Dear Dirty America


Banks Profit from Jobless Claiming Unemployment

November 01
16:24 2011
I wasn’t interested in blogging about the American unemployment disaster this morning, but this report disgusted me. I can’t even enjoy my morning meal of grapefruit and kidneys. The report adequately fleshes out the fraudulent dirtiness of our biggest banks:

In 41 states major banks and financial firms have secured contracts to provide access to public benefits via prepaid debit cards. And banks are increasingly extracting hefty cuts of these funds through an assortment of small fees. U.S. Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other institutions hold contracts to distribute these benefits on prepaid debit cards.
When Bank of America announced plans to charge regular banking customers a $5 monthly fee to use their debit card created a wave of public criticism. But the lesser-known fees attached to prepaid debit cards are already extracting money from the most vulnerable Americans — those unable to pay their bills and feed their families without public help — in the midst of stubbornly high unemployment and soaring rates of poverty.
“The big banks have actually figured out a way to make unemployed workers a profit center, one that only grows as things get worse,” said Angela Martin, executive director of Economic Fairness Oregon, a nonprofit advocacy group for low income and poor families.

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