Banks pass subprime hit onto consumers -- Higher fees!

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With major banks struggling to recover from billions in writedowns on bad subprime loans, they're on the lookout for ways to boost their incomes to make up for the losses.

Now you might think that lowering the bonuses of the employees who made/bought those terrible loans would be a good way to do that. You might also think that not paying CEOs who resigned in disgrace over the matter 9-figure golden parachutes would work.

But you'd be wrong. According (subscription required) to the Wall Street Journal, "Across the country, banks have begun jacking up fees charged for using automated teller machines and dipping account balances into the red, while also imposing fees on a wider range of transactions."

What can we do about it? Not a whole heck of a lot actually, except become extra-vigilant about avoiding extra fees. Whenever you're at the grocery store, pay with your debit card and get cash back so you never need to use ATM machines. And a really good way to avoid overdraft charges it to not spend money you don't have.

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