Obama Pressures Credit Card Issuers on Rates
By now, I am sure that most people have read something about the meeting that took place today between President Obama and credit-card industry officials. In addition to the White House meeting, two Senators, independent of the meeting, wrote a letter suggesting that an "emergency freeze" be implemented on existing credit-card balances. I'm going to point to three stories that I think sum up the day's action best.
From the Washington Post:
One of the principles involves Congress quickly passing a law that requires credit card companies to issue what sounds like a Credit Card for Dummies.
"Every credit card issuer has to issue a plain vanilla easy-to-understand, simplest possible credit card that would be the default credit card that the average user can feel comfortable with," the president said.
Read the Washington Post story here.
From the New York Times:
Despite the hurdles, President Obama said Thursday he was confident that responsible people in the industry “will engage with us in a constructive fashion, and that we’re going to be able to get this done in short order.”
Industry lobbyists have been working closely with Senate Republicans to try to block the passage, although the White House’s recent push for the measure could make that difficult. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama made an issue of what he considered excessive credit card fees, but until this week he had been largely silent on the matter since his arrival in Washington.
Read the New York Times story here.
, which dealt with the letter sent by two Senators:
On a day when President Barack Obama was to give a scheduled scolding to the executives of credit card issuing institutions, a pair of prominent Democratic senators asked federal regulators to impose an "emergency freeze" on credit card rate increases on existing balances.
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote their letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Office of Thrift Supervision Acting Director John Bowman and National Credit Union Administration Chairman Michael Fryzel. The senators asked that they use emergency authority under the "good cause" exception to the Administrative Procedures Act to impose the freeze.