It may be too early now to talk about the Law of Unintended Consequences, but years from now, we may owe a debt to reforms like Dodd-Frank for finally weaning us off the physical wallet and encouraging us to experiment with the new technologies helping to create the Digital Wallet.The Washington Post’s Dominic Basulto • Arguing that Dodd-Frank’s side effects — such as Bank of America’s decision to start charging people for the right to use a debit card — will be great in the long run, because it will push consumers and businesses to stop relying on banks for these sorts of services, instead going for phone-based options, provided by companies such as Google or Square, instead. Basuito compares Bank of America’s controversial move to Netflix’s price-raising scheme, and suggests it will hurt them long-term. source (via • follow)
» Focusing on the other victims: This time, the charges focus less on Gabrielle Giffords (the only wounded victim still in the hospital or in rehabilitation) and more on those killed or wounded in the attack. Some of the charges include murder charges in the death of a federal judge and congressional aide, as well as charges revolving around causing death or injury at a federally-provided event. Let’s be honest, though. No matter how many charges they nail him for – or at least try to – the fact of the matter is, he’ll be punished severely when he’s convicted.
» Why such a big charge? Apparently, someone at Bank of America (or Countrywide) was really bad at doing paperwork, or was trying to push through half-baked mortgages. Because both were named as factors in creating the huge charges which resulted from investors making claims against them. Most of the fees are headed to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by the way. Had this charge (and a separate $2 billion goodwill charge related to the Countrywide merger) not been there, Bank of America would’ve been profitable in the fourth quarter.
» Other updates: Jared Lee Loughner has been charged with five separate criminal charges, including multiple counts of murder and attempted assassination of a U.S. congresswoman – with evidence in the incident coming from, on top of other sources, surveillance tape. Loughner, by the way, isn’t talking, but he did leave a note on an envelope for investigators scoping out his home: “I planned ahead.” With the envelope was a letter from Giffords in appreciation of Loughner’s visit to a similar 2007 event as the one on Saturday. Oh, and the initial 911 call was released. Whew.