Save American Jobs: Close Your Chase Account

It’s time we started pressuring the banksters in the only language they understand: their pocket-books. If they begin to lose customers who refuse to let their money be used to gamble away American jobs and taxpayer money, then they might start thinking about the good of the country for a change.

So mr. emptywheel and I took that step today. We closed our Chase accounts (which, because mr. ew recently took a buy-out, was a not-insignificant amount) and put that money into a credit union that’s supporting Michigan, not trying to bankrupt it. 

Here’s how I explained to the Chase people why we were closing our accounts.

I’m closing my Chase accounts because JP Morgan Chase has placed its corporate interests above the jobs and health care of the people of my community, unlike other banks that continue to invest in rebuilding Michigan.

JP Morgan Chase insists on putting Chrysler into bankruptcy

On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that JP Morgan is “resisting government pressure to swap” its Chrysler debt for equity in a restructured Chrysler. But if JP Morgan refuses this swap, then Chrysler will be forced into bankruptcy within a month.

According to the Wall Street Journal, JP Morgan prefers bankruptcy because, “billions of dollars of government debt and the UAW retiree health-care obligation [would] be wiped out before the secured lenders [JP Morgan and other big banks] lose anything.” In other words, JP Morgan wants to force Chrysler into bankruptcy so it would get repaid before all other creditors—including Chrysler retirees and US taxpayers.

JP Morgan Chase has already gotten billions from US taxpayers

Such cynical economic considerations might be understandable coming from other banks.  But JP Morgan Chase has already received $25 billion in TARP funds from American taxpayers. And the taxpayer bailout of AIG ensured JP Morgan Chase got $1.2 .4 billion [corrected] in its AIG deals paid off at full value.

With all that taxpayers have already given to JP Morgan Chase, isn’t it time JP Morgan Chase started to give back to the communities it serves?

JP Morgan Chase’s actions will mean hundreds of thousands lose their jobs and healthcare

Instead, JP Morgan Chase’s corporate single-mindedness threatens to put 40,000 Chrysler workers in Michigan out of a job, along with 150,000 Chrysler dealer employees and tens of thousand workers at Chrysler’s suppliers.

And JP Morgan Chase’s insistence that it should jump the line ahead of retirees means hundreds of thousands of retirees may lose healthcare benefits they worked all their lives to earn.

Michigan’s economy is already in terrible shape. But JP Morgan Chase seems intent on making it much worse.

I want to invest my money rebuilding Michigan—not bankrupting it

I want to put my money to work rebuilding Michigan—not sending Michiganders more deeply into bankruptcy. So I’m withdrawing my money from Chase and investing it in a credit union owned by—and helping—Michiganders.

87 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    I had my ”Why I’m Closing My Account” all printed out–which made them a little nervous.

    And the guy who closed it tried to convince me UM was as evil a place as Chase. Though I think for a while, he was torn between bringing it home and figuring out what it all meant, or giving it to his manager. (He did the latter.)

    • MadDog says:

      And to be likely forwarded to the Treasury Department to be included in their warrantless Terrorist Bankster’s Surveillance Program.

      Key indicator of course is: “…persons reasonably believed to be associated with Credit Unions and affiliated credit organizations…”

  2. selise says:

    good for you. i hope hundreds thousands of people close their chase accounts too.

    but i don’t see why you have to resort to economic nationalism. chase is practicing gangsterism and taxpayers anywhere would object to that.

  3. Loo Hoo. says:

    Yes, I’ll close my Chase account. I closed my AT&T account after the illegal wiretapping was unveiled in 2005. Too bad that Mac is working with AT&T on the iphone.

    Bottom line is the only way to have real effect.

    • Hmmm says:

      Ditto, I dumped AT&T long distance account in favor of Qwest over the warrantless wiretapping (and got a great flat-rate deal to boot), and as it happens just last month I refinanced the house and in doing so paid off & closed my Chase mortgage and my Chase HELOC, and also paid my 3 Chase cards way way down. It felt great, good riddance to bad actors.

      (Oddly, none of the accounts were initially with Chase — for a couple years there it was downright weird, they kept acquiring my debt and the cards, one account at a time…)

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        You make a good point. Many people may have chosen other lenders than Chase, but in part because Chase has received so much government assistance and others haven’t, it has acquired several other lenders – and their credit card operations.

