Bank of America should change its name

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Bank of America should change its name
By Ray Hanania — Bank of America really doesn’t deserve to carry that name. They are not very American. Or at least, they don’t seem to care much about the American people.

The bank announced it would impose a $5 monthly fee on its bank customers to use their ATM cards.

For those few out there who don’t know what an ATM card is, it is a Debit Card that takes your money out of your checking account without writing a check.

Why would they do that to their customers, you might ask? Greed? Stupidity. Greed? Greed?

Ironically, the Bank of America decision to impose the $5 fee comes right at the time when the U.S Congress is seeking to limit the outrageous profits the banks have been making off of most Americans. But worse, it comes at a time when most Americans are using Debit Cards as an alternative to credit cards as they struggle to get out of credit card debt.

Credit cards have become the driving force behind most bankruptcies. When the economy was good, unlimited credit card spending was good. Well, at least when the economy was good, consumers could earn at least enough to pay the minimal monthly payment due on their credit cards.

But now that the economy is headed towards a depression – we are long past the point of recession – many consumers have turned to the Debit Card (or ATM card) as a solution.

It’s very simple. I’ve done it to eliminate all of my credit card debt. Just one month, you need to be able to set aside the amount of money you normally spend on a credit card and have it available in your checking account. Basically, you replace your credit card spending with debit card spending, while still making your monthly credit card payment.

You need to be able to pay more down on your credit card than the minimum if you want to make a dent in what you owe. And if you can do that – many Americans apparently can – you can eliminate the credit cards and the debt and the huge interest that the robber baron banks are making off of your hard work.

Imagine that thebank gives you 1 percent interest on your savings, and then they turn around and loan out your savings to credit card users at 14 percent to as much as 23 percent (Discover Card is the highest and worst).

But credit cards are owned by the banks. So they are seeing the credit card debt slip and that is hurting their outrageous profits.

So, to punish Americans for trying to get out fro, under their debt, Bank America has decided to take the money from the ATM charges in the form of a $5 monthly fee.

It’s a scam. And Bank of America deserves much scorn for taking advantage of the public just when they need the help.

For too long, the banks have gotten away with economic murder. They have squeezed us with outrageously high interest rates, while providing less and less services. They give us less an less in terms of interest for our investments. And, they have been giving credit card users larger and larger debt limits, regardless of whether consumers can afford to carry large debt.

The banks like to blame everything on the consumers. No one forced them to spend money, the bankers argue.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. Reach him at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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