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Berlau in New York Times on Overdraft Fees from Debit Cards – with Misleading Headline

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Berlau in New York Times on Overdraft Fees from Debit Cards – with Misleading Headline

Washington, D.C., September 10, 2009—John Berlau, Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs at
the Competitive Enterprise Institute, was a guest contributor this
week to the New York Times’ “Room for
Debate” blog on the topic “
Permanent Link to The Debit Card: Trap or Sound Choice?">The Debit Card: Trap or Sound Choice?” However, while he was grateful for the opportunity to
participate, he has strong objections to the headline written for his essay.
Below is Berlau’s statement on the headline and the original essay:

“I appreciate the New
York Times allowing me the opportunity to participate in its Room for Debate on the
subject of debit cards and overdraft fees.  However, I strongly
object to the headline, ‘Banks
Deserve the Compensation
,’ which I did not write and which does not reflect
at all the arguments I made in the essay.

“I never argued in the piece that ‘banks deserve the
compensation,’ just as I don't argue that Starbucks ‘deserves’ $5 for a cup of
coffee. I said in the essay  that government interference would limit
choices and make things worse, that consumers need to  take
responsibility and keep track of their bank accounts, and that
competition will produce more optimal solutions. What consumers and
entrepreneurs ‘deserve’ is freedom of choice. 

“I encourage everyone who reads my essay to disregard the
misleading headline and instead focus on the substance of my arguments.”


New York Times essay with original headline here.

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