Monday, February 22, 2010

Credit CARD Act Takes Effect

Congress' attempt to reform the credit card market takes effect today. While they may have had the best of intentions, it is not at all clear it will have a positive impact. I tend to think less restrictions generally do more good then an increase to allow for more and greater competition.

"Lo some nine months ago, Congress took a politically courageous stand against mom, apple pie, and credit card issuers by supposedly reining in the excesses of the latter (excesses which largely consisted of giving lots of people the ability to purchase goods and services on the automated installment plans otherwise known as credit cards). The goal of the new legislation was to clear the books, start anew, blah blah blah, and hem in the contagion known as excessive credit, which was widely believed to be behind the financial crisis that may or may not be over. And, at the same time, of course, Congress was going to make sure that all Americans had access to the credit that is our god-given birthright. The streets of America are paved with gold MasterCards and all that.

So now the new rules are in effect. And credit card issuers (banks, mostly) are now coming up with new ways to squeeze money out of customer"

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