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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Remember the “Durbin Fee” while using your debit cards

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Government imposes new price controls on an industry.  Industry raises prices elsewhere to make up for the artificial cap on cost recovery.  Government expresses shock, 'shock' at the development.  For those of us old enough to remember the 1970s, this seems like 'deja vu' all over again, as Yogi Berra once said.  For those either too young or too “dim,” as the Washington Examiner puts it, the surprise should be a learning experience, even for a “dim bulb” like Dick Durbin:

During the debate over the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, when Democrats controlled Congress, Durbin insisted on including an amendment that had nothing to do with Dodd-Frank’s stated aims of stable banks and consumer protections. The Durbin amendment granted regulators the authority to establish price controls on what banks could charge merchants that accepted their customers’ debit cards as payment. The resulting regulations, which took effect Oct. 1, limit what banks can charge merchants to no more than 24 cents per debit card transaction.

Critics pointed out that banks, facing $6 billion annual losses from this change, would shift the costs of debit cards from merchants to bank customers. Sure enough, Bank of America and several of its largest competitors — including Wells Fargo, PNC, HSBC, SunTrust, TDBank, and Chase — will be imposing various new fees on their customers to make up for Durbin’s folly.


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