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Ruth Simon at The Wall Street Journal writes:

Interest rates continue to tumble for the U.S. Treasury, companies and home buyers alike. But for a large portion of 381 million U.S. credit-card accounts, borrowing rates have been moving only one way: up.

And average rates are likely to climb further soon. New credit-card rules that took effect Sunday limit banks' ability to charge penalty fees. They come on top of rule changes earlier this year restricting issuers' ability to adjust rates on the fly. Issuers responded by pushing card rates to their highest level in nine years.

In the second quarter, the average interest rate on existing cards reached 14.7%, up from 13.1% a year earlier, according to research firm Synovate, a unit of Aegis Group PLC. That was the highest level since 2001.

Those figures look especially stark when measuring the gap between the prime rate—the benchmark against which card rates are set—and average credit-card rates. The current difference of 11.45 percentage points is the largest in at least 22 years, Synovate estimates.

About this, Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism opines:

Even though banks are getting all kinds of bennies from the Fed and regulators, such as a nice steep yield curve and lots of regulatory forbearance (econ-speak for extend and pretend), they are still out to extract a pound of flesh from the retail borrower. Since that has been a core element of their business model for the last decade, it is probably not so surprising that they are loath to give that practice up.

Now some will argue, correctly, that consumers need to delever. But guess what? They are paring debt levels, including credit cards. The number of open accounts has fallen by over 20% since the peak, as has the balance outstanding (over 6%). And not all of this has been voluntary. Banks have been shutting accounts and cutting credit lines.

But (drumroll) increasing interest rates, particularly when the banks are getting very sizeable subsidies, means that more of the money consumers pay to credit card companies goes to interest, less to reducing principal (of course, the banks will maintain that they are merely recouping lost income from penalties, since new credit card rules have curbed abusive practices).

A more serious issue is that not all consumer debt is consumer debt. Credit cards have long been an important source of funding for small businesses.

At Daily Kos on this date in 2004:

Josh Marshall applies the smackdown to Bob Dole, so I don't have to:

Today Bob Dole suggested that one or more of John Kerry's Purple Hearts may have been fraudulent in some way because they were for "superficial wounds." Dole knows better.

In a 1988 campaign-trail autobiography, here's how Dole described the incident that earned him his first Purple Heart: "As we approached the enemy, there was a brief exchange of gunfire. I took a grenade in hand, pulled the pin, and tossed it in the direction of the farmhouse. It wasn't a very good pitch (remember, I was used to catching passes, not throwing them). In the darkness, the grenade must have struck a tree and bounced off. It exploded nearby, sending a sliver of metal into my leg--the sort of injury the Army patched up with Mercurochrome and a Purple Heart."

Notice that even though much was made of Dole's military service during the 1996 election (comparing it to Clinton's draft avoidance), Democrats were much too classy to try and smear Dole's war record or question the validty of his first Purple Heart.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by I follow and I Quote Meteor Blades in my Diary Group.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Whittling them down (5+ / 0-)

    I now have 4 - 3 bank and 1 credit union.  Two I don't use with smallish balances getting smaller every day. One paid off that I need to close.  Only one left that I use.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:10:41 PM PDT

    •  It's a good idea to have two or three cards (5+ / 0-)

      in case a card is lost or the account closed.

      I strongly recommend to everyone that they should always pay their credit card balance in full every month and use the cards for convenience, having a statement telling you where you spent your money, getting reward points, etc..

      If a person is not paying your bill in full every month, cut every expense that is not truly  essential. Borrowing for a real emergency is OK only if the emergency is real (restaurants, gifts, new clothes when others are passable, etc., are never emergencies.).

      Borrowing on a credit card reduces the amount of money you have to spend, it does not increase the amount of money you have to spend.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:29:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the credit card industry (4+ / 0-)

        people who pay off their balance every month are referred to as "deadbeats". They don't generate any finance charges.

        •  In that case, I love being a deadbeat. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wordene, Jeff Y, Azazello

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:47:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Re (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, mataliandy

          Those people are credit card companies' favorite customers.

          The entire reason why credit card companies even give credit cards at all to people with marginal credit to make money on interest is that so few stable people who pay their balances all the time are available.

          If you run up $1000/mo, your average balance for that month is $500. The bank makes 2% on the $1000, for $20. Since the outstanding balance is $500, the bank makes 4% per month just on your spend! (Minus expenses). In a year, they pull down 48% of your spend in interchange fees! Why would they ever in a million years want to mess with that cash cow?

          If you spend a moderate amount and pay your balance off every month, you are gold to an issuer! They give you reward points and cash back just to keep you on board!

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 10:43:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Call me a member of the Deadbeat Club, then. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, mataliandy

          My wife and I have Credit Union issued debit cards and one non-bank (Amex) and two store cards we pay off every month.  We have been doing this for nearly ten years now (as long as we've been together).


          by wordene on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:17:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  About the same... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, mataliandy

            We've got several cards, too, mostly because you get some good deals such as free shipping with our LL Bean card. We, too, ALWAYS pay off all our cards every month, and have done so since we got our very first card back in 1966. That was a Sinclair gas card.

