Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Survey: Card Rates Are Rising ("No Kidding!" Edition)



The folks at Rasmussen just released some yummy survey data:

Rasmussen Survey: Credit Card Usage


The headliner here — that fifty percent of respondents say their card rates have been raised in the last six months — shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, since the card companies now have a legal deadline to beat. Gotta get those rates inflated now, and the flow of credit restricted!

Another nineteen percent "don't know" if their rates have gone up. I'm hoping those nineteen percent are people who, like me, don't carry balances, and who thus don't much care if their rates rise.

I note also that some forty-five percent of poll respondents say they "sometimes" carry a balance on their cards. I'm willing to bet that a decent chunk of them are clamoring for Congress to ride cavalry to their financial rescue RIGHT NOW, rather than in February of 2010. Well, fuhggetaboudit:

NY Times: A Gift To Credit Card Companies

Make sure and blame it all on the Republicans. Yes. They're the bad guys.

Except when they aren't:

Boston.com: Support Wanes for Interest-Rate Caps

From that second article:

But [rate-cap bill creator Bernie] Sanders faces strong opposition from many Democrats, particularly those who have major credit-card business in their states. One prominent opponent, Senator Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, said in an interview that he understands the anger among consumers who have received letters from credit-card issuers informing them of big rate hikes. But Carper said he opposes any effort to cap the rates because it would hurt the ability of banks to charge higher rates to customers who have a greater risk of default.

"The question is, should banks be able to price for risk?" Carper said. "In a free market economy, I think they should."


For those readers who might be just a tad confused, yes, Carper is speaking of the same "free market" economy where taxpayers are forced to pony up billions in loans and guarantees to keep our worst-of-breed banks and automakers afloat, and where taxpayer dollars are also used to (theoretically) prevent home prices from declining to affordable, market-clearing levels. (As Barney Frank has said, defaulting FHA loans aren't a bad thing. They're policy.)

Just one more reason for me to despise them all equally: Dems, Repubs, banks, lobbyists, unions, U.S. automakers ...

The list just goes on and on.

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— Posted by Michael @ 8:10 AM








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