Ah, October. Patio umbrellas down. Storm windows up. The turning of the leaves. The crisping of our ears. Playoff baseball. Halloween just a few weeks off.
We'll get back to the most bracing month of the year a bit later, but first a few words about the recent decision by major banks to charge customers five bucks a month to use ATM cards for routine purchases.
And those few words are: "You greedy, stinking, ravenous, money-grubbing, avaricious pigs."
How much dough do you have to make? I mean, I get it. You are not non-profit organizations. Few of us are. Advertently. Your task is to find new ways to make more moolah. Same here.
You just happen to be a whole lot better at it than the rest of us. And with the scratch to rewrite the rules, the skids get greased in your favor. Good for you. But do you really need all the greenbacks? Every single dime? Really?
What were your profits last year? Like a bazilliondy dollars? Shouldn't that be enough? Do stockholders require double-digit returns every quarter?
Incredibly foolish to expect hubris after causing the worst financial crisis in 80 years, but wouldn't it be wiser to leave behind a couple of bucks for the rest of us? You know, so we can do business with you. Commerce.
Otherwise, you'll have all the capital but no customers, and be forced to restrict all your interactions to other banks; and trust me, you're not going to like that.
Or is that the ultimate goal? To gather together all the money in the world, becoming a money museum? Then we pony up pretty colored stones just to look at the money we no longer have.
And you know what happens then. You make it your mission to control the world's supply of pretty, colored stones. Go ahead. We'll switch to smooth, pointy sticks.
This is not your money we're talking about. This is my money. You're supposed to pay me for your use of my money. That's the deal. What's the interest rate on savings accounts now, .02 percent?
Oh right, the Fed is maintaining artificially low interest rates to boost economic climes. But shouldn't that mean the interest rate on my credit cards goes down, too? I'm paying 20 percent. In some states, that's known as usury and is illegal. For crum's sake, you can strike a better deal on the street with Vinnie.
Nickel and diming us to death? Hah! Those were the good old days. Now you're squeezing every penny so hard Lincoln's head is starting to squirt liquid copper.
There's a charge for using a teller. A charge for not using a teller. A charge for telling the teller where to stick the charge. "Convenience fees" from our friendly, neighborhood financial institutions.
Use a rival bank and the charges get doubled or tripled or whatever "ed" you call times 36. What are those? Infidelity fees?
Don't you get it? It's My Money. We're not talking about credit cards, where I pay you to lend me some quick cash. These are automatic deductions from an account into which I have already placed ample coin of the realm.
MY MONEY! Keep your stinking paws off my money. Wow. Sorry. As you can see, I'm a bit ambivalent on this one. Oh, yeah. October. October sucks.
The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst "is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today."
Will is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.