Friday, January 25, 2008

Banks asked to cut fees for reparations

I'm sure someone could craft a better article title than this. I was about ready to assume this was an article about reparations for the decendants of slaves. It wasn't about that though, it was about the survivors of the Jewish Holocaust. Why did I even qualify it with Jewish even though when some talk about the Holocaust most people know exactly what I'm talking about?

Believe me I'm not trying to make light of it. This brief article is interesting and I must say seeing this article in the Sun-Times I wonder how long it would take for people to start asking for this in the form of reparations. And yeah I'm largely talking about black-activists seeking reparations although I'm sure there are other groups out there who feel like they should get some reparations.

It may only be a $10 fee, but for Holocaust survivors, many of whom are on fixed incomes, that's $10 too much, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias said Tuesday.

Giannoulias asked all Illinois banks to voluntarily waive international wire transfer fees on reparations paid to Holocaust survivors by the German government. At a news conference with the American Jewish Committee and the consul general of Germany, Giannoulias urged nearly 700 banks that do business with the state to waive the fees -- as much as 10 percent of each payment -- as a gesture of support.

"Waiving these fees will have a small impact on banks' bottom line, but speak volumes about their commitment to the well-being of Illinois residents," he said.

It's not known how many of Illinois' 5,000 Holocaust survivors qualify for reparations. The average payment is $350 a month, and the wire fee is $10 to $40, according to American Jewish Committee-Chicago President Allan Reich.
The last part of this article indicates that other national banks such as Chicago's own JP Morgan Chase waive the fee for international wire transfers and that our state treasurer is only following the lead of other states that mandate it.

Heh, it's possible that this is the absolute first time I have ever brought up reparations. It would have been easier to do in the first year of this blog. Perhaps I might have more posts on the reparations movement I'm somewhat familiar with later!

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