Ditching the Big, Bad Banks
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Ditching the Big, Bad Banks

Big banks bailed out because they were "too big to fail" are now jacking up fees on small businesses and individual consumers. Is it time to transfer money to smaller institutions and credit unions? Is the entire banking system due for an overhaul? Also, Congress passes three contentious trade deals, and Occupy Wall Street is resisting efforts by the private owner to clean up Zuccotti Park, saying protesters will do it themselves. Might that lead to police action?

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Making News

Congress Passes Three Contentious Trade Deals ()

Last night, Congress passed the most significant expansion of trade relations in decades with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. Today, President Obama and South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak met with reporters. Obama praised the legislation for increasing employment opportunities for American farmers, manufacturers -- including small businesses, and automakers. Joe Schatz covers economic policy reporter for Congressional Quarterly.

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Main Topic

Big Banks: Are There Alternatives? ()

Bank of America plans to impose a $5 monthly fee on depositors who use debit cards and Citibank says it'll raise fees on accounts with less than $15,000, igniting the latest firestorm over personal and small-business finance. Now that new rules require disclosure of what previously was hidden, more and more customers are looking for some place else to put their money. Quarterly reports are expected to show that big banks are feeling some pain in their profit margins. Are small depositors paying for their bad investments? Will the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau be able to curb abuses?

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Reporter's Notebook

Who Should Clean Up Zuccotti Park? ()

The private owner of Zuccotti Park in New York's Financial District says it's time to perform basic repairs and clean up after weeks of the camp-out by Occupy Wall Street. Mayor Bloomberg says the protesters should move, at least temporarily. Will there be a confrontation with the NYPD? Today Occupy Wall Street rejected owner Brookfield Properties' clean-up plan, saying protesters will do the cleaning themselves and take their brooms, mops, squeegees and other equipment to Wall Street itself. Justin Elliot is a staff writer at Salon.com.

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