Rep. Maxine Waters asks CEO's about their practice of raising credit card limits at the Bank CEO hearing today. How many of us have had a sudden jump in our interest rates without ever even knowing it.Which of course never allows people to pay off the debt. Waters is making a key point here.
Waters: Since you received TARP money, have any of you increased the amount of interest on the credit cards by sending out letters to the consumers, to your credit card holders indicating that this was part of the contract even though this was in small print and you now have the ability to do it, have any of you Did any of you do that?
Did you do this?
CEO: I was volunteering. First of all I feel like corporal of the universe not captain of the universe.
Waters: Did you increase your credit card interest rate?
CEO: In 2008, we increased interest rates on 9 % of our customers.
Waters: Thank you very much, did anyone else increase credit card rates after you received TARP money? Anyone else, if so would you please raise your hand. (most of them did)
You sent out the letters I'm trying to describe? Saying that you have the authority to do that. Did any of you reduce the amount of credit that was available to credit card holders because they shopped at certain stores? Just raise your hand if you did. None of you did. Let the record reflect, none of them raised their hands.
Tom Geoghegan has repeatedly talked about the idea of helping the American consumer with their credit debt by canceling their private consumer debt which would immediately stimulate the economy. He often speaks about how these institutions can raise their rates to as high as they want. The consumer can never catch up and it's a sad practice which will cripple Americans with overriding fear about their state of finances. And as he points out in the linked video, we always come up with the money for war....