"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Friday, January 26, 2007

The NDP and ATM Fees - a Historical Perspective

So John Murney over at his blog is making the typical right-wing argument against any sort of government intervention into the "free" market. (Or in this case the "fee" market)

The fact that Canadian banks are very profitable is no excuse for banning ATM fees. Any piece of capital should be able to recoup its costs, and ATM machines are no exception.
He then goes on to say in the comments section (defending his post)

Jeesh! When did profit become a bad thing?!
The answer to Mr. Murney's question is 1545.

That was the first year that King Henry VIII pased an Act "In restraint of usury"

For the banks to charge me $1.50 to take out $20.00 of my own money is to charge a service fee at 7.5% - instantaneous. Even if you grant them the whole WEEK to see the profit (yeah right) then that is 390% a year.

Let's see what the paragon of free market philosophy had to say about this - shall we?

In countries where interest is permitted, the law, in order to prevent the extortion of usury, generally fixes the highest rate which can be taken without incurring a penalty. This rate ought always to be somewhat above the lowest market price, or the price which is commonly paid for the use of money by those who can give the most undoubted security.
That little gem is from Adam Smith from his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

Are you telling me Adam Smith had it wrong when it came to regulating the free market?

Mr. Murney?