(Also- “Obama, The Banks and the Consumer Confidence Game“)
Obama stands up to the banks; the Stock Markets fall – should we care? In an effort to turn our attention away from the Administration and Democratic Party’s multiple failures (most notably turning healthcare reform into mandatory health insurance) the President has decided to turn his back on the large banks that gave him his Economics Team.
Ignoring for the moment the likelihood this is merely theatrics from all players, should we care that stock prices dipped? I think not.
Sure my 401(k) will take a hit; just as it’s about to reach its former high value (from back in May of 2008). Yes companies will use this as another reason not to hire people. And MSM (the ‘mainstream media‘) and FauxNews will yell this is the end of the world as we know it. If only that last part was truly accurate; the end of the lies, fraud and shameless ‘financial instruments’ that reveal just how low humans can go.
As just one very small illustration; I currently use a regional bank for my personal accounts, business account and single credit card. The credit card payment was due on Monday the 18th. Martin Luther King Jnr day. A day the bank is closed. So my payment (a transfer from one account to another on Sunday) was ‘deemed to have arrived’ on Tuesday. They slapped a $39 ‘late fee’ and about $6 in interest on my account. That the Bank set as a due date a day that the Post Office and their offices mark as a holiday doesn’t feel right, even if not illegal. After I pointed out how long I’ve been a customer, they waived the fee but not the interest. Obviously this regional bank wants to play with the Big Boys…. so perhaps it’s time to Move My Money to a smaller bank or a credit union (such as I had before I moved down here).
On the bright side; Economists and MSM are always saying that Consumer Spending represents anywhere from 60 to 75% of the US’ GDP. And that falling Consumer Confidence leads to reduced Consumer Spending which somehow is unpatriotic, a threat to the American Way of Life, and just plain selfish. If that be true, then tackling outrageous bank fees, heavy-handed policies, and an unfounded arrogance of an industry that creates nothing (well, except false wealth and real poverty) will raise Consumer Confidence; and must inevitably lead to increased Consumer Spending and save the world.
So it’s time to support the President in his effort to do the morally (and fiscally ) proper thing. It may well be naive to believe he’s doing it out of moral outrage, it’s not the same thing as getting me full-time employment, and it does nothing (directly) for my mortgage. But after a year it’s one step in the right direction.