            So add us to the deadbeat class, I guess. Fortunately, we're both retired now, and so don't contemplate buying anything that will require a loan so the banks' credit rating bullshit won't have much impact on us.

  •  The thing that gets me, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, eXtina, Situational Lefty

    is that for years and years we heard that the US was "the consumer of last resort", didn't anybody realize that it was all borrowed, that the family dog could get a credit card ? Sheesh.

  •  First (6+ / 0-)

    the government/corporations took gambling away from organized crime and now they've taken the occupation of loan sharks away.  What's left for a poor mobster to do?

    I take political action every day. I teach.

    by jbfunk on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:13:46 PM PDT

  •  Chilean Miner Rescue News Roundup, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, YucatanMan, Jeff Y, jan4insight

    a basic account of the miner rescue story and coverage, here.

  •  Hello openthread people. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, Jeff Y, Situational Lefty

    I wrote a post about Jack Baker and hope that's not getting many views. It's pretty decent, I promise.

    (Jack Baker is the guy who brought the first same sex marriage case to the Supreme Court.)

    The closet is a poison. - Dan Choi

    by indiemcemopants on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:14:48 PM PDT

  •  I've personally been CC free for 7 years (4+ / 0-)

    My husband has 2 cards, one for The Home Depot which will be closed in a few months when the balance is 0, and one bank issued card that is paid off monthly to avoid ever paying any interest, ever.  The latter is only used because we get 5% cash back on gas and groceries.

    Conservatives: They love America. They hate actual Americans.

    by catwho on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:15:04 PM PDT

    •  Not quite that far yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think maybe about 5 or 6 years credit card free.  And that's both my husband and I.  Got rid of all of them.  It's a much more sane way to live, though at times it's annoying.  Like just last week my truck decided it was time to need a new Transmission.  It would be nice if I could put that on credit.  Instead, the truck get's parked until we have enough to buy the transmission & pay for the labor.  It's a discipline to do it.  You don't get to have instant gratification.  But I don't owe any bank my life, either.  And we do have another functional car, it just would have been nicer to take the truck out to the beach this weekend than the Infiniti.

      They have created a world where everything is an opinion, and nothing is a fact, everybody is entitled to an opinion, and every opinion is equally valid.

      by SlowNomad on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:27:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone cover the egg contamination? (8+ / 0-)

    I didn't see a diary ..

    One of these companies is run a by serial criminal.

    DeCoster is no stranger to controversy in his food and farm operations:

    _In 1994, the state of Iowa assessed at least four separate penalties against DeCoster Farms for environmental violations, many of them involving hog waste.

    _In 1997, DeCoster Egg Farms agreed to pay $2 million in fines to settle citations brought in 1996 for health and safety violations at DeCoster's farm in Turner, Maine.

    _In 2000, Iowa designated DeCoster a "habitual violator" of environmental regulations for problems that included hog manure runoff ..

    _In 2002, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a more than $1.5 million settlement of an employment discrimination lawsuit against DeCoster ..

    _In 2007, 51 workers were arrested during an immigration raid at six DeCoster egg farms. His farms had been the subject of at least three previous raids.

    _In June 2010, Maine Contract Farming, the successor company to DeCoster Egg Farms, agreed in state court to pay $25,000 in penalties and to make a one-time payment of $100,000 to the Maine Department of Agriculture over animal cruelty ..

    How is it that people like this get away with crimes like these with a slap on the wrist. If this was you or me, we'd be lifers on 'three strikes and you're out'.

    Justice in the this country SUCKS.

    •  I got sick from eating two prepared cooked (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, mataliandy, Jeff Y

      eggs (purchased hard boiled), back in May. At the time, I thought I wasn't sick enough for it to be salmonella, even though it lasted a solid week. Mostly, I felt weak after 2 days of serious illness and couldn't get back on my feet and into the swing of things. Today I found out they've been tracking this since - May! Now I will go back to that convenience store and let them know.

    •  Been sick for a week now (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, Mike Taylor, eXtina

      Going to the doctor tomorrow to see if its salmonella. Ugh. Makes you really weak, feverish.

      Isn't there some kind of oversight?  Can't they regulate these companies? What is Vilsack doing?

      •  We've got to start regulating stuff ourselves. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If enough people went on an egg strike (of course it would take several million people), for a few months, that would make it cost-effective for them to keep their facilities salmonella-free. We really don’t have government regulatory agencies anymore (see BP Deepwater Horizon) so we probably need to start finding ways to regulate this kind of stuff ourselves (using Mr. Market, the only thing they understand).

