Speaking of yapping mutts!

Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 06:10 PM

My father had an old saying: "If ya hurl a rock into a pack of yapping mutts, the one's hollar is the one ya hit!"

No kidding, sir. Seems a new bill in Congress has both banks and credit card goons yapping...

Alas, a bill being proposed in Congress has our dear old Ebenezer Scroogish credit card monsters howling like demons:
American Express Co. (AXP) Executive Vice President and General Manager for Consumer Cards Larry Sharnak said his company is concerned that parts of the bill "could negatively impact consumers, particularly at a time when lenders are already tightening underwriting standards due to market conditions."

That you sort of expect from an industry that makes mob-run loan sharks look like George Bailey, eh? We continue:

Maloney has introduced a bill that would require card companies to give at least 45 days' notice of any interest rate increases, and it would give cardholders the right to cancel their card at the existing interest rate instead of accepting an increased rate.

Sharnak warned the provision would "delay card issuers from re-pricing for risk at the time that risk has become readily apparent, thus requiring them to account for that risk in other ways, such as by pricing accounts higher at the outset."

Maloney's bill would also require card companies to mail bills to customers 25 days before the due date, compared with the current minimum of 14 days.

But no mention of ending the statements that feature Vulcan math, or written in characters so small you need a scanning-electron microscope to read them....

The American Bankers Association has come out strongly against the legislation, issuing a statement Thursday warning of "negative, unintended consequences" of the bill.

Of course they are! Gee, this would cut into their ability to act like criminal loan sharks! Wowzers, whoda thunk that?

When asked by Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., why companies would not endorse legislation that would enact many practices they already use, Citigroup Inc. (C) executive John Carey argued in favor of "a much more market-based approach where consumers can make decisions and vote with their feet" to find a company with best practices in place.

Yes, except they all act the same, treat customers the same, ergo, drink from the same mobster tankard, duh...! Has anyone seen an offer so far with a fixed, permanent rate? Hello? Anyone?

It's all pretty simple, Watcher fans: An industry totally out of control, for so long now, is facing...horror...gasp....regulations!

I call it what it is: Predatory Lending. A group of bloodthirsty loan sharks, who, now facing regulation, are crying like widdle kiddies. We are going to take away their toys! Oh, the horror, eh?

Explain such to those about to lose a home. I smell tar cooking...


Raoul Walsh: "Genius is the ability to see what's there."

Credit Card Execs: "Nirvana is the inability to see what's there."

Lee (or any other anti-social miscreant): "Nirvana is the ability to see Raoul Walsh and never again lay eyes on a credit card exec."