Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Credit Cards devastate Americans.

Byron Dorgan (Dem. – North Dakota) was on C-Span this morning to discuss the elements of the Senate’s upcoming Credit Card Bill.  I’m not sure what he thinks he can accomplish, but at the very least, he is making us aware that the CC companies are big players in the screwing of the American Economy.

Some points:

– The average credit card debt for American households is $10,000.00.

– 80,000 new credit cards were solicited last year, many to students and people  

 without ongoing employment security.

– People who have ALWAYS paid their credit card debt 100% on-time are now seeing

 their standard interest rates raised from 7.5% (avg) to 27% or more.

Even debit cards, which have always been billed as “same as cash”, are seeing new fees added on by banks and card companies.  Dorgan is insistent that it is the responsibility of the government to protect Americans from this brouhaha by regulating fhe industry.

“Why should we allow these companies to target children with credit cards?” asks Dorgan. “There’s a lot to these companies that needs to be reined in.”

This is something I agree with… and I’ll be very interested to see the Senate’s debate this week… and I wonder what the anti-legislation folks (banks, cc companies, Republicans) will do to make themselves appear fair and concerned with the health of America’s wallet.

Under The LobsterScope


  1. …this chilling and personally familiar story from one of the NYT’s top financial journalists: My Own Personal Credit Crisis.

    In one section he talks about how mortgage defaults would be automatically charged to his credit cards, until they were maxed out.

    Now I don’t think we can pass all the blame to the banks and credit card companies, excessive and frankly fraudulent loaning practices were encouraged. I remember the first wave of deregulation in the UK in the mid 80s, and a lot of my friends bought ‘endowment mortgages’ (i.e. insurance rather than repayment) as if they would automatically generate a return, when actually they were pegged to the stockmarket, often with catastrophic results. Almost bought one myself, but after an hour or two with the broker, it was clear he didn’t know what he was selling, or the risks involved.

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