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Overdraft Fees Are a Service

Posted 10/21/2009

While I agree with most of Brian Morton's article ("Capitalism Monte," Political Animal, Oct. 14), I differ on one point of fact and one of opinion.

On Cargill, it was its sales that were $116.6 billion in 2008; its net income, i.e., what it actually earned or "made" on those sales was $3.3 billion.

On the point of opinion, a bank paying out items for which its customers do not already have the funds in their account is taking a risk that the customer may never make good on the overdraft. Banks do offer overdraft facilities which their customers may apply for, and, while there are fees incurred for using such facilities, they are markedly less than those involved where no such application has been made. The bank is performing a service by honoring unapproved overdrafts, where the alternative would be refusing payments made by check or electronically, which would cause customers at least embarrassment and, at worse, additional charges quite legally made by those who deposited these rubber checks.

Steven Shore
Columbia

Holier Than Cow

So, you eat "responsibly," "consciously," and "ethically." Which makes the rest of us, what? Irresponsible? Unconscious? Unethical? ("SOLE Food," Feature, Oct. 7) So sorry you were "embarrassed" it took you so long to eat better than the rest of us. Two words: FUCK YOU! Eat how you wanna eat but don't call me an asshole for getting a fucking chicken box at Tyrone's (how does that compare to Chick-Fil-A?). The reason your milk costs twice as much is because stupid hippies like you will pay to alleviate your guilty conscience. Enjoy your fucking hybrid (run on power from the coal power plant) and eat your food you can pretend doesn't kill animals. The best part was trying to call out poor people and telling them that they have no excuse even if they're on food stamps. Again, FUCK YOU! And if you verbally pat me on the head with yer "hon" bullshit, I may actually find that condescending. Perhaps I'm just edgy from all the chemicals in my burger. After all, I never met the cow it came from.

Michael Kirk
Baltimore

Let the Dogs In

Jury Commissioner Nancy Dennis is in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("Civil Slight," Mobtown Beat, Sept. 30). Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense in a court of law. Ned Humphrey should go to federal court, as Ms. Dennis has violated his civil rights as a handicapped person. When Mr. Humphrey wins, he should have Ms. Dennis removed from her job, mainly because she has shown that she has no knowledge of federal law and obviously doesn't care.

Vito Mascari
Glen Burnie

Correction: The city police and fire pension board was meeting as last week's feature on concerns over pension costs ("Pension Headache," Oct. 14) was going to press. During the meeting, the board voted 5-2 to bill the city $164.9 million for next year's pension contribution, instead of the approximately $101 million cited in the story. This figure lowers the "assumed" rate of return on the pension funds invested on behalf of retirees from 6.8 percent to 5 percent. The $164.9 million figure also assumes no change to the so-called "variable benefit" that increases pensions in years when the fund's investment returns exceed expectations.

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