Thursday, July 02, 2009

Updating my report on my friend Peter's descent into Chase's version of Bankster Hell


by Ken

My friends Peter and Gail, you may recall, received a post card from Chase notifying them that the minimum payment on their credit card balances, which they locked in at low promotional rates as part of their way of getting their son through college, from 2 to 5 percent.

Yesterday WNBC-TV reporter Lynda Baquero also interviewed Peter, and her report includes this piece of information, bits of which may already be unfortunately known to you:

Turns out, he's not alone. According to, 19% of credit card holders have seen their interest rates go up in the last couple of months. About 14% have had their credit limits lowered, and 12% have been told their minimum payments are rising.

John Ulzheimer, of, says for one thing: credit card issuers are "hemorrhaging money" and feel the need to bring in more cash. But these changes are also in advance of the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, which will restrict future policy changes by credit card issuers. That law won't take effect though, until February 2010


UPDATE: Howie Gets Pissed Off At Ken's Report On Our Friend Peter's Descent Into Chase's Version Of Bankster Hell-- And Suggests A Solution Society Should Consider

You know all those hundreds of billions of dollars of ours that Bush and then Obama decided to give the failed banksters-- who finance both political parties-- that they then went and used in every way, including bonuses for themselves, except how it was meant (loosening consumer and business credit)? I'm sure you do. And in that case, it wouldn't have surprised you to have read in today's Washington Post that they are also skirting the law by raising interest rates and fees 7 months before the new regulations they fought go into effect.
Chase, for instance, will raise the minimum payment required of some of its customers from 2 percent to 5 percent of the statement balance starting in August. Chase and Discover have increased the maximum fee charged for transferring a balance to the card to 5 percent of the amount, up from 3 and 4 percent, respectively. Bank of America last month raised the transaction fee for balance transfers and cash advances from 3 to 4 percent. Card issuers including Bank of America and Citi also continue to cut limits and hike up rates, which they have been doing with more frequency since January.

I just finished reading Dave Neiwert's incredible new book The Eliminationists, which talks about how so very American it has been to talk about-- and act upon-- eliminating American Indians, African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, gay and lesbian Americans, liberal-Americanss, communist-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Japanese-Americans... How come it would sound so very, very un-American to talk about eliminating bankster-Americans?
The flurry of activity, which the banks say is necessary to shore up their revenue losses, has irked members of Congress, who passed a new credit card law, which was signed by President Obama in May. The law, among other things, would prevent card companies from raising rates on existing balances unless the borrower was at least 60 days late and would require the original rate to be restored if payments are received on time for six months. The law would also require banks to get customers' permission before allowing them to go over their limits, for which they would have to pay a fee.

Yesterday, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) once again requested that the Federal Reserve invoke its emergency powers to place a limit on interest rate hikes.

"This is what many of us feared about a law that didn't take effect right away," Schumer said. "It was never going to take this long for the credit card companies to get ready for the new reforms. Instead, issuers are using the delay in the effective date to wring more dollars out of their customers. It is against the spirit of the law, and it is just plain wrong."

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At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Lee said...


I just don't know what to say anymore at things like this. Greed is bad enough, but at the expense of people like your friends..Well I just fucking hate capitalism these days. I have a friend who credit was pulled out from her because she started shopping at Walmart!!!

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Don't forget. Asshats like Schumer caved to the banks and gave them a year grace period before the law went into effect.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Right, guys.

We'll never know whether members of Congress would have been smart enough to figure it out on their own. but since Willie Sutton worked it all out for them, they don't have to. Just the way Willie robbed banks "because that's where the money is," pols know why they have a quasi-magnetic attraction to our great financial institutions. And they don't even have to use guns!



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