The Card Game; How Credit Card Companies take Advantage of Consumers

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If you missed the recent FRONTLINE documentary, The Card Game, a follow-up to the Secret History of the Credit Card, watch below as industry insiders, lobbyists, politicians and consumer advocates square off over attempts to reform the way the industry has done business for decades. The Card Game, a FRONTLINE--New York Times co-production, investigates the massive consumer loan industry and what's ahead for consumers and banks.

Here's a short excerpt from the New York Times review

Opening the program is Shailesh Mehta, a former chief executive of Providian Financial Corporation, a credit card company that pioneered what he calls "penalty pricing" or "stealth pricing." With disarming candor, Mr. Mehta reviews the tactics that lure new cardholders, many with poor credit records, with promises of no annual fees and initial zero-interest periods, only to squeeze them later with high interest rates and fees lurking in the fine print of their account contracts.

Also read the Seven Things you Need to Know about the Card Game and join the discussion on whether or not you believe the banks will stop their tricks!


Read: Tricks and Traps of the Card Game

Pass HR 3126, Put us before the banks!

The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency would put our priorities before that of the financial industry and deter them from fraud, greed and driving our economy into a ditch.

Tell your Representative now you want a watchdog who looks out for consumers and our financial interests!


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1 Comment

Hi Denise,

I think you're doing some great work here. As a veteran of the mortgage industry, I know firsthand the damage credit cards have caused. It would not be an exaggeration to say that our nation has financed phantom prosperity, created a housing bubble and found ever increasing ways to float more debt on an individual, household, institutional and global level in the last thirty years.

Now as the the final Coup de grace, the card industry, many of whom are operating under TARP money, are jacking rates as the deadline nears for new legislation to into effect. Clearly, debt and its associated profits are one of the prime reasons for economic growth, and those who aggressively market this debt on every level will not "go quietly" into the night, despite the damage the crisis of the last two years has caused. Simply put, many banks do not know how to make a profit without heavy promotion and usage of credit debt to as many consumers as possible.

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