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April 24, 2009

Obama Schools The Credit Card Industry

Obama using the bully pulpit to dictate to the credit card suits how the industry is going to treat the consumer from now on. (ABC Video.)

  • max

    huh. about time the government hunt down those credit card sharks. they are really abusive of their customers, just look at your credit card bill.

  • Rhodo Zeb

    Universally reviled for their predatory practices, I might add.
    But was this really necessary? He has to pass legislation to actually carry out any changes he wants to do.
    He may be telling them that they had better get used to it, or he will play hardball with them.

  • vcInCA

    i think this set of images/text hasn’t gotten many comments b/c it is so ridiculous, and so biased and misleading in its interpretation that people are just turned off. The text, before each image, tells you how you should interpret the images, but, to the average joe (sixpack), the credit card industry isn’t exactly a candidate for sainthood, and the president IS supposed to regulate & set them on the right track–one that will help, not hurt, citizens. using his presidential powers is not automatically seen as speaking from a bully pulpit. they imply that obama doesn’t have respect for the industry, but i see it (and these pictures) differently: obama has respect for both consumers and the industry, but not necessarily for the recent CC company practices conducted by these execs–their practices (and them) do not make up the entirety of the industry, its goals, and its potential to be financially successful long term without strangling consumers.

  • Damon

    it is a sad day, when Americans… consumers… rely on the government to police their business. The consumers do not take enough time to do their own homework, or feel that they are “entitled” to the government dictating how a business will treat it’s customers. Nomrally, Americans (consumers), stop using bad businesses, and the good ones rise to the top. However, it is clear that the new government will decide who will rise, who will fall, who will be in charge of those who rise, who to blame for those that fail, and in turn who you will do business with.
    As Americans, we must learn again to be responsible for our actions, which should entail making decisions before actually spending money with these companies. If we as Americans (consumers) feel that the credit card companies are not being “fair”, then don’t borrow money from them, or pay them off and do business with other companies, or …. don’t borrow money. And as any business that intends to keep its doors open, they will adjust to the needs and expectations of its customers… or shut their doors and fail (or if they are in the good with the government they can get bailed out”.
    What Americans (consumers) fail to realize is the more we have the government protect us, the more they will dictate who we do business with and what we get in exchange for our money … freedom.

  • ceenik

    How sad, indeed, to have sane regulation of an immense industry that has been guilty of usury! How easy it would have been for the average consumer just to avoid these companies and do business with other–strictly hypothetical–”fair” companies!
    If you think laws requiring fair business practices are antipathetic to FREEDOM, you have an extremely impoverished concept of the word.

  • Vulture Breath

    I can’t remember what news source I was watching, but the reporter had interviewed one anonymous credit card suit who explained that from the credit card companies’ point of view, the whole meeting had been mere theater, and everyone knew the companies weren’t going to do anything different.
    I suppose in fairness to Larry Summers, he’s been working awfully long hours. (But Tim Geithner didn’t doze off, maybe because he was right next to Obama.)

  • Alex

    As president, Obama doesn’t get to “dictate” anything, nor would such dictations carry any weight. To make meaningful and actionable changes to credit card practices, legislation has to be passed, with penalties also encoded into law. My understanding is that each state makes and changes its own laws concerning credit card companies, it’s not a federal issue per se. So yeah, this meeting was pure theater. Who was fooled by it?
    I was surprised at first that more in the MSM didn’t make a fuss about Summers falling asleep, but it makes sense. He was there to look out for the interests of the credit card companies and the banks — which own the MSM. Why would they report on their savior falling asleep, and risk derailing their gravy train? Summers couldn’t care less about so-called credit card reform as that would help consumers. What better way to show his disinterest and contempt for us than to fall asleep on the job?
    Hate to say it, but there’s something predetermined about all of this charade.

  • Suzii

    I think you’re misunderstanding the term “bully pulpit.” It’s use isn’t intended to accuse the president of being a bully.

  • vcInCA

    then what does it mean?

  • braidwood

    I agree with you in most cases that people should decide who to do business with let THAT be the determining factor in which
    businesses succeed and which ones don’t. This WORKS in a lot of cases, and you can tell that it works because we get
    better and better products for cheaper and cheaper prices!
    You don’t need a theory for this. Well, in the case of lenders, including credit card companies, and many mortgage companies, and in the
    case of real estate companies, and brokerage firms, this HAS NOT BEEN WORKING. Why rely on a theory of how it SHOUL be?
    Let’s look at what works.
    Something needs to change in these industries. It could be that these industries are just too confusing for caveat emptor to work
    and the only regulation we need are simpler rules. It could be something else. It is CLEAR that what we have been doing
    -in these industries- HASN’T been working.

  • Doug Wilson

    Agreed. When you know what’s going to happen. When it’s of no interest to you. Sleep. Also, it’s true that “O” doesn’t dictate rules. Or make them up at the table – like this piece and others have suggested. By the way I always thought the “Bully Pulpit” was a phrase that came from the Teddy Roosevelt era. I haven’t ever looked in to it. Good question. It’s good to find out why people say things, how and where they originated.

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