Friday, June 20, 2008

Banks are at it again!

My bank is in the town over from me, so I usually take money out from an ATM at my supermarket. The ATM owner is Citizen's Bank and they have just raised their fees from $2.00 to $2.75. That's almost a 40% increase just to use their machine. While I won't argue that there is a cost incurred for them to fill the machine, this fare increase can't be justified. Don't blame it on the high cost of fuel, I know that's a tempting excuse for justifying any increase whatsoever. These fees are now equal what you would pay at a 'captive audience' site like an airport or a casino.

But you come right down to it, aren't the banks one of the prime culprits of America's credit meltdown? While conservatives like to blame individuals for taking on risky debt, it was the loan officer's responsibility to ensure that bad loans not get processed in the first place. Back in the 1980's the issue reason for the economic collapse was the same - banks being to greedy with mortgage interest rates. Now they want *US* to pay for their bad decision making.

Is it any wonder why the American consumer is in so much debt. Back when people had equity in their homes, banks encouraged people to take out home equity loans to pay off their debt to credit cards (also owned by banks), and Bush's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, was to 'go out and spend more money'.

In view of the fact that America's credit meltdown is due in large part to the banking industry's call for gluttony, they should take the lead to get the country back on its feet, by not ripping us off when they WANT us to use their machines by putting them in places where people on tight budgets go to same some cash, their local supermarket instead of an expensive night out at a restaurant.

Citizen's Bank should change its name - they have nothing in common with the people they serve.


Congratulations on the Boston Celtics upon winning their 17th Championship against their storied rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers! Paul Pierce and company did Red Auerbach proud!

Go Red Sox!

Go Bruins!

Go Patriots!


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