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Business columns: In defense of banks’ overdraft fees

&ldquo;The exorbitant overdraft charge was a kind of shame enforcer, a rap on the knuckles that I totally deserved,&rdquo; said Steve Tuttle in <em>Newsweek.com.</em>

Steve TuttleNewsweek.com

You can’t pick up a newspaper these days without reading a sob story about those awful bank-overdraft fees, said Steve Tuttle. Apparently we’re supposed to be outraged that some heartless bank is charging folks $35 or more every time they bounce a check. Some banks, including Wells Fargo and JPMorgan, have caved in to the pressure, reducing fees and even eliminating them for small overdrafts.

“This is a terrible mistake.” In fact, the banks should be raising their fees, say to $100 per overdraft. I’m serious. Such a fee would serve as a much-needed reminder not to spend money that’s not yours. Why shouldn’t you, and not your bank, “suffer the consequences of your profligacy?” I say this as someone who has bounced a check on occasion. “The exorbitant overdraft charge was a kind of shame enforcer, a rap on the knuckles that I totally deserved.”

The politicians who want to force banks to lower these fees “are teaching us that’s it’s okay to spend what we don’t have. Isn’t that what got us into this financial mess in the first place?”

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