Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stories about banking

Let's start with the President wanting tax banks to recover the cost of all the bailouts:
President Barack Obama said Thursday he wants to tax banks to recoup the public bailout of foundering firms at the height of the financial crisis. "We want our money back," he said.

In a brief appearance with advisers at the White House, Obama branded the latest round of bank bonuses as "obscene." But he said his goal was to prevent such excesses in the future, not to punish banks for past behavior.

It was an emphatic and populist tone for a president keenly aware of public antipathy toward Wall Street. With the sharp words, he also tried to deflect some of the growing skepticism aimed at his own economic policies as unemployment stubbornly hovers around 10 percent.
...

He renewed his call for a regulatory overhaul of the industry and scolded bankers for opposing the tighter oversight in legislation moving through Congress.
...
The president is proposing a tax of 0.15 percent on the liabilities of large financial institutions. It would apply only to those companies with assets of more than $50 billion — a group estimated at about 50.

They would have to pay up even though many did not accept any taxpayer assistance and most that did have repaid the infusions.
Hmmm, I'm not big on taxes and I would hope that this tax on banks would not be passed down to be as a depositor at a bank that accepted no TARP funds at all and was not very affected by the crisis on Wall Street before Obama became President.

Also this story about the benefits of online banking caught my eye:
Do you want to save money? Do you also want to be free of ATM machines, bank tellers and your mailed, monthly bank statement? They seem like kind of silly questions, don’t they?

A recent article from CNNMoney.com makes clear the lesson that using the Internet as your most powerful banking tool allows you to save time, have more control over your banking and ultimately save money through decreased mailings. The internet also makes for easier comparison shopping for rates and greater accuracy through better-balanced books.

“You can use the Internet to compare fees, yields and minimum deposit requirements nationwide,” CNNMoney notes. “Sites like Bankrate.com allow you to search and compare the highest yields and the lowest costs on banking, savings, loans and deposit rates nationwide.”
This is something I wouldn't mind taking advantage of, but then I would need a phone (such as a Blackberry) with a decent data plan that doesn't break my bank ;)
A Dec. 21 article from the Wall Street Journal points out that the paperless banking revolution is also no longer limited to your desktop PC or laptop. With advances in mobile phone network technology, online banking can now also be mobile banking, which adds total, personalized convenience to the savings of going paperless.
Before either making a purchase or after that purchase I can check how much money is in the bank. Or I can see about any bills that must be paid. All that's necessary is a mobile phone.

These are the days! The future is here!

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