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Trey Ellis Headshot

I Just Gave You $45 Billion. Why Am I Still Paying ATM Fees?

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The President is still more popular than George Clooney but after the A.I.G. mess and if the current bank bailout plan -- written by Wall Street insiders for Wall Street insiders -- doesn't turn the economy around, then he will need to again ask us, the taxpayers, to cough up another massive hairball of loot for Plan B.

May I suggest that he offer us something in return?

If so far we have given

$45 billion to Citibank

$45 billion to Bank of America

$25 billion to Chase

$25 billion to Wells Fargo

then why are we, their new investors, still gouged for fictitious ATM fees? The true cost of an ATM transaction is about a quarter. Let the banks make their money on interest from mortgages and business loans, the very loans that our bailout is supposed to foster.

Furthermore, why are these banks that we are now supporting still allowed to prey upon the most endangered consumers by cranking up their interest rates to as high as 29.9%? You could get a better rate from Tony Soprano.

What can we do about all this?
Dick Durbin and Rhode Island's Senator Sheldon Whitehouse are introducing legislation to address the issue now. We could let them know that we've got their back.

We could collectively demand a little dividend on the billions we've already shelled out.

And if the President got behind the idea early it might make us regular folk a little more enthused about further bailouts.