        •  aka, buy organic, or local or if not (5+ / 0-)

          affordable or doable, at least from small operators.
          One 'factory' can produce billions of eggs, and they are marketed under different 'brand' names to make it seem like there is variety. They showed the laying facility on the news and there are stacks and stacks of cages, as far as the eye can see. I swear the building must have been a thousand feet long at least. How can anyone keep that hygienic?

          •  I know this sounds crazy, but (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, mataliandy, eXtina, Betty Pinson

            backyard poultry is feasible for a lot of people (if you don’t live in town). There was a time when just about everybody had chickens. If the chickens have room to move around they’ll do most (if not all) their crapping outside the coop.
            I think egg are about the most bang-for-the-buck as a source of protein (other than growing peas, beans etc.).

        •  Egg sales will probably drop 30% on this news. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'd say 'market forces' are already in play.

          Trouble is, like collective punishment, it hurts legitimate and responsible folks, too.

      •  Although I'll damn him with faint praise, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, mataliandy

        since Vilsack wasn't much of a strong force in Iowa, either, but this problem is much bigger and more nefarious than one person can handle.  The USDA and the FDA have been severely underfunded and home to such cronyism that voluntary self-oversight is the best that can be done.  In the wake of this latest crisis, the government could really change the unemployment/underemployment by training and hiring thousands, if not millions, to inspect all food sources and take away the self-regulation/self-policing which is the norm today.


        by wordene on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:23:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Deregulation! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, mataliandy, wordene, jan4insight

      It's the way Saint Ronny wanted it to be!

      And now years later, patriotic deregulation has made America (real America) that shining city on a hill that......cough cough....ah....oh god.. choking...can't breath...I think I'm going to puke.

      "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

      by Jeff Y on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:58:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Notice the pattern? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, mataliandy

      1994 - Clinton Admin. - Environmental enforcement
      1997 - Clinton Admin. - Worker Safety enforcement
      2000 - Clinton Admin. - Environmental enforcement
      2002 - Bush Admin. - Discrimination enforcement
      2007 - Bush Admin. - Immigration enforcement
      2010 - Obama Admin. - Animal Cruelty enforcement

      In other words, after 2000, environmental enforcement activities more or less stopped. The Bush Administration, while initially enforcing employment laws, eventually settled comfortably into busting brown folk.

      Is it any surprise that contamination of the product ensued?

  •  One debit visa card . (7+ / 0-)

    .- .-. .-. --- --. .- -. -.-. . / -.- .. .-.. .-.. ...

    by indycam on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:17:12 PM PDT

  •  Recently, I paid off a credit card which (12+ / 0-)

    ...had a $20K limit on it, and was close to that limit.  I paid off the balance all at once (not easy, but the interest rate was very high).

    And guess what the bank then did?  They cut the credit limit to $500!  Just after I paid off the balance, they cut my ability to use the credit card almost to nothing.


    "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

    by rfall on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:19:02 PM PDT

  •  Is there a patent attorney in the house? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, Gooserock, 417els, crankyinNYC, eXtina

    Tonight, my friend K (5 y.o.) asked about "trapped miners." I told her that, when people go digging in mountains, sometimes the mountains fall in behind them, trapping them.

    "They need duct tape, really big rolls of duct tape," she responded.

    Don't we all, K, don't we all?

    I'd like my life back, too, Tony ____ Video and more songs at da web site

    by Crashing Vor on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:20:59 PM PDT

    •  Ask the Apollo Lunar Rover Astronauts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If we can put a man on the Moon, how come we can't put a man on the Moon?

      How come we can't feed a retiree?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:29:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did I Hear Right About "Business" Credit Cards? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought I heard a snippet from a consumer advocate, used in a radio show promo, saying "business" credit cards come with many protections stripped compared to individual/family cards.

    Any enlightenment out there?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:21:01 PM PDT

  •  Ugh. Thank God Alan Grayson's wallpaper (5+ / 0-)

    is gone. But I hope everyone donated, with their credit cards.

  •  Some Pakistanis Frustrated with U.S. despite Aid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Taylor, Situational Lefty

    2 good articles on this in the OND. Thanks! :)

  •  So where's that "competitive market"? (8+ / 0-)

    I wonder why there's not fierce competition for credit customers by competing on interest rates?  

    Experts wonder, too

    Credit cards are marketed like trips to Las Vegas -- a gambler's dream, just get in free and pay on the back end.  The competition is in re-bundling the deadbeats, apparently ... but I'm just starting to read the analysis, so opinions may change.

  •  It's time to find that old law against (11+ / 0-)

    usury and relaunch it.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:25:47 PM PDT

  •  Oh, we're way over our heads in card debt. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, askew, Betty Pinson

    Not as bad as we were, but still really bad.

    I have a reasonable credit rating, because I pay on time, always.

    But with 3 out 4 people not working, we are barely hanging on in my house.

  •  Credit cards can be used on this! (10+ / 0-)

    No diary tonight -- but you can be entered to win a piece of progressive blogging history (signed at the first Yearly Kos) while supporting the opponent of Rand Paul:

    Support Jack Conway’s Senate run and you could win a quilt!

