I have an idea: I ask you to loan me some money. Then when it's time for me to pay you back, I'll charge you a fee, for holding that money, and another fee, for giving the money back to you. Welcome to the modern American consumer banking system.

Now the the US banking sector has been told that it must charge retailers slightly lower fees on debit card transactions, there's an all-out rush to invent creative new ways to soak you, the consumer, for every last cent that the banks are losing. Already, free checking is coming to an end. And now, Bank of America is going the extra mile to create a new way to charge you for access to your own money. Go, WSJ:

Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank by assets, plans to charge customers a $5 monthly fee for making debit-card purchases starting early next year, according to an internal memo sent to bank executives Thursday.

The fee will apply to customers with various checking accounts during any month they use their debit card to make a purchase.

So because the bank can extort less from merchants, they will charge you the rest. That's the beginning and end of this story. Hey, what happened to the idea of banks making money by loaning out your money to others and charging interest, rather than by nickel-and-diming small consumers to death with fees that eat up significant portions of their accounts? Eh, it's too hard to make money on loans now. Because of the shitty economy. Which crashed because banks made too many bad loans. Because of greed.

That will be $5.

[WSJ, photo via AnOpenWindow/Flickr]