“Mr. Mehrabi has proposed that the Biden administration allow monthly transfers of small amounts of the frozen funds for the sole purpose of auctioning off dollars to private banks. Such auctions are easy to monitor and could be cut off if the money was used for any other purpose, he said. Such an arrangement would bolster the hand of technocrats who have continued to work under the Taliban. It could be conditioned on their independence from the Taliban or on hiring certain technical staff members. Refusing to release any portion of the funds as long as the Taliban are in power would remove the money as a source of leverage.
Given the Sept. 11 lawsuit, it may not be possible to free up the funds frozen in New York in time to stave off a crisis. It may be more realistic for funds to be released from the banks in Europe, which hold a smaller but still significant amount of the Afghanistan central bank’s money. Since commercial banks in Afghanistan are required to keep some reserves in the central bank, hundreds of millions of dollars in the frozen overseas accounts are part of the life savings of Afghan citizens, which should not be rendered inaccessible because the Taliban took over the country.
It would not cost American taxpayers a dime to issue letters of comfort to European banks to make it clear that they will not be punished for giving private Afghan citizens access to their money. If this doesn’t happen, the world will be treated to the spectacle of Americans and Europeans paying to mitigate a humanitarian disaster caused, in part, by the fact that many Afghans have been cut off from their own money.”
“In less than a week, Keri Fitzpatrick, a self-described lunch lady, was dinged for $175 she definitely didn’t have.
A succession of automated payments over two days — for her phone, two credit cards and car insurance — pushed her TD Bank account into the red, socking her with $140 in overdraft fees. Then another unexplained fee surfaced on Friday, even though her paycheck had landed and she couldn’t find any other pending charges.
Ms. Fitzpatrick, 29, said she should’ve been paying closer attention — she assumed she had more money in her account. But she still couldn’t believe how quickly the charges piled up.
“It’s not like one fee comes out for one day. It is $35 for each of those,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick, of Peterborough, N.H., who oversees a middle school cafeteria. “It is just outrageous.” “
” . . . Overdraft fees have been a boon to banks. Revenue was $31.3 billion in 2020, according to Moebs Services, an economic research firm, down 10 percent from $34.6 billion in 2019. (Banks account for 78 percent of overdraft and insufficient fund fees, followed by credit unions at 20 percent and savings banks and fintechs at less than 2 percent.)
Overdraft fees peaked at $37.1 billion in 2009 and then began to decline after new regulations in 2010 required banks to receive consumers’ consent to opt in to overdraft services covering debit transactions and A.T.M. withdrawals.”
DL: This is a fee that should be banned entirely or severely restricted by the Federal Government, asap.For some banks, it is most of their profits.
By the tight-lipped standards of Goldman Sachs, the phone call from one of the firm’s most senior investment bankers was explosive.James C. Katzman, a Goldman partner and the leader of its West Coast mergers-and-acquisitions practice, dialed the bank’s whistle-blower hotline in 2014 to complain about what he regarded as a range of unethical practices, according to accounts by people close to Mr. Katzman, which a Goldman spokesman confirmed. His grievances included an effort by Goldman to hire a customer’s child and colleagues’ repeated attempts to obtain and then share confidential client information.Mr. Katzman expected lawyers at the firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, which monitored the hotline, to investigate his allegations and share them with independent members of Goldman’s board of directors, the people close to Mr. Katzman said.The complaints were an extraordinary example of a senior employee’s taking on what he perceived to be corporate wrongdoing at an elite Wall Street bank. But they were never independently investigated or fully relayed to the Goldman board.
By Alan Rappeport and Emily Flitter May 22, 2018
“WASHINGTON — A decade after the global financial crisis tipped the United States into a recession, Congress agreed on Tuesday to free thousands of small and medium-sized banks from strict rules that had been enacted as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to prevent another meltdown.In a rare demonstration of bipartisanship, the House voted 258-159 to approve a regulatory rollback that passed the Senate this year, handing a significant victory to President Trump, who has promised to “do a big number on Dodd-Frank.”
The bill stops far short of unwinding the toughened regulatory regime put in place to prevent the nation’s biggest banks from engaging in risky behavior, but it represents a substantial watering down of Obama-era rules governing a large swath of the banking system. The legislation will leave fewer than 10 big banks in the United States subject to stricter federal oversight, freeing thousands of banks with less than $250 billion in assets from a post-crisis crackdown that they have long complained is too onerous.”