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

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Have you looked at your credit card or banking statement lately? You really should.

We've jacked almost everyone's interest rate up to 29%, and that's usually retroactive on your entire balance.

Thank you, this has improved our bottom line and balance sheets to where we can return some of the billions of dollars Uncle Sam made us take, allowing us to take ridiculous bonuses again this year even though we're not making many loans.

We've also lowered you credit limit so you're more likely to go over limit, oops! which entitles us to a $35 fee. Ditto with the debit cards, they're not really FREE either.

We love it when you overdraw your account. $35, $35, $35 on each and every purchase you didn't have the available balance to cover. What can I say, other than, thanks.

We also send your monthly statement out just a few days before the payment is due. I'll tell ya', to pay by mail you better send a check pretty darn quick or risk a late payment penalty, a ding on your credit report and an increase on the interest rates on all your cards.

Thanks for letting the statement sit on the coffee table a couple of days.

And thanks again for using our $8 pay by phone service when you realize the payment is otherwise going to be late.

It's a great country, isn't it? Aren't debit and credit cards wonderful? You probably wouldn't pay any other way. Thank you for not even thinking there's another way to pay for things.

And finally, thanks for thinking you can't live without credit or debit cards. Well, we've made it pretty hard not to have one.

This has been fun but I've got to run downstairs. The limo is waiting.

Thanks a trillion dollars, or thereabouts, for using plastic. We love you.

Sincerely, Big Banking and Finance


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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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