2. Russell Simmons Unleashes the RUSH Card on Po’ Folks
In an effort to promote financial literacy, ex-Def Jam head Russell Simmons introduced the Rush Card a few years back. The prepaid Visa card was supposed to help those with iffy credit re-establish themselves, as Simmons’ comically awful basic cable commercials asserted. What those ads didn’t mention was the litany of fees levied when the card is used for basic activities like online bill paying and checking your balance via ATM machines. So egregious were these fees that they became a target of the 2010 financial regulation bill, aimed at capping the fees retailers pay banks to process debit-card payments. To Simmons’ credit, he successfully lobbied and won an exemption from said legislation, citing that his products were “essential for low-income people who can’t afford checking accounts or would be turned down for credit cards.” Uh, yeah, okay Russ. Some people disagree.