by Richard A. Epstein
August 15, 2013
One of the great financial innovations of the 1990s was the now ubiquitous debit card. But its salad days may well be coming to an end. Why? Because of two events. First, the Federal Reserve in 2011 set rates for debit card transactions at $0.21 per transaction. Second, this past week, Richard Leon, a judge on the District Court for the District of Columbia, set aside two of the Fed’s regulations in NACS v. Federal Reserve. In the case, the Fed was sued by a group of retailers who claimed that its rates were too high. Judge Leon ordered the Fed to order new rates, which will approach $0.03-0.06 per transaction. Many observers fear that Judge Leon’s decision will create “turmoil” in the debit card industry.