One thing everyone seems to be overlooking when they talk about all the bad loans banks MADE and how the taxpayer is having to bailout all the banks is just exactly where did these bad loans come from? Surprisingly enough, they all came from taxpayers (maybe they are paying taxes, but the populist side does not require that you actually pay taxes to get this monicker and be able to complain about the taxpayers bailing out banks). There is not some mystical source of BAD LOANS that bankers go to just so they can get "taxpayers" to bail them out. People bought things they could not afford and later stiffed the banks the money they owed. Again the populist view totally disconnects the source of bad loans in their equation in looking for fault. EVERY loan loss banks are taking has some individual's or company's name on it that promised to repay money they borrowed, but didn't. If you want to be mad at someone for the banking crisis start with the financially irresponsible people that made the bad loans. If everyone repays what they borrowed we have no "banking crisis."
Friends and neighbors like Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Chris Dodd and Chuckie Boy (who is going to save everyone from overdraft charges) help facilitate more bad loans and bankrupted the GSE's like Fannie and Ginnie (here is where the "taxpayers" did take it up the whazoo along with stockholders and creditors)by passing legisltation to help ensure people that could not afford homes got loans anyway. Banks were required to make the "affordable housing" loans so they could meet Community Reinvestment Act requirements.
This was not a conspiracy of bankers looking for ways to get "taxpayer" money. When you look at TARP the majority of the money went to four financial institutions: Citibank, Bank of America, AIG and Wells Fargo (to assume the Wachovia mess). Other banks, like BB&T, were FORCED to take the money they didn't want and gave it back as soon as they could after paying the government (taxpayers) a handsome profit for money they didn't need or want. Let's look at the scope of banks involved in the "bailout": FOUR took 85% of the money!
On the subject of overdraft fees, several have already made it abundantly clear that overdraft fees are 100% avoidable...just know how much money you have in your account and don't write checks or use debit cards when you don't have money. Is this too bizarre of a concept for people to understand? At one time having an overdrawn check was a real embarrassment for individuals. Today it is standard operating procedure and the bank is at fault because they charge a fee for it. Overdraft fees are like traffic tickets...no one was really at fault; it was the cop being unreasonable; it is the city trying to raise more tax money; it was a bad speedometer. It was never because we were actually driving 60 in a 35 while sending texts.
We have become a society of victims where all our misfortune is always someone else's fault. It's time for the American public to man-up. It's your bad loans banks are charging off. It's your lack of financial responsibility that is creating overdraft fees. It's not the tobacco company's fault you have lung cancer from smoking. It's not McDonald's fault that you are fat and get out of breath waddling to the refrigerator during commercial breaks for the Biggest Loser. Grow up and quit looking for a lawyer or the government (or your church) to look after you. The sooner we do this, the better off society will be.