        That great local bank/reasonable rate card you had in the past could well now be a Chase card. Expect your terms to be very different: less time to pay, higher minimum payments, a revised credit limit only a few dollars more than the amount currently outstanding, and a much higher interest rate.

        The last two work in tandem and can often themselves trigger lower credit scores, which has a knoock-on effect on all your borrowings. One reason is that among the criteria credit ratings agencies use to give you a score is what percentage of your “available credit” have you borrowed against. When banks like Chase significantly revise downward your borrowing limits, the percentage borrowed automatically goes up.

        The bottom line is check your cards, read the fine print that gets dumped into your monthly statements – especially if you bank exclusively online. If you don’t like what you see, ask to have it changed or change banks. Resources like Consumer Reports often list recommended banks with consumer friendly lending and credit card practices.

  4. PPDCUS says:

    This strategy could be particularly potent as JPMChase deals with a massive hangover from swallowing WAMU’s toxic loan portfolio. I like community banks and local credit unions better. The service tends to be superior, and none in our community is lurking around the Treasury Dept. begging for TARP funds.

  5. Waccamaw says:

    Well done, ma’am; well done! I hope that was a big honkin’ super fantastic buy-out amount to the point it made blood run out of the manager’s ears.

    I’ve been a credit union member for something like 40 years and can’t say enough good things about them. Actually worked for a credit union during two years of grad. school and its board and members were among the nicest people I’ve ever met. Almost wish I still had money in some bank account just to be able to do the same thing.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, it was an auto buy-out. They don’t do super honking big buy-outs.

      But I’m sure it caught their eye. When we deposited it in the CU, the woman promised to have their investment guy call us.

    • TobyWollin says:

      The DH and I (and all the youngsters at Chez Siberia) are members of a credit union. I once worked a job where our credit union was so small that I got to be member of the loan committee. In our area, any small business that needs under $100K has to go to one of the credit unions because the commercial banks locally won’t do business at that level. I love credit unions – I’ve never gotten the level of service from a bank that we get on a regular basis from our credit union.

      • Waccamaw says:

        I once worked a job where our credit union was so small that I got to be member of the loan committee.

        Darlin’, knowing you….it wouldn’t have mattered how big the CU was, they’d still have wanted you to be on their loan committee and considered themselves fortunate. *G*

  6. PPDCUS says:

    RE: # 12 — amend that last sentence to read…. blackmailing the Treasury Dept. for TARP funds.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Thank you. Good model for others to use. Most towns have lots of other places for readers to put their money, if they still have any. Chase’s reputation for predatory credit card practices is another reason to find another lender, one that wants to live with its neighbors, not off them.

    • PPDCUS says:

      Frontline’s 2004 credit card expose` showed that there’s no competition for reasonable practices because credit cards are the financial industry’s major source of lucre after credit default swaps and other overleveraged beasts in the post Glass/Steagall Land of Oz.

      If consumers understood that credit cards are NOT a way to borrow money, these profits would disappear quickly and the same players would be back demanding more subsidies from taxpayers.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Lots of people have few practical alternatives to borrowing against a credit card. But you’re right, even when this overall economy improves, the middle class are likely to be more, not less, vulnerable. Just as they’ve seen static incomes since 1973. Conversely, the top 5%, top 1% and top 0.1% have seen serious growth in income and assets.

        Consequently, middle class income earners should try to limit borrowings where possible and to keep a watchful eye on everything that comes in the mail. Those junk-letter like notices may not be junk at all.

        • PPDCUS says:

          There are two market forces that feed the new American Serfdom.

          1) The high cost of low prices — the WalMart effect — where living wage jobs with benefits vital to a secure, middle class family are globalized to the lowest cost labor market.

          2) The high cost of exorbitant finance charges — where people who have minimal access to credit pay usurious fees on loans they can barely distinguish from cash at the swipe of a credit card.

          Our current system of incentives, that favors capital & unearned income over labor and earned income, is crashing. Only trillions from taxpayers in Fed & Treasury facility injections have propped up the illusion that gravity has been repealed.

          It’s a hard rain gonna fall.

