And, you know whose footing the bill....YOU ARE!!
The credit card companies want their cake....and they want to eat it too. They continue to lobby Congress to cut off or restrict your right to get bankruptcy relief....while at the same time....raking in profits like no time in history.
Think about it. Interest rates have fallen to historic lows in the last 3 years. This means that the money the credit card companies borrow to lend to you...they are getting dirt cheap from the government. Naturally....you would think....if they are getting money so cheap....they would pass some of that savings on to you. Have you gotten any calls to tell you that they are lowering your interest rates? Of course not. And you know why. It's all about greed....greed on all counts....insatiable, unsatisfiable, never-ending, all-consuming greed.
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) issued its fourth report on credit card debt in April 1999 after decades of a steady climb in industry profits. The principal finding is that cardholders are exercising more restraint while credit card companies increase their marketing, lines of credit, and profitability. The CFA's former executive director, Stephen Brobeck, commented in a concurrent press release that credit card issuers "urge Congress to deny families access to bankruptcy relief" while they "enjoy high and increasing profits."
Recent profit reports for the Second Quarter 2003 demonstrate that credit card profits continue to soar¹. For the three months of April, May, and June of 2003 the nation's three largest credit card issuers enjoyed nearly $1.5 billion in profits. Citibank, the nation's largest issuer of bank credit cards reported profits of $659.0 million. While the figure includes some credit cards issued outside the USA, it is 9% over the same period one year ago. MBNA, the second largest U.S. issuer of bank credit cards, reported an even higher 20% increase over last year with $543.3 million in second quarter profits. Although Bank One, the third largest U.S. issuer of bank credit cards saw a rare 2% decline over the second quarter of last year, it posted $270.0 million in profits. American Express, another industry giant, reported second quarter profits of $634.0 million from its credit card business. The reports from the second quarter lead industry analysts to forecast $12 billion in profits for 2003.
|Citibank||$659.0 Million||$113.3 Billion|
|American Express||$634.0 Million||$36.0 Billion|
|MBNA||$543.0 Million||$110.5 Billion|
|Capital One||$286.8 Million||$60.7 Billion|
|Bank One||$279.0 Million||$73.0 Billion|
Overall...in 2003...according to USA Today on 7/14/04, quoting from R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers (an organization that tracks the credit card industry), the credit card industry took in over 120 billion dollars in income, of which over 43 billion was derived from just late fees and over-limit penalties. They are getting richer and richer....and you know who paying the money.....you. Doesn't it just make you sick? They are getting rich off of good people...just like you...and leaving you to figure out how you are going to make ends meet...after you pay them.
Revolving credit card debt is now more than an astounding $700 billion, with the average American carrying over $8,000.00 of credit card debt. So, as the credit card companies lobby Congress for significant credit card reform that would severely restrict consumers' ability to receive bankruptcy relief, they continue to achieve greater profit and expand their efforts to get those same consumers to incur more debt². According to the Consumer Federation of America, 3.5 billion credit card mailings were sent out to homes across the country in just 1998. How can the credit card companies complain about the credit crisis in the United States when they are the largest promoters of it?
You Know The answer: It's all about greed.
¹ Source: Cardweb.com/cardtrak/news/2003/august/13a.html and CardData (www.cardata.com)
² Source: Savewealth.com/specialreports/smartcredit/
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