    Every contribution of $10 or more per day on this Act Blue page between now and September 15, 2010 will represent one chance in a drawing for the quilt on the last day of September. No cash, no problem, see essay entry instructions here.

    HELP US REACH $10,000!

    Goal Thermometer

    Leave a reply here if you donate and thanks!

    •  Here is a full list of the quilt signatories: (7+ / 0-)

      This quilt has quite a number of celebrities.

      1-1 Shirley Koegel
      1-2 fabooj
      1-3 Rain
      1-4 Pastor Dan
      1-5 Yerritt Blom
      1-6 Mary Blom
      1-7 Brian and Jane Elliot
      1-8 Quicksilver
      1-9 Francie Goodrich
      1-10   Toni R. Ramiz
      2-1 Joe Trippi
      2-2 Sobermom
      2-3 democracylover
      2-4 Malecandra
      2-5 Timothy D. Smith
      2-6 Danielle Coppola-Smith
      2-7 Kate Daniels
      2-8 Adam Conner
      2-9 Hunter
      3-1 Christina Stallard
      3-2 Arianna Huffington
      3-3 Frisco
      3-4 Scott Harrid
      3-5 Atrios
      3-6 Mariva
      3-7 Eddie C.
      3-8 Colleen
      3-9 Liz Noteware
      3-10   Murray Waass
      4-1 Lo Owens
      4-2 Anne Schu
      4-3 Warren Lathe
      4-4 Mrs. Pastor
      4-5 Chunyang
      4-6 Mark in San Fran
      4-7 Bridgitt Funk
      4-8 Chinton Wheeler
      4-9 Ann Reed
      5-1 China Parmalee & Elizabeth Compa
      5-2 Ambassador Joe Wilson
      5-3 Emptywheel
      5-4 Twin Planets
      5-5 Sharon Mahoney
      5-6 Pachacutec
      5-7 Gov. Mark Warner
      5-8 Jerome a Paris
      5-9 Barb Morrill
      5-10   Rick Boston
      6-1 Fred Koegel
      6-2 Robert Greenwald
      6-3 Shermanesqe
      6-4 Jessica C. Clark
      6-5 raginggurrl
      6-6 Bonddad
      6-7 George Lakoff
      6-8 K.J. Lakoff
      6-9 Linda Mercer and the Boise Peace Quilt Project
      7-1 Howard Carlin
      7-2 Ducktape
      7-3 Jerome Armstrong
      7-4 Ellen Harten
      7-5 bendygirl
      7-6 Susan S.
      7-7 Ilona Meagher
      7-8 Sam Seder
      7-9 Alinda Lord
      7-10   Pucklady
      8-1 hono lulu
      8-2 Maryscott O'Connor
      8-3 Martianchronic
      8-4 Eric Wagner
      8-5 Ninth Elegy
      8-6 Jim Edwards Hewitt
      8-7 Nolan Treadway
      8-8 Sarah R. Carter
      8-9 Aunt Arctic
      9-1 Christina S. O'Connell
      9-2 Uncle Jack
      9-3 Pamela Nelson
      9-4 Raines Cohen
      9-5 David Perry
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      10-2 Martha Tune
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      10-5 Tracy Joan
      10-6 Rep. Brad Miller
      10-7 David Sirota
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      12-2  Momster
      12-3 Diane Palmer
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      12-6 Rochelle Athey
      12-7 mik
      12-8 Nicole Sawaya
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      13-1 Barbara B
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      13-5 Baratunde
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      13-7 Lisa Schiff
      13-8 Brillig
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      14-2 YKos volunteers
      14-3 Pat Schwieterman
      14-4 Frederick Rhine
      14-5 Eric Boehlert
      14-6 mc joan
      14-7 Elizabeth D.
      14-8 Evie Zeidman
      14-9 virgomusic
      15-1 Chris Bowers
      15-2 Chris Kenngo
      15-3 Greg Felice
      15-4 Kos
      15-5 Michael Schiavo
      15-6 Terry Boggs-Moura
      15-7 Mark R. Brown
      15-8 Major Danby
      15-9 David Keeler
      15-10   teacherken
      16-1 Kael Alford
      16-2 Lucky Ducky
      16-3 Diane Purcell
      16-4 Maxomai
      16-5 James W. Hill
      16-6 Lakshmi Chaudry
      16-7 Senator Harry Reid
      16-8 Dan Abbott
      16-9 Alex Vrevick-Ackelsberg
      17-1 Kid Oakland
      17-2 American River Canyon
      17-3 Shockwave
      17-4 DiAnne Gieser
      17-5 Deborah Brown
      17-6 Rick Hegdahl
      17-7 Vince Vitale
      17-8 "42"
      17-9 Zack Brown and Anna Hentzel
      17-10   Lil Bird
      18-1 Scarecrow
      18-2 Gina Cooper
      18-3 Laura Fitzpatrick
      18-4 David Atkins
      18-5 Jamie Vollmer
      18-6 Tim Waters
      18-7 Ann Rose
      18-8 Nancy Skinner
      18-9 Outlandish Josh
      19-1 Katie Halper
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      19-4 Claude Hayward
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      19-8 General Wesley Clark
      19-9 John Laesch
      19-10   Sari Joseph

  •  Why have a bank CC? Credit union, YES! (8+ / 0-)

    I pay less than 5% when I choose to actually run a balance on my CU issued credit card--that's less than my recently refinanced mortgage.  Normally I keep it at zero balance unless I need to buy something big that takes a few months to a new HVAC system.