    • Mauimom says:

      Most towns have lots of other places for readers to put their money,

      Unfortunately, I live on Maui, and there’s only the local equivalent of Sugarcane Savings — i.e., I think they bury your money in a cane field.

  8. Blub says:

    question.. what percentage of Chase do we as taxpayers now own? I’d like to reference the number in correspondence to my congresscritter.

    • emptywheel says:

      None. They’ve gotten $25 billion plus for free.

      When I was closing the account the guy said, “besides the WaMu and the Bear Stearns deals, which I know we did well in, what have we gotten?”

      • Rayne says:

        Bear Stearns was worth $138 billion in assistance, wasn’t it?

        They bought it for the price of the real estate Bear Stearns occupied, about $2 billion.

      • cbl2 says:

        None. They’ve gotten $25 billion plus for free.

        I still find it stunning they are not listed as AIG counterparties – how could that be ?

        another tidbit stuck in my brain:

        Ten years ago, a “watershed” moment changed the profile of the derivatives that Mr. Cassano traded, according to a transcript of comments he made at an industry event last year. Derivatives specialists from J. P. Morgan, a leading bank that had many dealings with Mr. Cassano’s unit, came calling with a novel idea.

        Morgan proposed the following: A.I.G. should try writing insurance on packages of debt known as “collateralized debt obligations.” C.D.O.’s. were pools of loans sliced into tranches and sold to investors based on the credit quality of the underlying securities.


        • acquarius74 says:

          Thanks for the link, cbl2. I note that in 2007 Cassano was bragging about his customer list. Now those same groups are his victim list!

          I can’t get past the memory that J. P. Morgan was one of the big winner bank robbers in the crash of 1929. Those Robber Barons thought up the scheme to drive up the market, then all pulled out same day leaving the suckers to lose everything.

          BTW both JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have their people on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank. go figure….

  9. Blub says:

    unfortunately, I do no business with Chase at all, so nothing to boycott on my part. Money’s at BoA, I hate to admit.

  10. Phoenix Woman says:

    I closed my Chase account years ago when they screwed us to the wall because we’d missed one (1) payment (I’d written out the check for the bill but forgot to mail it — it was sitting in my purse). We made a point of paying off that one, and our Household Bank one, in full.

  11. emptywheel says:

    It ended up being more than that because the share price went up to $10.

    Nevertheless, highway robbery, with you and I backing the deal.

    Too bad all our neighbors and spouses and family members will lose their jobs because of JPMC’s success, huh?

    • acquarius74 says:

      Marcy, I haven’t read all the comments, so others may have suggested this idea.

      The senior citizen organization, AARP uses Chase Bank to administer their credit card accounts.

      My credit card balance in the AARP account has been zero for about 6 months. I’ll close it out, with a letter of explanation.

      My suggestion is: Can we pressure AARP to discontinue doing business with Chase for the reasons you state in your diary? A petition?

      AARP membership is a huge block of the population. Statistics show that seniors are the most conscientious in voting. Lots of them have also lost their pension plans in this meltdown.

      How can we bring them onboard enmass?

      • klynn says:

        That is a great idea. AARP is a huge lobby and to approach them on the fact of the loss of retirement benefits is a great angle to approach them.

        Might be good to see what other non-profits use Chase cc’s. Lot’s of University Development funds do use credit cards (Mine was a Mastercard). Do any MI universities offer Chase alum cards to give a % of purchases back to the university?

        • acquarius74 says:

          Thanks, klynn. You pups who are smarter than I about all this, take this idea and run with it!!

          website is http://

          AARP’s news magazine has a Letters section. (I haven’t renewed my membership so don’t have much current info).

  12. Loo Hoo. says:

    I had a $1.00 balance on a chase card and sent it electronically to an old account. (My credit union is updating, and this was an account I thought I had deleted) The late fee was $15.00.

    Next, my AmEx card showed a $35.00 late fee for a bill I had never received. Could be American Express, could be mail delivery, I don’t know.

    I do know that my credit score had been excellent, and that I had two late fees in one month. Makes me suspicious.

