Prepaid Debit Cards Are a Great Way for Banks to Soak the Poor

Hamilton Nolan · 05/23/12 04:22PM

If ever you become misty-eyed and soft-hearted after watching a few too many soft-focus sunlight-drenched bank ads full of friendly professional women and smiling minorities who've just bought their first homes, it's good to remind yourself that big banks are, fundamentally, soulless robots whose only aim is to extract as much money as possible from you via any tactics they're allowed to get away with. They are the bloodsuckers of the poor. There is no better example of this than prepaid debit cards.

Banks: Maybe Debit Card Fees Are a Bad Idea

Hamilton Nolan · 10/28/11 10:46AM

Not so long ago, Bank of America decided that a good way to refill its slightly-less-bulging-than-usual pockets would be to charge people a monthly fee for their debit cards. "This won't cause a massive public backlash at all, probably," they thought to themselves, while setting a box of puppies aflame.

Your Debit Card Is About to Start Costing You Money

Hamilton Nolan · 09/29/11 02:54PM

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.

Guess Who's Speaking Up on Behalf of the Poor Banking Industry?

Hamilton Nolan · 03/23/11 11:45AM

You may be aware that the banking industry is currently engaged in a furious lobbying campaign to avoid the frightening prospect of being forced to lower the fees it charges retailers every time you use your debit card to buy something. It would just put "unfair profits" into the pockets of retailers, while forcing banks to raise the fees they charge you, the consumer, for every last thing! (According to the banking industry.)

Sloganeering Towards Fallujah

Hamilton Nolan · 03/10/10 03:46PM

The Way We Live Now: Boldly Embracing Change. We must Move Forward and Evolve With Strength and Reward Success and other such buzzwords, if we are to survive as a nation in which people "buy" things. Not that you can.