    Never have understood paying a premium for credit...I would prefer not to pay any interest if possible.  

    Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

    by Celtic Pugilist on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:39:14 PM PDT

    •  borrowing $ is often neccessary (8+ / 0-)

      I have a small business, 4 employees.  We extend credit terms to 95% of our accounts.  Sometimes, they just don't pay on time and you need to lean on credit in order to make bills, payroll, pay suppliers.  

      I had 40K in business debt on my personal cards for 5 years and Ive paid it off and now I have a functioning business.   So, the answer to your question is that you can do things with borrowed money when you lack the cash and sometimes these are good things, not just new TVs.

      •  I hear ya. Thankfully, in our business we really (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, mataliandy

        don't extend credit but at the same time - if our customers don't pay - we still have to pay the bills. When we took over 30% of AR was more than 30 days out. It was bad. We implemented (some say) draconian late charges - Due on the 1st. Late on the 6th - 20 buck late charge. Late on the 15th - 50 buck late charge. When you're paying 50 bucks a month to store a boat or RV - paying a 50 buck late charge gets your attention. Didn't take long to whip AR back into shape. If you let folks, they'll use you as a bank. That doesn't work. For 40+ years - we allowed folks to charge at the store. Where the hell can you walk in and grab a six pack, a bag of ice, a couple of sodas and an ice cream and go - write it down? We ended up having to kill that too. Folks thought we were a no interest bank. The point of it was if you're down on your boat and you want to grab a soda or six pack etc... sure - pay me next time you're down. It got to the point where we actually had one couple staying in the RV park, that were running up 1-2 hundred! dollar balances. That was the end of the party. No more store charges. Just like the rest of the real world - you take, you pay. That is one nostalgic period of history ended right there.  

        "I have ferrets with fins" - African Cichlids. And 3 pooties too! Ren, Stimpy (15 yrs) and Rocky (3 yrs)

        by mrsgoo on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 10:59:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've seen small business that didn't borrow (0+ / 0-)

        They skipped our payroll until they had the cash from some other account...pissing off senior engineers like myself...particularly when a check from them bounced.  That's what business loans are for of course.  Instead, many of them play 3-card monte.  Of course, my impression of small business was that there was no firewall between the owner's vacation/pay-his-kids-to-do-nothing-useful money and the legitimate business.  I considered recommending them for an IRS audit...

        That's much different than typical consumer CC debt though.  And that is what I was getting at.  Most of us do not own small businesses, and if I did I would do things much differently.

        Commercial bank cards are for suckers.  Credit Union issued cards are a much better deal.  Same has been true for most accounts for at least 20 years.  

        Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

        by Celtic Pugilist on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:36:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I used to have a CU-issued card (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and they sold everything off to BofA.  Needless to say, that BofA card is sitting at the bottom of the safety deposit box... hasn't been used since the balance went to $0.  Not too long afterwards, my wife and I picked up a Costco-backed Amex card, which always gets paid off at the end of the month.  No annual fees, and various percentages of purchase types earn reward dollars paid out in February, redeemable only at Costo, of course.  However, since Costco is the closest source of groceries, it is usually the first stop for things our family can utilize in the quantities offered there (milk, certain dairy products, cereals, bread).


      by wordene on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:33:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who pays annual fees? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've never paid annual fees, roughly 23 years with a card of one type or another, never paid an annual fee.  Of course, I've probably paid less than $200 total interest on credit cards in the past 23 years as well.  I see it as a way of deferring monthly payments for over 30 days.  

        Note to Democratic leadership: I'm all out of carrots, but I still have my stick.

        by Celtic Pugilist on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:43:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People with crappy credit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If you have bad credit, the only cards you qualify for are the "Fee Harvester" cards (i.e. Orchard Bank, Capital One, Bank One, etc.)

          These cards come with low limits, high interest, numerous fees, and generally stink to high heaven.  I have 3 of them, and as soon as I pay them off I will be cancelling them all (the end of the year).

          The credit game is very different than it was 20 years ago.  If you have bad/no credit you are going to get soaked for fees for a few years while you build some borrowing history up.  My hope is that the good credit I get will allow me to buy a house in a few years, but there are no guarantees.

