Oh brother. From The Hill: DURBIN ON NEW BANK FEES: ‘HERE WE GO AGAIN’
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is ramping up pressure on Bank of Americayet again over new fees.
The assistant Senate Majority Leader on Thursday railed against the nation’s second-largest bank, which is mulling new fees, and called on all the nation’s banks to adopt model disclosure that clearly lays out all fees tied to specific accounts.
“Here we go again,” said Durbin in astatement. “This brazen return to new monthly fees is a challenge that cannot go unanswered.” [Emph.added]
This is preposterous.Dick Durbin thinks banks are being “brazen” for actually wanting to charge customers for services they provide. Does he not understand how free enterprise works? (Wait. Don’t answer that.) As far as that goes, does he not understand arithmetic? (Don’t answer that either.) How the heck does Durbin expect consumer banking to even survive if banks can’t offset their costs? Demand deposit accounts offer a number of valuable features that benefit not just consumers but the economy overall. Not the least of these benefits are safety, liquidity, and convenience. But all that costs money, in the form of everything from IT spending to FDIC insurance charges. By some estimates, banks pay anywhere from $200 to $350 per year to offer and maintain a consumer checking account.
And here’s Dick Durbin, apparently pining for some kind of twisted utopia where Elizabeth Warren would be queen, saying banks’ plans to recoup those costs are a “challenge thatcannot go unanswered.” The challenge, Dick, is for banks to find a way to earn an acceptable return in a regulatory environment crafted by anti-free-market zealots like you. As it is, Durbin has already engineered a multi-billion-dollargiveaway from the banks to the retailing industry, via a mandated imposition of federal price fixing called the Durbin amendment. (Which won’t benefit consumers at all, by the way, and will only help line retailers’ pockets, instead.) Now he’s even against the idea of banks’ charging transparent fees for services. This can’t be just ignorance on Durbin’s part. It must be a deeply held hostility to the free market itself, instead.
In his implacable opposition to bank fees of any kind, Dick Durbin is exhibiting the worst kind of populist demagoguery. He’s a bully who’s simply against the idea of banks earning a decent return. But subpar returns for banks translate into subpar creation of credit, which in turn means anemic economic growth. You would think even Dick Durbin would be against that, but he’s not. He prefers ranting instead.
What do you think? Let me know!