Thursday, June 09, 2011

Senate Gives More Power To Federal Reserve

Because who better to issue price controls for debit card access than the Federal Reserve? These people are insane.

Senators led by Richard Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who pushed to include the fee caps in the Dodd-Frank Act, turned back the proposed delay Wednesday in a 54-45 vote that left the amendment six short of the 60 needed for approval.

"We should let the Federal Reserve issue this rule," Durbin said before the vote. "If more needs to be done, I'm on board, but the notion that we can't even trust the Federal Reserve to come up for a rule on this is just plain unfair."

A few more frustrating details:

The provision requiring the Fed to set fair debit card fees was included in last year's financial overhaul law by a 64-33 Senate vote and was written by Durbin. There was no separate House vote on the issue.

There was no separate House vote because Dodd-Frank was passed by a process known as reconciliation, which means that a committee wrote the final bill that the President signed without either the House or Senate having to pass the actual legislation.

How can you fight against this kind of blatant corruption?

The effects of the bill were predictable. Price controls cause shortages:

San Francisco's Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., the world's biggest payment networks, dropped the most since Dec. 16 after the vote. Visa fell 3.11 percent to $76.71 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, after falling as low as $74.37. MasterCard declined 1.53 percent to $270 after reaching a low of $258.34. Shares of U.S. banks also slipped.

The Fed now has until July 21 to implement the final rule on capping the fees, which accounted for more than $16 billion in 2009, according to the Fed.

Don't worry about our politicians, though. They'll always have access to the credit and banking system they want. They just want to prevent the people from having that access.

Giving yet more power to the Federal Reserve through a transparently corrupt process, yet another reason to repeal the 17th Amendment.

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