Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Super-charged Greed! (WayTooHigh.com)

40-cents. That is already how much higher a gallon of gas costs the average motorist this season over last year. Just think of the added gravy to bank earnings from a parallel rise in interchange profits. With mounting concerns of looming gasoline pump price increases, the banks are about to launch a sequel to last year's self-serve profits.

Late last summer, during the point in our nation's energy crisis when a gallon of gasoline soared past $3.00 a gallon, motorists were fuming that a fill up had doubled in price. WayTooHigh.com also drove home the point about greed. We helped form several major news articles on, not the gas companies greed, but the member banks in control of Visa® and MasterCard® .

The Orange County Register and The Washington Post were two news outlets which brought our concern to millions of readers and even to Washington D.C. legislators. The banks were reaping windfall profits due to record gas prices. With fuel prices facing even higher rates this summer, nothing has changed. Motorists are forced to use their credit cards with greater frequency, because they just do not have fifty dollars or more in cash to fund the banks drunken greed.

But, there is more.

If you agree that the banks are wreaking economic terror on our economy by in many cases earning more than the actual service stations when you fill up with Visa® or MasterCard® , then you will be incensed as we were to learn more about the gamesmanship - outright chaos played by the banks.

[note to the Washington D.C. and towering team of suited advisers to the banks, this posting is certain to exponentially raise your billable hours].

Due to implementing an anticompetitive, monopolization of the credit card network, the practices of Visa® and MasterCard's® member banks agreed to settle an earlier antitrust suit. A few years ago, the defendants agreed to settle prior litigation by paying out $3,000,000,000 - that is three-billion-dollars over ten years.

But, their super-charged greed actually did something even more sinister and painful to every "mom-and-pop" entrepreneurial business, to mid-sized and even giant multinational conglomerate when a customer uses Visa® or MasterCard® . To economically shield themselves from antitrust liability, they actually crafted a reign of supercharged interchange increases by agreement to pervert and fix even higher interchange fees. Visa® and MasterCard's® member banks are actually making payments to settle the damages with funds collected due to subsequently higher rates. Get this: Visa® and MasterCard® are actually extinguishing their liability by imposing new fees which more than offset the costs of the settlement.

Indeed, this is a battle between the banks and their two core customers; retailers of every size and cardholders. Remember too that cash paying consumers help subsidize "free" frequent flyer mileage and other "priceless" perks.

[source: WayToohHgh.com]