Uncommon Resolutions Follow Up

Friday, January 08, 2010

Personal finance commentator Jane Bryant Quinn talks about her new book: Making the Most of Your Money Now: The Classic Bestseller Completely Revised for the New Economy.


Jane Bryant Quinn

Comments [23]

Jane Bryant Quinn from New York

Thanks to everyone who commented my conversation with Brian Lehrer. He has a great audience. Some answers:
1. Anyone can join the Pentagon Federal Credit Union ( 2. Withdrawals from big banks won't be large enough to endanger the system (but might get more lending going, to the CU's small-biz customers). 3. Small and online banks have varying ATM policies, at home and abroad, so you have to ask, . 4. Money is safe in Ally bank because of FDIC insurance. 5. Credit unions are not-for-profit coops, so can't be bought. Small banks can be bought. Changing banks doesn't hurt your credit rating. 6. I did raise my taxi tip, by 5%. FYI, drivers are getting more business now that the fare can be put on plastic. 7. Good point from Jay on transfer fees. 8. I hope I earn enough from my book to justify the two years' work I put into it! With luck, you'll find something there that repays the $35 price, and more. 9. Ronald mistakes me. I favor the estate tax, which hits only the very wealthiest. I think that replacing it with a tax on inherited capital gains, which hits people of lesser wealth, is bad. Once people discover what's happening, I hope they'll scream.
Thanks to all for listening. Jane

Jan. 08 2010 07:46 PM
Ronald Greenberg from Glen Rock, New Jersey

You asked Ms. Quinn about issues left over from an earlier estate tax segment. Her answers were a mishmosh of right and wrong, but her bottom line seemed to be that, if the estate tax is abolished, estates nevertheless shouldn't be subject to a "new" tax on the unrealized gains in the values of their assets. The wealthy families of the country salute you, Ms. Quinn.

But nobody is talking about doing that. What people are talking about doing (it's not in any actual legislative proposal, so it's just talk) is retaining the decedent's BASIS of inherited assets when such assets pass to beneficiaries. This not a new tax on estates, it is an old tax that applies to every American except estate beneficiaries; it is called the capital gains tax. It only has to be paid when the asset is disposed of (sold at a profit), usually by beneficiaries many months, years or decades down the road; but the entire gain during the decedent's life is exempt from this tax no matter how rich or poor the estate beneficiary is or how much time has elapsed since the earner of that inheritance died.

I don't have a position on whether it is better to subject estates to the estate tax or to cease permitting wealthy beneficiaries to escape large chunks of capital gains tax; but if we don't do one or the other, you and I will be subsidizing the rich to an even greater extent than we already do.

Jan. 08 2010 03:14 PM
Sarah from Chelsea

The only reason I enter a bank is to get quarters for laundry.

Jan. 08 2010 12:09 PM
Michael from Rockville Centre,


Jan. 08 2010 11:20 AM

$6/month fee reimbursement is nothing, that's two to three transactions. I've had chase for as long as it has been chase and used to be chemical and rarely have problems.

Jan. 08 2010 11:13 AM
Randi from Brooklyn

I have an ING account and you can have a beneficiary, but its only for the IRA. There are no beneficiaries for savings/checking. The reason for this is since its an internet bank, they don't want unauthorized transfers to beneficiary accounts.

I bank at a community bank as well and its a godsend. Customer service is top notch. And they rarely screw up your account. I was a Chase customer for a year and it was a nightmare.

Jan. 08 2010 11:03 AM
Amy from Manhattan

The organization my credit union is affiliated with is called the Actors Fund (couldn't think of it while I was on the phone), & the ATMs at McDonald's are on the Select-A-Branch network (, for those who want more info). The screen on the machines urges users to get their credit unions (maybe not just CUs) to join the network & get free use of the ATMs.

Jan. 08 2010 11:01 AM
paul wolcott from NJ

PLEASE, PLEASE! Your live stream of the broadcast is being interrupted by a promo for Hofstra every coule of minutes. Can't someone fix this??? Doesn't anyone listen???

Jan. 08 2010 11:01 AM
John from NYC


How much are you making off your book? The price on Amazon is way too expensive. Should we get a copy at the public library scan it and post it on the internet for FREE?? This conversation is pure sophistry.

Jan. 08 2010 10:56 AM
Lou Panico from Linden NJ

I worked in various capacities in the financial industry, including at some of the too big to fail banks, and I never over the course of my career did my banking with one of those banks despite the perks I could have received as an employee.

I have always kept my accounts, including my mortgage at a local community bank. The level of service at the community bank can never be matched at the big banks not only because they are too big but also because they are not structured around customer service as much as they are about collecting fees.

Additionally, having worked in the back offices of these big banks, I have seen first hand the policies and attitudes that are basically designed to screw their customers.

Jan. 08 2010 10:56 AM
John from NYC

I would rather have well big, regulated and boring banks.

Jan. 08 2010 10:55 AM
superf88 from

oh, you just kind of answered it "take the smaller banks while you can."

Jan. 08 2010 10:53 AM
Jay from Sunnyside

One thing to consider with regard to internet banks is how much they charge for transfer of funds to/from your brick & mortar bank (and, how much the brick & mortar bank charges for the other side of the transaction).

Jan. 08 2010 10:53 AM
Peter Capek from Ossining, NY

Tried to get a message to the station by phone, but it's impossible. The FM internet feed is periodically interrupted by promotional messages, most recently at 10:49 by one for Hofstra. This has been going on since around 9am, perhaps earlier.

Jan. 08 2010 10:52 AM
Jeffrey from upper west side

If no one is going to physical banks any more, why are banks opening on every corner?

Jan. 08 2010 10:52 AM
Mike from Brooklyn

I was a customer at a small local bank that was bought by a larger one and then that bank was bought by an even larger bank. What can we do when the neighborhood banks are being gobbled up? Also, it seems unwise to be constantly switching banks, wont that affect ones credit rating?

Jan. 08 2010 10:52 AM

Please point out to Ms. Quinn that when you use a card to pay a taxicab, there is a cost to the driver, so she should increase her tip accordingly. I'm not a cabbie, but I asked one about this a while back. Now I always try to "share" the cost of my choice to use plastic.

Jan. 08 2010 10:52 AM
superf88 from

does penn fed or other community banks and credit unions include bi laws that prohibit buyouts from citibank et al?

Jan. 08 2010 10:51 AM
Catherine from long island


I am a member of a credit union in Connecticut and I live in New York, so I almost never go there. I went once and had some trouble at the ATM - it's a long story, but the short version is that I couldn't get my $20 out. MONTHS later, I went into the bank for something unrelated to the ATM transaction, and the woman behind the counter said, "Catherine, didn't you have a problem at the ATM? We owe you $20. Here it is." I was blown away.

If I am going to be living abroad, are small banks going to be as easy to use as something like Citibank, which I see abroad?

Jan. 08 2010 10:51 AM

What about Ally Bank? I believe it is owned partially or in full, by GMAC, which is the GM Financing arm that has been given bailout money multiple times.

Jan. 08 2010 10:50 AM
Lance from Miami

Is it as easy to make ATM withdrawals from a community bank account if you travel internationally frequently?

Jan. 08 2010 10:48 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Won't mass withdrawals from big banks damage the financial structure and worsen the recession?

Jan. 08 2010 10:45 AM
Rich from Staten Island

Can you ask Ms. Quinn if there are any Credit Unions which person can join without being an employee of a specific group/employer? Are there any independent Credit Unions?

Jan. 08 2010 10:26 AM

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