When the Obama administration stepped in to put an end to the geyser of ridiculous charges, fees, and dodgy rates, for a while there it looked like the banks didn't know who to shakedown.
Fear no more. Our banks have found brilliant new ways to charge the under privileged for the privilege of being allowed to use their own money.
First Bank of America announced that your debit card is about to start charging you money for holding your money - and soon they're going to start charging you money for giving that money back to you too!
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Ain't capitalism grand?
It's because the US banking sector was told they would have to charge retailers slightly lower fees on debit card transactions - and regulations adopted in the aftermath of the bank bailouts reduced revenue for their highly controversial fees by billions of dollars.
The only way for an average customer to avoid Bank of America's new fees now is to take out a Bank of America mortgage or deposit $20,000 in the bank (I'm sure you have it stashed away somewhere) - alternatively you can simply use your debit card for ATM transactions, which will remain free.
Those are your options now.
Not by be outdone by Bank of America's bold move, Citibank announced yesterday it's raising monthly fees for checking accounts—doubling them for its mid-level option - and raising the minimum balances.
What this means is that the banks have identified the customers with the least amount of money, and have devised a way to charge them more.
It's seems incredible to me that our major banks would start acting like a monopoly just at this painful moment in our history - as the anti-Wall Street, anti-corporate sentiment that has lingered since the bailout and the start of the great recession seems to be coming to a head - but then, we live in a two-tiered America now, where our gilded class never concern themselves with the consequences of their pursuit of profit.
Next they'll be asking for tax cuts for death creating, won't they? Will they be surprised when we're in no mood to oblige them?