  13. SouthernDragon says:

    Excellent, EW. Thank you for showing folks just how painless it really is to poke the beast. Never satisfied, I’d like folks to do the same with Citi and BoA. Put your money in a credit union if you can, a community bank otherwise.

  14. cbl2 says:

    thanks ew! that makes more sense although I’d like to know why it’s only .4 – not the way these vultures play

    p.s. an entire central texas family is yelling in the living room and sporting the green n white tonight – am so outta touch with the event had no idea it was in Detroit this year of all years – usually means a min. of $20mm to the host city – go State !

  15. Elliott says:

    when are we getting usury laws back?

    I am sick to death of these banks amending the lending agreements we made with tiny-type undated inserts that require no acknowledgment of receipt on the part of the borrower. All Hell would break loose if it were done the other way ’round.

    • PPDCUS says:

      As long as the financial system has the political system in its pocket …. I’m not expecting any time soon.

    • Hmmm says:

      Chris Dodd is making small squeaking noise about credit card reform. Sadly I am not confident he’ll get ‘er done. * Sigh. * Saturday night I was doing my taxes and found the $100 I gave his campaign early last year, when he stood up for FISA. Man, what a difference a year makes.

  16. Loo Hoo. says:

    Alright, I give up on Oxdown. Couldn’t do tags….I’ll try this here (forgive me, EW!). I have no idea how the format will turn out.

    Here are the reasons that Darrell Issa voted against the stimulus package. Close your eyes every once in a while and concentrate on having it make sense.

    Dear Ms. XXX: Thank you for contacting me regarding the economic stimulus package. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your thoughts on this important issue.

    I knew he was waiting to hear from me!

    At the start of 2009, there was bipartisan agreement in Congress for emergency spending on infrastructure and tax cuts to create new jobs and reinvigorate private sector investments. Unfortunately, the final bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, fell short on both fronts.

    See, Darrell knows this less than two months into this.

    I joined over 180 of my House colleagues in voting against the original and final bill, H.R. 1, the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.”

    You scamp! What an individualist!

    The $792 billion economic stimulus package supported by President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unlikely to be a catalyst for economic growth. Rather, it is an unhealthy expansion of the federal government.

    Some scary names…

    To respond to an emergency, you must act quickly. However, only 40 percent of the total spending will be used for one-time spending. The majority of funds will not be injected into the economy until after fiscal year 2009.

    Perhaps money should be showered down on America from helicoptors. Black ones?

    Stimulus funds must be targeted to be effective. Only a small portion of the $792 billion will go toward road and highway construction that creates jobs and aids individuals and private businesses alike. Instead, funding is used for a myriad of projects including the National Endowment for the Arts ($50 million), NASA ($400 million), and new federal government cars ($300 million). Dropped in at the last moment without review, $ 8 billion will be available for high speed rail projects, including the “Sin City Express” from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

    That’s a lie. When did this man start hating NASA?

    Government stimulus spending must encourage private investment. The tax cuts proposed in the stimulus are short-term and help reduce current losses, but they do little to encourage new and long-term investment. Columbia University economist Massimo Morelli concludes an economic stimulus must “foster innovation and productive investment” which this bill does not do.

    Let’s check with Wiki to find out who this Massimo Morelli is.

    Instead of injecting new life into the economy, the bill will support a massive growth of government. $95 billion will be spent to expand 73 existing government programs – 19 of which have been described as “ineffective” or “results not demonstrated” by the Office of Management and Budget. The bill will permanently expand 106 programs. ACORN, the community activist organization that accepts government funds to lobby on behalf of political candidates, will be eligible to receive up to hundreds of millions of dollars in community revitalization funding to further their political interests. This is completely contrary to the purpose of the stimulus which is to create jobs to grow our economy – not help politicians and special interest influence.

    I know that Darrell would never consider a political move.

    Lawmakers are supposed to be stewards of taxpayer dollars, yet this bill does not have the ingredients to promote economic growth. The Brookings Institute senior fellow Pietro Nivola says, “a strong stimulus to the economy is desirable – and the faster the better.” But, “there is little room for error. In the current dangerous situation, shoveling $800 billion at the problem, only to discover that too little of it actually stimulates, could prove to be a cure considerably worse than the disease.”

    Again, let’s check the credentials of…..xt=Search. I’m starting to think he’s finding guys with ethnic names, for the love of god.

