Now playing: “Mad,” by Todd Rundgren.
How can I find peace of mind
With so many small agendas
Pushing at me all the time”
Hold onto your wallets. Read in the business news this a.m. (as aggregated every day on http://www.BusinessNC.com) that Bank of America is rolling out a plan to “help” consumers by dropping the $35 overdraft fee when consumers use their debit cards and don’t have enough money to cover the transaction. Which means you won’t have to pay $40 for a $5 cup of coffee – if you’re inclined to buy $5 cups of coffee.
But wait! There’s some fine print here. What Bank (soon it will be a monolith called Bank, while Wal-Mart will be Store, etc.) didn’t say so clearly is it plans to decline those purchases. That’s not so fun.
Interlude: “Sauget Wind,” by Uncle Tupelo. “It’s a long way to heaven, It’s a short way to hell … Nothing’s free in this country, And there’s no place to hide no more …”
There’s something else Bank didn’t say. Last year, U.S. banks generated $20 billion in fees from overdraft fees on debit purchases and ATM withdrawals. Bank and its peers will have to make at least that much from something else, or the shareholders won’t like it. The most likely place, according to one expert, is by eliminating free checking.
So let’s get this straight. Everyone will pay because some folks can’t balance their checkbooks. And I’ll bet we pay more than $20 billion when all is said and done.
Oh by the way, what do you think will happen when the debit card gets declined for that $5 cup of coffee. That’s right, Coffee Drinker will put it on a credit card. And guess which company, as of June 30, had the second-largest share of the credit-card market in the U.S.? That’s right, Bank does.
They get you going and coming.
“Money, it’s a hit
Don’t give me that
Do goody good bullshit”
– Money, Pink Floyd