As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

JP Morgan Chase Greedier Than The Actual J.P. Morgan

Marcy Wheeler has been all over the effort by top banks who have been bailed out by the US government pushing Chrysler into bankruptcy by resisting pressure, as bondholders, to cut the carmaker's debt. Apparently there are a number of reasons for this.

The J.P. Morgan position, said these people, is that concessions by Chrysler's creditors should be treated as they would be in a normal bankruptcy -- meaning the billions of dollars of government debt and the UAW retiree health-care obligation should be wiped out before the secured lenders lose anything on their $6.8 billion.

In other words, JP Morgan Chase would be able to jump the line, as in a bankruptcy, and get repaid before US taxpayers and retirees. This is the same bank that's accepted at least $25 billion in public money, through TARP payments, AIG counter-party funds, and more, just to survive. But that's not all. A bankruptcy would cause, in Marcy's estimation, the loss of over 200,000 Chrysler jobs. You would think that a bank with substantial outlets in Michigan wouldn't want to see 200,000 unemployed Michiganders without the ability to deposit money into their Chase bank accounts. But they've got that covered.

JP Morgan Chase has figured out a way to profit off all the unemployed people it is creating in Michigan. Chase, you see, provides Michigan's unemployment insurance debit cards.

And the services can end up being pretty expensive for beneficiaries. Here's what Chase charges (and will be able to charge those that it causes to lose their job) for use of their debit card.

More than two withdrawals in a 2-week pay period: $1.50 each

Non-Chase withdrawals: $1.50 each

More than one bank teller withdrawal in a pay period: $4.00 each

Transaction denied for insufficient funds at POS, ATM, or teller: $1.50 each

More than one ATM balance inquiry in a pay period: $1.00 for each

Statement delivered by regular mail: 95ยข per statement

Granted, if an unemployed person manages their meager finances well and has Internet access (those inquiries are free), they probably can get by on one weekly withdrawal. But if someone loses track of their spending or doesn't have Internet access or likes dealing with human beings, these fees are going to start to take a huge bite out of what little they get.

Though debit card users can spend all they want in stores. As with Chase customers normally, Chase loves when you use your debit card at stores, because they get a bigger fee from merchants (back in the day when we still banked at Chase, that's what the Chase guy told me) than if you use a credit card. They're profiting coming and going.

The word "conflict of interest" fails to describe JP Morgan Chase at this point. And so if they want to force workers onto the street while keeping corporate welfare for themselves, consumers have a choice as well. They can cut up their cards.

My husband and I decided the only way to pressure JP Morgan Chase to negotiate in good faith with Chrysler was to close our Chase accounts. We want our money to go to a bank that is investing in rebuilding Michigan--not bankrupting it.

Now, FDL and Progress Michigan are calling on others to join our Chase boycott.

Sign the petition

Join the FaceBook group

Find your Michigan Chase branch and close your account

We don't have much more than our purchasing power at this point. Help out if you can.

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