Report: Transit Fares High and Rising? Blame Bailed-Out Banks

June 9, 2012. Interest rate swap agreements are costing 12 transit agencies around the country over $500 million a year. That’s the gist of a new report released June 7 by The Amalgamated Transit Union and a group called ReFund Transit.

WNYC’s Jim O’Grady reported on the release that day. On June 9, a column by Gretchen Morgenson appeared in the New York Times, “How Banks Could Return the Favor,” excerpted below.

James A. Parrott, deputy director and chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute in New York, criticizes these deals along with officials who don’t try to get out of them.

“Government officials need to acknowledge that they made a mistake when they signed up for these ill-conceived, high-risk financial bets,” Mr. Parrott said. “But that mistake is woefully compounded when they then impose austerity rather than stand up to the banks.”

You know the score. Once again, it’s Wall Street 1, Main Street 0.