Obama Knocks Bank of America Debit Card Fee

'You don't have some inherent right to a certain amount of profit'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2011 10:52 AM CDT
US President Barack Obama speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 3, 2011.   (Getty Images/ AFP PHOTO)
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(Newser) – President Obama made waves in his latest interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC, in which he spoke out against Bank of America’s unpopular new $5 fee for debit card users. “This is exactly why we need this Consumer Finance Protection Bureau,” Obama said. Asked directly if he could stop it, he replied, “You can stop it … if you say to the banks, ‘You don’t have some inherent right just to get a certain amount of profit if your customers are being mistreated.'"

That drew a rebuke from the American Bankers Association, which called it “disappointing and puzzling that the president would attack a private corporation for responding to government price fixing,” according to Politico. That’s not the only soundbite generating interest: Asked if Americans were better off than they were four years ago—the line Ronald Reagan used to defeat Jimmy Carter—Obama replied, “They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis. ... The unemployment rate is still way too high.”

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