Another in a series of setups: First, controlling interests decide what direction, or policy, will be implemented. Next, many months ahead, they dispense “talking points” to certain major publications and pliable “news” sources. Then, people are incrementally (sold) “informed” as to what is inevitably upcoming. Under the guise of facts simply being reported, it works like a well-timed machine: “With losses from credit card defaults rising and with capital to back credit cards harder to come by, issuers are likely to increase rates to 16 or 17 percent by the fall. . . .” The latter facade (of a warning) was presented from a minute marketplace/”business environment” context. No references to the recent (weak) CARD Act or relative history to rampant abuses which brought its passage were mentioned. Instead, we are given the usual: a slanted “why” of what will be (for manipulative preparation) – but not a broader “why” of what IS, in an ongoing sense. In short, credit card companies will continue escalating the Variable floor rate, before the Prime Rate even begins to be altered upwardly, step-by-step. As an intended result, a new 20% average rate will be on our planned and coordinated horizon. Remember Providian? Their predatory practices were the focus of many lawsuits. Remember their standard 19.9% “Gold” cards – which were enticements for the downtrodden, and fodder for comedians? Soon, that rate will evolve – from oppressive joke material to a “National Average.” And, the consequences will be used against us.
As obvious through a recent PR Release, Rep. Carolyn Maloney believes that sugar-coating status quos will change what we have grown to know (as facts): “That 45-day period gives you nearly two billing cycles to do more than complain — to shop around for a card whose rate and terms of service you prefer.” Wow! Is it change — with teeth? (Please.) We have already been doing that for more than two years – while hearing foreign customer service agents of “banks” like Citi and Capital One tell us “If you don’t like it, you can close your account.” Were interest rates capped? No. Since passing the Credit CARD Act, has First Premier Bank escalated a sub-prime rate to 79.9%, Legally? Yes. “Laws like the CARD Act are reasonable and allow markets to function as market enthusiasts imagine they should: with less friction, more transparency, and with bad actors being driven from the field.” As a historic “bad actor,” was First Premier “driven from the field,” or, was it (like “prime” providers) emboldened? Having collectively witnessed and experienced the results of a rampant savaging of our world’s citizens and overall economic system, is it “reasonable” to “allow markets” to go forward, basically unfettered with any returning or meaningfully modified regulation? Moreover, how insulting (and detrimental) is it to have Representatives selling such a premise? After 100 million people (including the best tier of customers) were gouged into 29.9% (Usury) rates, as redress, did they seek what was “reasonable” in the view of their predators? “Once interest rates, terms and conditions are clearly stated . . . the consumer can make a clear-headed decision about what card to choose.” Got that? New language! New (“responsible”) consumer choices! Same results: “If you don’t like it, you can close your account.” In July of last year, Rep. Maloney seemed to be amazed that Citi, Chase, and BoA, were continuing their predatory practices: “Issuers during this crisis should be using this period to adapt . . . , not raising rates and changing terms on those who are already meeting their obligations.” Yet now, she is praising them – because they are making terms “easy to understand” (with notices): “There are some companies that seem to get it. Chase and Citi have added cards and services to their lineup which are simple and easy to understand. Bank of America sent notices far in advance to their customers explaining the new rules.” Let us respond – vociferously. In this collusive scenario, our incensed reactions and motivated decisions are just as “clear-headed” now as before. When the Act failed to take effect immediately, and did not cap rates or fees, all the relevant “actors” indeed “[got] it” – as we, the public, proceeded “[getting] it” in our updated terms (so to speak).