    This bill will grow the government to unsustainable levels and miss an opportunity to reinvigorate the economy. An effective stimulus can be accomplished through tax cuts and targeted spending, without making individuals and businesses more reliant on the government or saddling our children with trillions of dollars of additional debt.

    As a more targeted alternative, I cosponsored H.R. 470, the “Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009.” This bill would assist working families without increasing government spending through enhanced child tax credits, increases in deductions for student loans, repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), and the lowering of capital gains/dividends tax rates, among other provisions. The bill would spur economic investment through lowered business tax rates, making research and development tax credits a priority, and allowing for immediate full deduction of the cost of new business assets.

    You know, Darrell, 5% of $35,000 is a whole lot less than 5% of $50,000,000.

    If these proven targeted tax measures designed to encourage economic investment, sustain struggling businesses, and assist struggling families were joined with targeted, one-time infrastructure investment, true economic stimulus would take place.The government can help reinvigorate our economy. It can be achieved without driving our country to unmanageable levels of debt. I look forward to working with my Congressional colleagues to regain control of our spending and keep America competitive.

    Please, sir, keep your hands off our spending. You’ve shown what you can do.

    Again, thank you for contacting me regarding economic stimulus. Please feel free to contact me with future comments or concerns.

    Will do!

    Sincerely,Darrell IssaMember of Congress

    • fatster says:

      “Close your eyes every once in a while and concentrate on having it make sense.”

      Are you kidding me? Make sense? Issa?

      I swear he and Lungren have the same person writing their letters to “constituents.” I do admire your ability and patience to actually try and make sense of it. I’ve got a 3-pager from Dan right now. I’ll try and emulate you, but, boy do I get bogged down in all ‘em words.

  17. nextstopchicago says:

    I’m passing this along to my Chase-account-holding girlfriend. I’m a Banco Popular person myself, though I really know nothing about them. I just sort of assumed a Puerto Rican-based bank with branches in my ‘hood would be better than a NY conglomerate. But does anyone know any more? I may google a bit and see what I find.

    Now that I think about it, my former First Chicago “First Card” United Mileage Plus visa is now a Chase visa. I’ve almost phased out using it anyway, so maybe it’s time.

    • Hmmm says:

      I hear ya on the United card. They keep eroding the MP benefits. I made Premiere Exec this year and it really wasn’t worth the effort. Just buy Economy Plus for the year. Leaving Chase outside in the rain w/r/t your business.

  18. bell says:

    kudos to you emptywheel… jpmorgan is bankrupt anyway…no worry about a head start to the exit anymore…

  19. bmaz says:


    That strong voice at the end is enough to seal teh deal.

    Bravo I say!! Credit where credit due; let him eat steak!

  20. klynn says:

    Beautiful! Wonderful! Most excellent work!

    Thank you EW!

    I hope this goes viral across the nation. We have our $$ in a local credit union currently. I hope people in Ohio, Indiana, CA. …Catch on.

    I wrote about a week ago about my 16-year-old’s reaction to the new Chase ad of “We keep your money safe.” I wrote that my son said, “Yeah, because you take our money and keep it,” and Mom klynn followed with, “In off-shore accounts.”

    We were surprised to see in just days after posting that comment, the ad has changed.

    Great video too. Nice camera work Mr. EW. And like the ending commentary. Woof!

    • selise says:

      I hope this goes viral across the nation.

      across the world.

      ordinary people all over the world are being held hostage by the banksters.

      • klynn says:

        Almost wrote “world” but wanted to get to the point of saving “our” economy. Nonetheless, you’ll get no argument from me to change it to “world”.

        • selise says:

          lol. i didn’t think you’d object.

          the point i would make though, is that “our” economy really is the global economy. in many ways, we’re all in this together and the more we play to economic nationalism the more we all lose (especially the really poor in developing countries).

          • klynn says:

            Very true.

            However, you save Detroit, you will, for the time being, save the world.

            Very Heroes of me…

            Save Detroit. Save the world.

  21. crack says:

    Does JP Morgan own CDSs on it’s Chrysler debt? If so, who is the counterparty for those CDSs?

