Weekly Audit: Curbing Credit Card Abuses


by Zach Carter, TMC MediaWire Blogger 

While the bank lobby continues to hold significant clout in Congress, President Barack Obama entered the fray on behalf of consumers Thursday, demanding that lenders put an end to abusive fees and predatory interest rates.  

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"Lurching downward"

Sound familiar?

From Wikipedia: Lurching downward

Lurching Downward

The Great Depression was not a sudden total collapse. The stock market turned upward in early 1930, returning to early 1929 levels by April, though still almost 30 percent below of peak in September 1929.[2] Together government and business actually spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. But consumers, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the prior year, cut back their expenditures by ten percent...

...In the spring of 1930, credit was ample and available at low rates, but people were reluctant to add new debt by borrowing. By May 1930, auto sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, but wages held steady in 1930, then began to drop in 1931. Conditions were worst in farming areas where commodity prices plunged, and in mining and logging areas where unemployment was high and there were few other jobs. The decline in the American economy was the motor that pulled down most other countries at first, then internal weaknesses or strengths in each country made conditions worse or better. By late in 1930, a steady decline set in which reached bottom by March 1933.

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Weekly Audit: Time to Shake Off the Bank Lobby

by Zach Carter, TMC MediaWire Blogger 

While the national economy struggles under the weight of a massive bank bailout effort, the banking lobby's ability to influence public policy is more problematic than ever. The too-big-to-fail bankers may be dependent on U.S. taxpayers for their survival, but corporate lobbyists still have members of Congress, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve asking the banks' permission to bring the Big Finance behemoths under control. The relationship between Wall Street and the government is so out of whack that it's difficult to distinguish the political players from the panhandlers.  

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9 Bailout/Economy Lies and Deceptions

It's been pretty busy the past few days in the MSM and on the blogs with regard to commentary about Wall Street and our economic bailout.  Herein, I hope to provide a little clarity for those believing everything they're reading. There's a lot of misinformation being spewn...and from some of the highest levels, too.

But, as the saying goes, "The Truth Is Out There." In fact, it's right here!

So, without fanfare, here are "Nine Bailout/Economy Lies and Deceptions We're Hearing Right Now:"

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"Heckuva job, Timmy..."

Yet again, Robert Kuttner,  economist and urban theorist, co-founder and co-editor of the American Prospect Magazine, Boston Globe columnist and author of , "Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency," nails it. In fact, perhaps this time, he delivers a grand slam homer in: "Geithner's Folly."

As Kuttner tells us:

President Obama deserves immense credit for being willing to spend serious money to prevent recession from becoming depression. He has resisted pressures from fiscal conservatives to put budget balance first, or to make social insurance bear the brunt of spending cuts down the road. And he has used his gifts as a teacher to enlist the broad support of the American people for a far-reaching strategy of public investment.

However, all of this good work will be for naught if his team doesn't get the banking system functioning again. And so far the grand design of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is entirely on the wrong track.

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