          •  Good credit in a few years (0+ / 0-)

            We discovered the hard way that banks will not consider a debt that was paid off more than [n] years ago in your credit history if you have no current outstanding debt.

            In our case, we were buying a car, and every bank we talked to told us that my husband had NO credit history, because he had paid off all debts in his name 2 years before and thus didn't have any sufficiently recent credit.  It doesn't matter that the debts he had paid off (in good standing) included a mortgage, a home equity line, a credit card, and 2 cars. His credit should have been sterling, but actually paying one's debts in this bizarre-o banking system is a serious black mark

            Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

            by mataliandy on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 11:43:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  That's the smart move (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Van Buren

      Shop until you find a card with a low rate and only use it when you really need to.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 12:00:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  speaking of credit cards (7+ / 0-)

    it's like we're treating the earth like a credit card, but we've maxed out on our credit line.

    posted EcoJustice: Coming to Ecuador, with or without Chevron, come on by if you're interested in some stunning photos and background behind the Chevron trial that'll be coming to a verdict soon.

    Safari mzuri Ahsante sana :: Journey beautiful Thank you very much!

    by citisven on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:45:12 PM PDT

  •  I'd actually like to thank Republican (4+ / 0-)

    nutjobs like Bob Dole here for doing this. It wasn't until the right "swift-boated" John Kerry that I decided to become politically active and do everything in my power to get Democrats elected. That was the last straw for me, no more sitting on the sidelines and watching.

    Today Bob Dole suggested that one or more of John Kerry's Purple Hearts may have been fraudulent in some way because they were for "superficial wounds." Dole knows better.

    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 09:45:33 PM PDT

  •  my CU debit card (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    serves all needs for plastic. I love the convenience of not having to haul cash around to walk around. Gets me an airplane reservation or a rental car or an on-line purchase.

    The notion that any sane person would voluntarily pay an (national) average of 14% because they have to have something RIGHT NOW as opposed to next week or next month or even (gasp! Heavens forbid: Next Year) after they have saved up the money is totally beyond me. You really gotta have it THAT bad? You can't figure out how to manage your life any better than that? AND!! It is not even really your fault because of  X Y and Z reasons?

    Give me a fucking break.  Stop sniveling and cut those credit cards in half and send them back and get with the fucking program: if you can't live without a credit card, there is something seriously wrong with your need/want meter and you need a re-calibration.

    I have fucking ZERO sympathy for the woes of credit card users.  Like they put a gun to your head and MADE you start using it?  Like your whole existence depends upon the judgment of some suit, or some robot computer program,  as to your "credit-worthiness", your fucking "credit score number"?

    Let me introduce you to a whole other paradigm: I've got the cash, because I saved it up, and I'll buy what I want and fuck your suit and the computer program you rode in on.  That's what freedom is all about.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 10:10:09 PM PDT

  •  Perfect Timing - Anybody use Home Depot's 12mo/no (0+ / 0-)

    interest gig? We've been playing their game for awhile now. $299/6 months interest free and every once in awhile you get a coupon in the mail for 12 months interest free. We're SERIOUS users of this. It's financed many projects for our business. Just last week we got one and purchased 4.5K ! yea! 4 grand of lumber for projects. So the other day I get another 12 month/interest free coupon in the mail that's good until 9/20. Funny - they usually expire in a couple of weeks. So I'm reading it and discover something completely new -

    If You Make A Late Payment - All Accrued Interest Is Added To Your Balance!!

    On top of the late payment charge. whoa! I accidentially made a late payment over July 4th weekend. If you play this 12/mo no interest game - those accrued interest charges can REALLY add up. I'm calling Garamendi's office tomorrow about this. But I have a feeling - that this is going to fall under some grey area that wasn't addressed and it's a loop hole that citibank will exploit. Needless to say, making that HD payment at least 15 days early will be high on my radar. And I'm gonna get ahold of HD too. Just does not seem fair to offer these 12/mo no interest deals and then turn around and say - ohhh. one late payment and you get dinged for the accrued interest. I let the 30 buck late fee ride in July, it was MY fault the payment got processed on the 3rd. But to ding me 30 bucks and accrued interest on a large balance at 21.99 percent - Holy Crap - Maybe I just won't take your f'n deal anymore.

    "I have ferrets with fins" - African Cichlids. And 3 pooties too! Ren, Stimpy (15 yrs) and Rocky (3 yrs)

    by mrsgoo on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 10:35:10 PM PDT

    •  mrs goo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Taylor, mrsgoo

      it is ultimately that last and only power you have: the power to say "no", to not buy, or to not use their plastic.

      The old fashioned method is still quite viable: "I have saved up my money and will buy what I want, your credit rating, your plastic, your 14%, be damned".