    • emptywheel says:

      We can’t know for sure, because that stuff is kept secret. But I would bet a good deal of money they have bet a great deal of money on Chrysler’s (and GM’s and Ford’s) bankruptcy.

      I suspect they are playing honest banker all the while better heavily in favor that the entire US auto industry collapses.

  22. BAmer says:

    Loved McC at the end! And your office was so clean for this video!

    And to all the non-Michiganders, yes, that was snow on the ground, and no, this wasn’t shot in January!

  23. klynn says:

    We should also ask every university to cancel their contracts with CC companies and just give the 1.- million each school gets, directly to the schools and cut that amount out of the TARP funds.

  24. klynn says:

    More here.

    And here.

    Boy, what is sick about this is that Chase can track all the businesses in an area that the cards are used and then consider how to gain against what losses those companies will take with a total collapse.

    This is bad.

    Community Banks should offer anyone who is on unemployment to open an account to get direct deposit and get rid of their Chase card.

    • acquarius74 says:

      klynn’s statement at #66 merits repeating in bold!

      Community Banks should offer anyone who is on unemployment to open an account to get direct deposit and get rid of their Chase card


      • acquarius74 says:

        Community Banks should offer anyone who is on unemployment to open an account to get direct deposit and get rid of their Chase card.

  25. klynn says:

    How much is UIA getting for this partnership? How much is Chase making off unemployed workers?

    Sorry to blog whore EW. This is just sick.

    • acquarius74 says:

      klynn, your research deserves to be a diary; perhaps an ongoing day-by-day update on the dirty dealins of Chase and its parent, JP Morgan Chase.

      You GO, girl!!

  26. klynn says:

    Look at this.

    In the face of rising unemployment, states have increasingly turned to debit cards to deliver jobless payments. To date, 30 states are using debit cards to pay unemployment benefits, with another 10 in the process of changing over to debit cards. With the growth in entitlement programs as part of the Obama stimulus program, the trend to debit cards is likely to continue.

    Crap, this stinks. We bail them out and they get contracts to distribute unemployment? They should provide that service free with all the tax dollars we have sunk into them.

    The states need to change this fast.

    • bmaz says:

      Aren’t some of them also charging the unemployment recipients a transaction fee each time they use the debit cards? I am pretty sure I have seen that report.

      • klynn says:

        Yep. A few of the articles I linked to tell tales of woe about that.

        I also found this snip about tracking transactions. Just sick.

        “ALBANY – The check isn’t in the mail. And won’t be again, at least if you’re on unemployment.

        Since Sept. 10, state unemployment checks have been replaced by a debit card program run through and the Allpoint ATM network and JPMorgan Chase & Co., parent of Chase. The cards can be used to access the accounts, which are filled weekly.

        There is no limit to what or where the cards can be used, according to the state Department of Labor.

        For the first seven days of the program, Chase recorded more than 300,000 transactions – … “

        • klynn says:

          Here’s another on the fees issue.

          UNDATED (AP) – There’s a new source of financial pain for hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs to the recession.

          Ohio is one of 30 states where unemployment benefits now come with fees because of deals struck with big banks including Citigroup and Bank of America.

          An Associated Press review of the agreements finds all the programs carry fees, and in several states the unemployed have no choice but to use debit cards to receive their jobless benefits. Some banks even charge overdraft fees of up to $20 — even though they could decline charges for more than what’s on the card.

          The banks say they offer convenience. But the fees are raising questions from lawmakers who voted recently to infuse banks with taxpayer money to keep them afloat.

  27. PacificCoastRon says:

    Interesting, my IRA (which never shrunk by more than 45% at the latest bottom, I boast) has 400 shares of JP Morgan Chase Preferred shares, meaning I am their creditor and they are my debtor ! (They have been regularly paying their 6% on what I loaned them, good children.)

    Using my confidential information sources, I just called Mr J. Dimon’s office (hint: it starts with the product of 3 times 9, then a zero, then a six, then some more zeros in a certain area code marked by the location of many financial corporations).

    The lady who answered got at least 3 minutes of my predictions of a severe backlash for Chase if they forced Chrysler into bankruptcy, or if they even appeared to force Chrysler into bankruptcy. The cost to the taxpayers, and the need to rise above their own most selfish narrow interests in the interest of the larger polity, were the points I tried to stress the hardest.

