Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Government We Deserve | Beyond Cynicism II


I've been asked by friends to explain my general approval for President Obama's performance during his first 20 months in office. I'll honor those requests over the next few days, one element at a time. I'll include links you can follow to the supporting financial figures. And there's a thoughtful overview by Tom Dickinson in the October 28 issue of Rolling Stone.

Credit Card Reform

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 embodies real protection for borrowers with clear limits on what lenders may do that could take advantage of the unwary.

If you have credit cards from Amex, MasterCard or Visa you've already seen the new plain language/plain sight disclosures on your monthly statement.

The Act bans retroactive interest increases; ends late fee traps (such as moving due dates); prohibits "double-cycle" billing; restricts predatory practices aimed at college students; requires opt-in to trigger over-limit fees, and a whole lot more. 

You can moralize about extending and using credit till the cows come home. But the plain fact is, we are where we are, and the CARD Act levels the field so that people who wish or need to use plastic are not easily tricked by usurious lenders (Wikipedia article, accessed 10.18.10).

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