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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You Deserve a Break Today

Bu Keith R. Schmitz

From the Washington Post by way of the
The government has not yet aided struggling homeowners directly, but the Fed is considering relief for credit card holders. The Washington Post reports the Fed will vote on Thursday "on sweeping reform of the credit card industry that would ban practices such as retroactively increasing interest rates at will and charging late fees when consumers are not given a reasonable amount of time to make payments." The proposal includes a ban on raising the interest rates on credit card debt unless the customer was more than 30 days late in paying the minimum. If the Fed approves, it will be, say consumer advocates, the biggest overhaul of the credit card industry in decades. "It covers a lot of issues and is really unprecedented in its scope," said the CEO of the American Bankers Association. "You add them all up, it's going to mark the beginning of a new market."
About time isn't it?

The amazing thing is that despite the free hand the credit card industry and banks had to literally rape card holders and their sky-high profit margins they enjoyed through financial and political power, the government had come in and rescue them. Government saves the butt of capitalism again, though the current one had much to do with the predicament.

And these perps walked away with a lot more than will be saddled on Detroit. What an amazing testimony to malfeasance and their enablers in government.

Yes, there were people who lived beyond their means using plastic and some personal responsibility is in order. But then there is the fact that about half folks racking up credit card debt was brought on by financial pressures fueled by health care costs. When their income wasn't enough these people turned to their cards to try to make it through on just basic living expenses. Not a good strategy but for many of them their only strategy.

These "Masters of the Universe" as coined by Tom Wolfe in "Bonfire of the Vanities" proved they more than anybody lack both professional and personal responsibility and have more than earned any regulations this Congress and administration can hammer out for them.

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