    The nice receptionist was silent thru my presentation, and then I asked her if she got the message. In a voice that made it clear she hasn’t heard this point of view very often, she said “I got the message!”

    Maybe if they get the message a few million more times, it may have an effect …

    • klynn says:

      I like that!

      Here are some more answers for you folks:

      So we know why states have decided to take part in these plans, but what exactly are banks getting out of the deal? They get the potential for earned interest, as well as roughly 1-3% of each transaction made. This type of incentive will likely inspire more banks to enter in this practice.

      It should be noted that customers do have an alternative to the transaction fee. If customers visit the actual bank and ask the teller for a cash advance, they won’t be charged a fee.

      An irony…an alum from a University in MI was a former VP at Chase.

      • acquarius74 says:

        klynn, from some of your links I got the idea of finding out about my state’s (TX) food stamp program which uses the ‘Lone Star Card’, electronic benefits transfer program (EBT). TX switched from paper food stamp certificates to the LS card in 1992 and has the proud distinction of being the nation’s #1 recipient of food stamps. /s

        I was trying to determine who gets the $$$ for administering the banking end of the program. Not too successful in that hunt. At one point Citicorp nearly had the contract, but a big flap in congress resulted in Citicorp withdrawing.

        My point is: Is there a big rake-off in the food stamp plastic card program like in the unemployment benefit program? Does some banking entity get a fat vendor’s contract plus a per cent of each transaction? (that’s a whale of a lot of transactions!).

        I may be way off track on this, but there’s a sick feeling in my stomach about it.

        • klynn says:

          Here’s to your sick feeling:

          “Other JPMorgan Chase debit cards provide payments for recipients of Food Stamp Program and public assistance grants, disaster benefits, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Administration payments, child support, subsidized child and foster care, Women and Infant Children (WIC) nutrition benefits and payroll. For more information about JPMorgan Chase services go to

          More here.

          And here.

          TPM did this 2 months ago.

          It’s BIG business for them.

          Sick. Sick. Sick.

          • klynn says:

            Think how much $$ is made by the big banks not lending, causing so many businesses to tank and growing the government benefits programs across the board. That’s a ton of $$ off of conflict of interest.

            Obama could be a hero if he steps in and addresses this embarrassing and disgusting conflict of interest. I bet, with some pretty good digging, it can be found out that JP Morgan-Chase had some nice studies done to understand the benefit they would reap if they snagged the MI gov. benefits programs contracts and then tanked the auto industry.

          • acquarius74 says:

            Thanks, klynn. (interruption for stomach cramps).

            Are you a fan of Mike C Ruppert? He did a letter at his FromTheWilderness (FTW) site just after the Sept/2008 meltdown in which he predicted which banks would survive out of this mess. [he is also in danger because he broke an unspoken promise with the spooks that he would remain silent). I’ll get the link and post it next.

            Seems like JP Morgan Chase is a giant squid with tentacles strangling America. Please pursue your line of thinking. There must be a way to free outselves from this bloated monster.

  28. egregious says:

    Thanks for this excellent work EW.

    Loo Hoo – to make tags in Oxdown, just type in any word that describes your diary in the line for tags underneath your text.

    • klynn says:

      A definite place for BOA. One of the links I posted above has a list by state of which big banks run the unemployment debit card systems (BOA is there). The debit cards are called EBT’s – Electronic Benefits Transfers. The pitch by the big banks (especially JPMorgan) to the Federal Government was EBT’s remove the stigma of foodstamps, WIC and unemployment and create a sense of individual dignity…

      Guess our congress critters forgot about the dignity of having a job and supporting self-sufficiency that comes from having a job. Or the dignity of keeping one’s house when they have been a victim of predatory lending. Or the dignity of keeping one’s house and not having to file for bankruptcy due to medical expenses.

      “EBT’s = dignity,” my arse.

      That concept will go over with Chrysler and GM employees for sure. Not to mention the millions of tier I, II and III supplier employees.

  29. RevBev says:

    Now for the truth: Laura Ingraham on the Today Show to evaluate the Pres’ trip. That’s objectivity…Why her, please?

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