Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Are Interchange Fees Set to Soar Upwards Again? (

For the past several months, we have been noticing the banks' missteps, from the sub prime mortgage fiasco, to plunging earnings. Today, Bank of America (a named defendant in our litigation) announced the firing of 3,000 people and that the head of its corporate and investment banking unit will leave too, following their recent 32% decline in profits for the quarter.

The question is whether the banks will again conspire to fix interchange rates at an even higher rate to cover their losses? How will they justify the new round of potential hidden merchant taxes? And, will anyone notice?

We will.

Also, we are just months from Visa's® planned IPO. If you thought the banks made bank from their selling off a percent of interest in MasterCard®, just wait for its big sister. Visa is three times the size of MasterCard, so the payoff to the banks could be even larger. And, just as with MasterCard's IPO, the Risk Factor warnings are equally as ominous; if we win our litigation, Visa could become insolvent, and a new cookie jar of windfall profiteering will have to be identified by the thousands of member banks that control the world's largest credit card association and electronic payment network.