Mike Collins said it best in a July 2015 item that ran in “Forbes Magazine.”
“Most people think that the big bank bailout was the $700 billion that the treasury department used to save the banks during the financial crash in September of 2008. But this is a long way from the truth because the bailout is still ongoing… This is a story about lies, cheating, and a multi-faceted corruption which was often criminal.”
Heck, Mr. Collins, it’s still often criminal.
Let us take a moment to thank our government for bailing out the banks and allowing the thieving to continue.
Banks, yes, that’s right, the banks that control our mortgages, those precious little plastic cards in all our wallets and holding our money where it’s supposed to be safe — Ha.
Furthering government’s efforts to save us, former President Obama passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure act of 2009 — also know as CARD (I wonder if the mnemonic comes first or last). Anyway, thanks to this nifty act, credit card companies, née banks, must let us, the users, know how many years it will take to pay off our balances just by making the minimum payments and exactly how much more that will cost us in interest charges, along with other useless information.
Thank you very much, but who among us is unaware that if we pay only the minimum due we will receive that monthly bill longer than Prometheus was bound to a rock getting his liver pecked at by an eagle? Besides, we all know the bills are much more painful. Peck my liver, please.
But I digress. “The act aimed to establish fair and transparent practices relating to the extension of credit under an open-end consumer credit plan, and for other purposes,” according to Wikipedia. Are we clear? We have transparency.
What the act did not address, and what we still suffer from, is the fact that the act “did not include price controls, rate caps, or fee settings.”
Are you surprised? I’m not. The rule of thumb is: whoever holds the money, holds the strings, and government is only the puppet of the banks.
My last column addressed the thievery of Macy’s and Amazon (part of the same family of thieves).
This week I’m adding my BFF Donna’s saga with a credit card from CitiBank, one of the bailout banks. After paying off the debit entirely, she received a bill for $2.01 — this, according to the bank, was “residual interest,” the amount that accrued between the time she got the bill, paid off the bill and the bank credited the account. Really, residual interest? The bank got full payment, and yet had the unmitigated gall to charge her? Now that is greed at its finest.
After we bailed them out, you would think that the banks should be less unscrupulous now — but no — it’s just the opposite. Without any fear of reprisal, the banks have become bolder and greedier — even with transparency.
And no wonder. If you could legally steal and get away with it, while still playing with other people’s money, wouldn’t you? Of course you would.
Not for Nuthin’ but bailing out the banks didn’t make them accountable, so is it any surprise at all that still no one’s getting fat ’cept the banks? Nope, not surprised.
Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.
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