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 10:52:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You got it. It's where we're all headed. Back to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the future so to speak. I'm most likely the consumer they're targeting with this. The one that buys on "the deal" and pays off without accruing interest. So - how do they make money - tightening the screws on the deal and trying to trip you up. I don't know HOW many times our due date on that home depot card has changed - at least three that I know of! Sears - same sheeite - bought a teevee on a 3 year no interest deal. They're hopin and prayin you screw it up. Sorry - I'll have that paid off long before the 3 years. Thanks for letting me use your money for free. You offered it - I'm takin' it. My MIL is even better - she has the money in advance - takes the deal - puts the money in a CD - collects interest on it while she pays nada in interest on what she purchased.

        "I have ferrets with fins" - African Cichlids. And 3 pooties too! Ren, Stimpy (15 yrs) and Rocky (3 yrs)

        by mrsgoo on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:06:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you ain't got the money, you can't afford it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, Odysseus

        That’s what my grandfather used to say. Everybody laughed at that saying then. I still say it and very few people laugh at it now.

    •  Actually, it does seem fair. (0+ / 0-)

      Just does not seem fair to offer these 12/mo no interest deals and then turn around and say - ohhh. one late payment and you get dinged for the accrued interest.

      What's not fair about that?  Don't spend money you don't have.

      The first rule of personal finance is to have 6 months of expenses in the bank.  Emergency funds should allow you to avoid all of these consequences.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:47:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Must read article for Everyone here (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginislandsguy, 417els, DRo, jan4insight

    Covert Operations

    The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

    An new article in The New Yorker  about Koch Industries.

    "Trying to hold back the revision of history is always a good thing." -- Peter Christopherson

    by jethrock on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 10:35:12 PM PDT

  •  Been Using Credit Cards For 23 Years (0+ / 0-)

    After years of paying the late fees (somehow payment was always on time to be on the next monthly statement along with the late fee) and high interest rates, bankruptcy seems like the reasonable alternative at this point. One of the things that does make me feel less guilty about it is that if you run the numbers, even if I default, the banks have made money off me many times over in those 23 years. The businesses on Main Street will see me alot more if I am not giving so much of my money to Wall Street every month.  

  •  Financial reform should have happened BEFORE (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, Situational Lefty

    the bank bailouts. But that just more crap the retarded left was screaming about.
    The banks robbed the people before the bailouts, they robbed the people during the bailouts, and since banks were using TARP money to lobby against real financial reform, they can keep robbing us after the bailouts. Actually, they’re still robbing us for the "during" part too, because of debt created by the bailouts.
    That’s why I get so irritated by the corpo-zombies with "The bailouts saved the economy" spiel. For who? It sure didn’t save it for Main-Street.
    People get the government they deserve. That’s what scares me.

  •  Credit cards are great (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't even know what interest rates my cards are at; I just know "this one gives me 5% cash back on gas", "this one gives me redeemable points", etc.

    You get to float some balances for 6-8 weeks before you have to pay them, and don't pay any interest on the float.

    They provide convenient payment options and protect you from fraud.

    Just don't spend beyond your means and they are an excellent tool!

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 10:40:10 PM PDT

  •  Get cash back, pay off balance monthly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Some brokerages have cash back cards.  As long as you pay off your balance monthly, why not pay all your bills and day to day expenses with a cash back card?

    If you charge $2000 a month, 2% cash back gives you $40 a month.

    You can take the cash back and invest in a mutual fund every month.  Maybe down the road it helps pay for a kids college or a new car.

    But you have to pay the balance due monthly.  

  •  Isn't about time that Congress enacted (6+ / 0-)

    or re-enacted Usury Laws again? Limit credit cards to, say, 6% over the Prime Rate, maximum.

    So, the banks say, they won't make enough money. SO WHAT?

    Since when has there been a guarantee that the banks make monstrous profits?  Perhaps less currency being consumed within the financial sector and more free for other sectors of the economy will actually, you know, help the economy.  

    Do we really need branch banks on every other street corner?  When there are more banks than gas stations, you know something is seriously wrong. (or Detroit is coming out with coin operated automobiles!)

    Because we all know that the trillions shoveled into the banks and Wall Street hasn't gotten any bang for the buck as far as putting people to work again.

    How I dream of the days before Reagan when banks didn't own the Congress outright.... sigh....

    Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

    by YucatanMan on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:00:59 PM PDT

    •  If there isn't a bank on every corner... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, YucatanMan will we keep control over the spread of Starbucks?

      (Good point on usury laws. But good luck on that one.)

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:58:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interest rate caps restrict credit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Uncle Milty

      At 6 points over prime many current card holders would not have access to credit. I don't favor an interest rate cap on credit cards. Even when I was young the standard rate was 1 !/5% a month, or an 18% annual rate. If there was going to be a cap it should be in the 25-30% range so that most people could have access to credit cards. Today only people with exceptional credit have rates under 10% on their credit cards.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:58:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cap cannot be a hard number. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Any interest rate cap must be written as a floating difference from prime.  (Or treasuries).

