President Bush Isn’t Aware of $4-a-gallon Gas, But We Are

February 29, 2008

We are troubled that at yesterday’s (Feb 28) Presidential news conference, Mr. Bush was surprised and unaware that Americans are paying nearly $4-a-gallon to fill up their cars. 

Click here to view video 

Of equal concern is that if the President was surprised and unaware of what motorists are paying at the pumps, then he must also be in the dark on the nearly $40 billion siphoned out of our wallets each year by the banking cartel for merchant interchange fees for Visa and MasterCard’s electronic payment network.

But, now that he knows it, the next question is why are the banks able to force motorists using plastic at service stations to fork over a percent of each fill-up? These fees were designed to be cost-based, not to enrich thousands of banks who use these revenues to cover their billions in losses from misguided mortgage and other fiasco’s.

MasterCard had earlier announced a $50 cap at the pumps, but we are unsure if that ever took hold, and we are not sure if Visa followed along.  Did they?  And then two more questions:

  1. Why are the banks still able to get upwards of 1.7% for each charge? 
  2. If the credit card associations can place a limit on interchange fees at the pumps, why not for all electronic payment transactions elsewhere, from Rolex watches to a latte at Starbucks?

____________________________________________________

Want to know more about lead plaintiff ScanMyPhotos.com?  Click here and read their daily blog: Tales from the World of Photo Scanning

Advertisements

“Are Visa and MasterCard Hurting Capitalism?” (via RedState.com)

February 28, 2008

Click here to read blog posting from RedState.com


Pausing in the Battle Against Visa and MasterCard: The Next “American Idol” Superstar, David Archuleta

February 28, 2008

Click here to watch!

Many of you have been reading our news and commentary updates on our multi-billion dollar merchant interchange fee litigation against Visa, MasterCard and its member banks since 2005.  Since then, we have provided nearly 1000 news and commentary updates.  Mostly, we have stayed on message…. until now.

Outside our role in representing millions of businesses, we take this moment to pause, step back and salute a real American icon and the world’s next mega-superstar,  David Archuleta

While unrelated to our antitrust litigation against Visa, MasterCard and the world’s leading banks, this young singing sensation is capturing the world’s attention.  With our international readership, many overseas will be wondering who this singer is?  Why he is so special?  And, how can he capture the world’s attention to become the most famous of “American Idol’s” stars? 

Along with thousands of other bloggers writing similar words of support, WayTooHigh.com applauds our country’s next sensation and gift to the world. 

This Spring, David will become the second most Googled name in the world, after U.S. Senator Barack Obama, who we predict will be elected as the next President of the United States of America.  [Especially after earning the endorsement from fellow U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking].

Along with millions of fans, we too are so confident that David Archuleta will win the hearts of America, that it was worth this pause from our daily news and commentary updates in the battle against Visa, MasterCard and its member banks to celebrate our nation and the world’s next mega-superstar.

Congratulations David!

 Want to know more about lead plaintiff ScanMyPhotos.com?  Click here and read their daily blog: Tales from the World of Photo Scanning 


What Do Visa and AT&T Have in Common?

February 27, 2008

While financial writers are explaining that the planned Visa Inc. IPO will be nearly double that previously all-time high public offering by AT&T.  There is also something much more ominous that the two have in common and should not be overlooked.  Our antitrust litigation against Visa, MasterCard and major banks is also the largest antitrust case since the AT&T breakup; not very good company to keep.

Some talk by the financial media suggests that the thousands of banks which co-own Visa might be hoping for a multi-billion dollar settlement [they are planning to hold $3 billion in reserves].  But, the much larger payout is the $40 billion in annual merchant interchange fees that consumers and merchants are forced to pay.  We think any settlement will include either the termination of or significant reduction in these obsolete electronic payment fees, and thus even more billions in revenues that would no longer be sent to the banks, but rather retained by American consumers.

