blind_html Fwd: Obama Pledges Protection for Creditcard Users

  • From: Nimer Jaber <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 16:34:32 -0600

How about um, this is ridiculous? Shall I even get started?

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Obama Pledges Protection for Creditcard Users
Date:   Thu, 23 Apr 2009 18:17:42 -0400
From:   Jack Lowe <jlowe27@xxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       Blind-chit-chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To:     Chit Chat group <Blind-chit-chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

WASHINGTON &ndash; President Barack Obama is pushing to rein in
costs for millions of Americans who use credit cards, an appeal to
consumers as many struggle to pay their bills. But the banking industry
is warning that Obama's push for legislation could backfire, restricting
lenders and making less credit available to Americans during the
economic crisis. Obama was meeting with leaders of the credit-card
industry Thursday, a session the White House said would be an "open and
productive conversation." "The president believes new rules of the road
for the credit card industry are needed," Obama senior adviser Valerie
Jarrett said ahead of the president's planned session at the White House
with executives from the nation's top credit-card companies. Obama and
some congressional leaders are particularly focused on what they
consider to be abusive and deceptive practices that squeeze people into
paying much higher fees or interest rates than anticipated. Both the
House and Senate are considering a credit card "bill of rights" to limit
the ability of credit-card companies to raise interest rates on existing
balances and to require greater disclosure. At issue is how to protect
consumers, particularly in a severe economic downturn, while not
imposing the kind of rules that could make it harder for banks to offer
credit or that put credit out of reach for many borrowers. Industry
advocates are wary of those consequences and hopeful Obama will listen.
Kenneth Clayton, senior vice president for card policy at the Americans
Bankers Association, said the concern is that new legislation may make
economic matters even worse by shrinking lenders' ability, resulting in
"less credit available to vast numbers of Americans" at just the wrong
time. The Federal Reserve has already ordered new rules, to take effect
in July 2010, that are designed to enforce a host of new consumer
protections. On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the
Finance Committee, and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Banking
Committee, wrote a letter asking the Federal Reserve, the Office of
Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration to use
their emergency powers and put next year's planned rules in place
immediately. "Congress is working on legislation to strengthen these
rules and provide additional protections for consumers," the senators
wrote. "As Congress works to pass this legislation, and before your
rules become effective, issuers continue to operate using unfair and
deceptive acts and practices." Almost 80 percent of American households
have credit cards. The average outstanding credit card debt for
households that have a credit card was $10,679 at the end of 2008,
according to, an online marketplace designed to link
consumers and card issuers. The White House says Obama is aware of the
importance that credit cards hold in many families, particularly as a
last option during hard times. White House economic adviser Larry
Summers said over the weekend that the administration wants to curb
pitches that addict people to plastic. "Individuals are going to have
to save more. That's why savings incentives are so important," he said.
"That's why we need to do things to stop the marketing of credit in ways
that addicts people to it and so that our households are again saving
and families are again preparing to send their kids to college."

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