banks sure are jerks

Regarding the new caps on debit card interchange fees:

TechNet said the loss of revenue to banks and card networks could lead them to cut costs in the technology systems that protect personal financial information from fraud and identity theft.

You have to sort of admire the brazenness of this threat. I mean really: that’s astounding.

I guess I’ve seen enough frightening ads on Metro to be convinced that this really is just a transfer from banks to merchants. But hey, that seems okay! Particularly given banks’ ongoing profitability relative to everyone else, their continued lack of punishment, and the concentration in the payment processing market.

Besides, won’t merchants just turn right around and send that money into the supposedly-loss-leading (but I suspect just loss-???ing) “online coupon site” bubble, which will then distribute it to consumers during whatever time is left between now and the conclusion of that sector’s frantic race to the bottom? I’d say it’s a toss-up between this and Secret Millionaire for the title of “Most Serious-Minded New Attempt to Address Inequality of the Last Decade”*.

* They say you can damn with faint praise; I aspire to composing praise so faint that it amounts to dragging the target into the town square and cutting its head off


At my last job, everyone was an architect. Software architects, information architects, perhaps solution architects — I don’t remember all of them, to be honest. It was a little silly, but also kind of sweet: it reflected a desire to treat everyone at the firm in an equal way, and was an effort to recognize each person’s creative contribution. When I left I was both a little bit relieved and a little bit sad to lost my nominal architect status.

I needn’t have worried.