Entries tagged with “economy” from Kathryn Elliott's News Blog

Call for banks to curtail overdraft fees

     The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., lawmakers and the public have increased pressure for banks to reform their assessment of overdraft fees, USA Today said.
     If banks continue at a steady rate, they will bring in a record $43.6 billion in fees charged to customer's checking accounts, mostly for overdrawing, The Wall Street Journal said.

     The Federal Reserve needs to set the standards for how to determine fees, FDIC Chair Sheila Bair said in an interview with USA Today.

     Some analysts warn that restricting bank's fees will make it more difficult for the economy to recover. Banks have been using money from overdrafts to compensate for loans that have been badly affected by the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal said.

     The two articles referenced above, one from USA Today and one from The Wall Street Journal, present relatively identical information very differently.  The former focuses on the need for banking reform, citing various officials who support systemic changes. The latter quotes more facts and figures with less editorializing and zero assumptions.

     The Wall Street Journal does add a subjective angle in the last few grafs.  It quotes a VP from a smaller bank whose fees have remained stable through the economic crisis. This struck me as a not-so-subtle hint that consumers can always seek a less mainstream option and save money with a little time and effort. Of course, if consumers kept better tabs on their balances (no pun intended), there would be no overdraft activity on which banks could capitalize.  


G-20 world leaders gather to revamp economy

     Twenty of the world's richest, most influential countries sent leaders to Pittsburgh on Friday to collaborate on an effort to return stability to the global economy.
     Nations agreed to present their financial systems for review by other governments and the International Monetary Fund, The New York Times said. The president hopes these accountability measures among peer nations will prevent another financial crisis.
     "Because our global economy is now fundamentally interconnected, we need to act together to make sure the recovery creates new jobs and industries while preventing the kind of imbalances and abuses that led us into this crisis," Obama said.
     An article in The Washington Post follows a global financial timeline, sorting out for the reader what happened with the crisis, where we are now economically, and how world leaders are preparing nations to cooperate in the near future.

     One of the more controversial aspects of the G-20 agreement that the Times discusses is the call for banks to keep higher reserves of capital as a margin against sudden, unplanned market disruptions. Such a practice would affect nations differently and leaders in Europe disagreed about the specifics, the Times said.

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