Want to know more about lead plaintiff ScanMyPhotos.com?  Click here and read their daily blog: Tales from the World of Photo Scanning


“[B]anks Also Stand to Shed Some Liability” (The Charlotte Observer)

February 27, 2008

—————————

According to Christina Rexrode’s Feb 27 The Charlotte Observer article, the thousands of banks that own Visa will adjust their valuation once the adjusted post-IPO market value takes effect.  This means giant windfalls for the banks. 

Abstract of Key Points From the Article

  • If the public offering goes through, the banks also stand to shed some liability.
  • The banks hope that taking Visa public will get it off the hook in those lawsuits, according to some analysts.
  • Gwenn Bezard, research director at Boston’s Aite Group said: “[the banks] are offloading the risk to someone else — investors.”
  • Visa will set aside about $3 billion of the money it raises in a stock offering for litigation costs, according to [their filing statements].
  • When MasterCard went public in 2006, the lifting of legal liability from the issuing banks was the deal’s main driver, said Eric Grover of Intrepid Ventures. …”Absent the legal liability, I don’t believe MasterCard would have gone public.”   “It’s a bit of a Russian roulette here…”  “If it were to go to trial, there’s a nonzero chance of a catastrophic event.”

[Click here for recent recommendation against MasterCard’s IPO]

Want to know more about lead plaintiff ScanMyPhotos.com?  Click here and read their daily blog: Tales from the World of Photo Scanning


A Look into Visa’s Trojan Horse IPO Scheme

February 26, 2008

Today, a reporter suggested we should be happy that Visa Inc. is setting aside a $3 billion reserve for our litigation. No, not really.

The credit card giant is playing an unfriendly game in its pursuit of detachment from their legal liability for illegal price-fixing by agreement.  If you step back and read several of our preceding comments, you will notice that when first announced, many hinted that Visa Inc. could anticipate raising $5 billion, then it was $10 billion. Now, it is nearly $19 billion. 

Was this caused by unearthly market conditions, inflation or because they were simply padding the amount of money they hope to raise to cover their legal liabilities?The worry is that they could simply use investor proceeds to fund settlement of our litigation and then continue raising merchant interchange rates to more than cover the lost revenues. To us, that is as unfair as are their interchange fees.A review of the earlier credit card litigation identifies that for merchants and consumers, the fair market economy is still broken and there still is no real electronic payment competition. Visa and MasterCard’s cartel-like pricing structure still precludes a real resolution to interchange fees. From the preceding resolution, Visa and MasterCard simply raised other rates to adjust for their penalties, thus more than paying for their fines.

  

 Want to know more about lead plaintiff ScanMyPhotos.com?  Click here and read their daily blog: Tales from the World of Photo Scanning


Visa, MasterCard and the Banks Windfall Profiteering at the Pumps

February 26, 2008

——————————————– 

$101.11 

It’s a record price at the pumps, which again raises the question: why are the banks allowed to reap windfall profits during our nation’s economic energy crisis? 

As more motorists are forced to pay with plastic – due to the record costs to fill up their tanks, Visa, MasterCard and its thousands of member banks are earning windfall profits.  They demand a percent of each sale for each credit card transaction, even though the interchange fee cost is nearly zero (it is estimated that the actual fees to process electronic payments are about 13% of the total interchange fees collected).   

Related Links

FAST FACT: Record gas prices leads to possible profiteering and windfall for credit card companies

Banks Benefit When Oil Surges

Crude-oil Futures Hit $100 a Barrel on Nymex

More Oil Profiterring. A Barrel of Gas Now at $86

Oil Jumps to Nearly $100, Generates More Interchange Fee Profiteering

Oil Surges Past Record High, Above $78 a Barrel; Yields More Windfall Profiteering For Banks 

Interesting Question: Why Only Cap Interchange Fees At The Pumps?

 Want to know more about lead plaintiff ScanMyPhotos.com?  Click here and read their daily blog: Tales from the World of Photo Scanning