unemployed borrowers to receive sharply reduced payments—or a break from making any payments—for at least three months and up to six months. The revamp will also require banks to consider writing down loan balances as part of the formula for lowering monthly payments under the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP.
In addition, the administration will introduce a program that uses the Federal Housing Administration to insure new loans for borrowers who are underwater, owing more than the current values of their homes.
Under that program, investors who reduce loan balances to 96.5% of the current property value would refinance borrowers into an FHA-backed loan. Investors would have to reduce first-lien mortgages by at least 10%. For properties that have second-lien mortgages, the program is designed to reduce the total mortgage debt to no more than 115% of the estimated property value. Banks that hold second-liens will be eligible for incentive payments if they write down those loans so borrowers can qualify.
To pay for the expanded program, the administration will allocate $14 billion in money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program that had already been earmarked for foreclosure prevention efforts.
An administration official said that the program adjustments were designed to “better assist responsible homeowners who have been affected by the economic crisis through no fault of their own.” The administration is trying to walk a fine line, offering more help to the most troubled homeowners without encouraging people who can afford their payments to default in the hope of getting similar treatment.
Nope, nobody has been saying for over two years now that a floor has to be put under the home market, we all just wanted the banks to get more money.
Are you getting tired of the dictator-in-chief appeasing everybody but the people footing the bill?
DrinkingWithBob is just stating what we already know, and what we know has to happen in the future. You may want to send this around because he is right on the money! Bank of America just made a huge mistake (story after video). Did not Bank Of America receive billions of Americans’ tax dollars in bailout money?
From Fox, 9.23.09:
Bank of America Draws Fire for Pulling U.S. Flags From Property
With a name like Bank of America, it was particularly surprising when a branch manager in South Carolina ordered the removal of a U.S. flag honoring a fallen soldier from the bank’s property.
Brenda Earls of Gaffney, S.C., tried to honor her next-door neighbor, Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Fowlkes, who was recently killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, by planting flags along the route the casket would follow. But a Bank of America branch manager pulled the flags from the bank’s property, citing “corporate policy.”
Bank of America, which has received $45 billion in federal loans as part of the government rescue of the financial industry, apologized for the incident, calling it a “terrible mistake.”
“We want to ensure the community knows how deeply proud we are of the men and women who have sacrificed so much in service to our country,” the bank said in a written statement. “The bank does fly the American flag at our locations throughout the country and flags were displayed in front of our banking center in Gaffney the evening prior to our dedicated Marine returning home. We deeply apologize for any misunderstandings.”
But customers already have begun canceling their accounts in protest.
Earls and Cherokee County Council closed its account, costing the bank reportedly $500,000. If all city officials follow suit, it will cost the bank $1.5 million in deposits.
Earls said the bank’s apology was misdirected.
“I think who needs the apology is not me (or) the community, but the family and this young solider who gave his life for us so we all have these freedoms,” she told FOX News. “We need to say we’re sorry for this young man who gave his life that someone would understand a policy that they could not fly the American flag yet they would send our young people to fight over there in a war.”
Earls said she watched Fowlkes, 20, grow up in her neighborhood. Planting the flags, she said, was the least she could do to honor him.
But when she placed one on Bank of America’s property, a branch manager ran out of the bank and told her she couldn’t do it, she said
“You mean the American flags?” Earls recalled responding.
The manager said policy prohibits the bank from flying any flag, including the American flag.
Earls said the manager told her that the flags might offend some customers.
“The American flags?” Earl recalled saying in utter disbelief.
“This is a financial institution and this is our policy,” Earls recalled the manager saying.
So my question w0uld be, “When is the Fed going to come out of the closet and start flying it’s own flag over financial institutions?”
On Wednesday, TurboTax Timmie and his crew are going to unveil the new financial regulation reforms that they have been talking about since he was installed as Treasury Secretary by the 111th Congress.
If, after reading the next two stories, you still think the Federal Reserve should not be abolished for being the #1 instigator in our economic woes, then I pity you and your declining standard of living.
The Federal Reserve, already arguably the most powerful agency in the U.S. government, will get sweeping new authority to regulate any company whose failure could endanger the U.S. economy and markets under the Obama administration’s regulatory overhaul plan.
Please remember that the Federal Reserve is really a banking cartel; not a government agency, that was created in 1910 on Jekyll Island by NY bankers, and our government does not instruct The Fed; the power flows the opposite direction.
The final plan due to be released on Wednesday — which originally aimed to streamline and consolidate banking and securities regulation in one or two agencies — now is expected to sidestep most jurisdictional disputes and simply impose across the board standards to be applied by all financial regulators, according to administration and industry sources.
The most likely candidate for elimination is the Office of Thrift Supervision, whose failure to detect and forestall problems at Countrywide, IndyMac, Washington Mutual and other freewheeling mortgage lenders is thought to have contributed to the financial crisis.
The decision to concentrate sweeping new powers at the already overstretched Fed is not without controversy. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, which must approve any regulatory overhaul, has raised objections to that approach, and so has Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila C. Bair.
Ms. Bair advocates an alternative where a council of top bank regulators would make decisions on whether to step in, regulate or close major corporations like the American International Group whose failure posed a risk to the whole economy and financial system. The Fed stepped in to save AIG last year without having such powers, but the result was a costly and muddled bailout that no one wants to repeat.
To accommodate dissenting views, the administration will propose that a council of regulators advise the Fed, although the Fed will have the final say, according to administration officials. The new powers augment the Fed’s existing broad authorities to intervene to prevent crises that could seriously damage the markets and economy.
And now for something totally expected from a banking cartel:
Bank of America’s chief executive Thursday for the first time said publicly that officials in the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve threatened to remove top executives of the bank unless the financial giant merged with the troubled Merrill Lynch for the good of the foundering economy.
Bank of America’s Kenneth Lewis told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the threat was not the deciding factor in the bank’s acquisition of the nation’s largest investment banking firm. But he added: “What gave me concern was that they would make that threat to a bank in good standing.”
Ken? You are a moron! What does being a bank in good standing have to do with threats being made against a private company in a country that has as it’s basis, the Constitution and the Rule Of Law?
The testimony came as the No. 2 Republican in the House said President Obama’s handling of the auto company bailouts was comparable to the strong-arm tactics of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
If you have not thrown your support behind Ron Paul and H.R. 1207, now might be a good time before The Fed becomes tired of being a shadow chess player and just strangles the economy and country into submission.
It never fails to amaze me that people will appear to testify under oath at a congressional hearing and try to make events seem completely different than what they are even when there is a known paper trail. Did Lewis think that Bernanke was going to cover his behind? I personally think there is much more to this story; whether we ever find out how much Bernanke and The Fed actually had to do with the merger of BofA and Merrill Lynch is another story completely.
Watch as Rep. Dennis Kucinich, (who seems to have found his cajones), puts Kenneth Lewis, (former Bank of America CEO), through the gauntlet of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I hope the irony of the name of the committee has not been lost on you, and that you understand that this little dog and pony show is just for you, the American public.
Also remember that this mess started decades ago with The Fed, Congress, the big NY Banks, and the SEC. I wonder if the message that we cannot trust our government is getting through yet? Bush threw gasoline on this economic downturn, and Obama is striving for complete scorched earth with the help of Rahm, David, Austin, etc.