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Based on “Rogue Agencies Gut State Banking Laws” and the decision in Bank of America v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., please discuss the tension between state and federal laws. How has the concept of "preemption" affected banking laws since the 1990s? 

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The article "Rogue Agencies Gut State Banking Laws" discusses how federal agencies, such as the Comptroller of Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision, undermine state laws designed to protect consumers in the banking industry. Both of these agencies are staffed through presidential appointments rather than elections. As a result, the voting public has no say in who is chosen to head these agencies, despite the fact that they have a significant impact on consumer rights. The author of the article places this issue in the context of the tension between state and federal laws through the concept of preemption. State laws designed to prevent banks from reducing market competition have been preempted by these federal agencies, exercising national authority that conflicts with state-level policies.

In the Bank of America v. City and County of San Francisco, et al. case, the issue of state and federal laws is addressed practically. The counties of Santa Monica and San Francisco prohibited financial institutions from charging fees to non-depositors to use their ATMs. These ordinances allowed consumers to sue for actual damages if they were charged a fee for using an ATM anyway. The cities also claimed that such fees reduce competition among local banks. In turn, the banks argued that the fees allowed them to maintain ATMS without suffering a net loss. Without ATM fees for non-depositors, the banks claimed they would lose up to $11,000 annually on each ATM they maintained. As a direct result of the ordinances, local banks stopped offering ATM services to consumers who did not bank with them and filed a complaint against the ordinances. This case demonstrates the ongoing struggle between federal and state laws. State laws are often designed to prevent consumers from being taken advantage of in local markets, while financial institutions and other organizations that operate across state lines typically argue that they are federally protected in certain business practices that allow them to compete in the national market. When discussing this issue, it is important to remember that the tension between state and federal laws often goes unresolved and must be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

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