Too Big To Pay for their mistakes, today’s signing was a triumph over taxpayers by the monster banks. They even stopped a microscopic fee from being added during non-crisis times to pay for the janitors when the mess inevitably happens again.
Can we have a show of hands for those who think that if/when Citi craters, the Congress or White House will be able to impose a fee to pay for the cleanup?
That’s right – nobody believes anyone other than taxpayers will pay when the crisis comes.
My favorite among the nonsensical reasons to kill the megabank fee was the argument that they would just pass along the cost to customer? Well, duh! Who else should foot the bill? The non-customers, for being so stupid that they use inefficient community banks or credit unions?
Another of my favorite absurdities was the carve-out that keeps car dealers from being subjected to consumer protections.
30% of Americans do not live in a house they own. They just get by, and rent a place to live. The destruction of the subprime mortgage market means that number is only going to go up.
So what is the single largest debt obligation that huge swath of working Americans will undertake?
Answer: Car loans.
But they don’t need to be regulated, because car dealers are all honest, generous people that never take advantage of less sophisticated customers. You know, the kind that can’t really afford to pay too much. The kind that work hard and get none of the breaks the rent-a-jet crowd can afford.
What’s wrong with this picture?
I hope they can at least do us all a favor and appoint Elizabeth Warren as the first Commissioner. She has her head screwed on straight, and understands most, but not all, the dirty tricks.