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Holiday Greetings from Big Banking & Finance: Thank you for using plastic

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/18/09

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We weren't lying. It's exactly what you did, and why wouldn't you? You believe it's all FREE!

Well, we just slam the merchants for all those goodies we give you for FREE! In fact, depending on what card and rewards and miles and cash back you're getting, we just charge the merchant different rates, from like 1.2% to over 4% when you use your card.

Debit cards are no different, by the way. Thanks for thinking they're like a check or cash. We make a ton of money off those things.

Oh, dear yes, the merchants squealed like pigs. After all, for a small business doing under $400,000 in plastic sales those fees can be over $16,000 a year!

There were some smart ass retailers out there who tried to tack surcharges on to credit and debit card purchases.

Don't worry, Mr. and Ms. America, we fixed that. Don't bother thanking us, it was the least we could do for the over $400 per year per American family we get from the merchant fees alone.

Yes, that was one of the first things we bought in Washington D.C.: a law making those pesky surcharges illegal. Ditto for not accepting plastic for small purchases.

After that, merchants bent over and took it where they had to. After all you, the cardholder, was in charge. Thank you for getting every merchant to raise all their prices to cover our fees no matter how high we make them.
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Yes, that's right. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Consumer, for paying those merchant fees in the form of higher prices for everything.

It's a dandy system. We inflate the cost of everything you buy, and tell you that when you pay with our cards it's all FREE! Thanks for insisting everyone accept our cards.

We would be laughing all the way to the bank, but we are the bank. So, we laugh everywhere else: restaurants, designer stores, gorgeous resorts, first class airline cabins, on the tennis courts, at the best sports events, on the slopes, deep sea fishing, you get the idea.

But it doesn't end there. Thanks to you, we are now raking it in big time.

I don't have all day to be telling you thanks for all the other ways we're making money on you.

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I've got a tee-time at Pebble Beach and a plane to catch to get there, but let me mention a couple more things for which you deserve our thanks.

Since that derivatives scam we had going fell apart, you remember, the one that nearly brought down the entire world financial system. The one we had the media calling the "sub-prime mortgage" mess.

Well,thanks for letting us blame you. Business has never been better.

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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)
 

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