        Otherwise, you get situations like 1982, with a 20% prime rate, and a usury law that disallows EVEN PRIME lending.  Don't have to be a genius to realize how stupid that is.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:42:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I guess that opens the window of: (0+ / 0-)

        "Is credit really a good thing for everyone?"
        "Is credit really a good thing for all of society as a whole?"
        "How do other countries live, where credit is not readily available?"

        The answer, I believe, to the "access problem" is to charge those who have bad behavior, not everyone across the board who has a low credit rating.

        So, those who do not pay that particular bank should have their credit cut off or late fees or whatever.  But overall, charging 30% of society a 30+% interest rate is criminal.  There is no excuse for that.

        Turn to credit unions or deposit-backed credit if necessary.  But these 32% and up interest rates are obscene. For anyone, and particularly for those who cannot afford to pay off the balance.

        It becomes a social control mechanizm - always keeping the poor tied to the company store of high nterest rate balances.  And bankruptcy has been made much more possible (at the banks' request).  

        How does issuing credit to those who cannot pay it back benefit anyone at all?  Maybe it helps the stores who sell the goods.  But not the credit card holder who cannot pay their balance. The banks benefit sure, from whatever they bring in on a 32-36% interest rate.  

        Hell, and idiot could make money at those rates, and that is sorta my point:  the banks are abusing card holders.

        Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

        by YucatanMan on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:43:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Jon Stewart DESTROYED the not-at-Ground Zero (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, jan4insight

    non-mosque movement tonight.  Look for the video tomorrow.  It's epic.

    I'll try to sum it up (a mere shadow of Stewart's brilliant takedown):

    Fox News has linked Kingdom Holding Co., which has contributed to Imam Rauf and the Park51 project, to extremist Islamic groups.  Kingdom is headed by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is a major stakeholder in Newscorp, which produces Fox News.  By watching Fox News and its programming, ratings increase which means more revenue.  More revenue for Fox means more money for bin Talal and Kingdom, which means Fox viewers have helped the extremist Islamic groups funding Kingdom and the Park51 center.  In other words, if you love America, don't watch Fox News.

    It's one big circle jerk of bigotry and demagoguery.

  •  Shout out to MB. While I disavow all knowledge (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, OLinda, delver rootnose, annieli

    and certainly had no participation in the events of the day, I hear/heard that you've had a rough day.  

    I just wanted to say that there are thousands of people who appreciate the work you do.  No one is perfect and no man is an island.... we all need community and trying to support good behavior is a hard task.  

    Thanks for trying. I, personally, know you have your heart in the right place.  

    Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

    by YucatanMan on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:10:10 PM PDT

  •  you can have my CCs when you pry them from (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, vets74

    my tepid, fully-employed, and benefited hands

    "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

    by annieli on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 02:43:30 AM PDT

  •  The new BP Catastrophe Mothership is up (0+ / 0-)

    here. Recs to keep her afloat on the Rec List are greatly appreciated.

  •  The fact is... (0+ / 0-)

    A usuary law on credit cards would make most of the banks have a heart attack.  But, there would be others (credit unions, smaller banks) that would leap into the fray to serve people.  The lack of credit for those of us who have "good" credit (whatever the hell that is) is the main reason for the economy laying a big one right now.  That, and a lack of decently paying jobs.

    •  No chance (0+ / 0-)

      If the smaller banks and credit unions could compete, they would already be doing it.  The truth is that too many people walk away from credit card debt to make it profitable for anyone without ridiculously high rates.  I'm sure if people could borrow at a lower rate than 30%, they would.  

      The bank lost a lot of money on credit cards during this last recession.

      There is plenty of credit available right now, but no one wants to use it.  If you pay your bills and have some equity, you can get plenty of rope to hang yourself.

  •  Credit cards ??? Smoke, too ? (0+ / 0-)

    Its simple:

    Your wallet, your lungs.

    Same difference.

    BTW: the only way to win at Credit Cards is don't play. Its a rigged game.

    What else ?

    Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 05:40:55 AM PDT

    •  that's what you say to the mafia when your bank (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      turns you down. there's a difference between living according to your needs and living beyond your means. I never subscribe to the notion of the latter.

      More importantly, in a world of interest rates, there's second-hand smoke.

      "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

      by annieli on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:08:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Credit Union issued cards are the way to go. (0+ / 0-)

    I have been a Credit Union member for years.  Before the Great Recession (my mother says it IS a depression - she was born in 1927), my Amex card interest rate was fixed at 6.99%.  I used that card for 10 years, and it never changed.  In 2009, it jumped to 13.99% - no reason for the jump.  I quit using that card.  I checked in to my CU, and they were offering a card at 7.99%, not fixed, but what a difference.  I have been using it for a year.  I haven't closed my Amex, but just waiting for them to start charging me an annual fee, then I will drop them like a lead balloon.  I'm just leaving it open to gouge them with my "administrative costs".  LOL

    Proud Texas Democrat

    by cjjason on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 12:21:13 PM PDT

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