Tag Archives: Barney Frank

Credit Card Rips

credit-cards_69New Orleans There is a lot of talk about reforming credit card fees and rates, but a lot of this seems just that:  talk.  The House Financial Services Committee chaired by Barney Frank has talked about capping rates, but also seems powerless in the wake of many companies (including my own Union Privilege Card offered by HSBC to the best of my knowledge!) raising the fees now ahead of any bill passage.  That’s clearly wrong.

There’s a lot of this hustle-bustle going on.  Floyd Norris made a good point about a month ago in a NY Times column about the poor subsidizing the rich when it comes to credit cards.  Not surprisingly that angle caught my eye immediately.  His point was that even though the stated price for certain items is the same (and required by law to be the same), whether we use cash or a credit card, the poor or working stiff without a credit card is laying down cash, while some of the better off are using a card, which gives the retailer less, and in some cases gives them mileage or credits back.  It’s only gas stations were over my lifetime I’ve seen a real discount for use of cash.  Norris reports, undoubtedly correctly, that the card companies, retailers and others are crying like stuck pigs and wallowing in the water to muddy it up sufficiently that it’s hard for any of us to tell what might be the best reform and whether or not the poor Joe Consumer will get a break.

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Barney and Our Total Confusion

barneyfrankAustin Ok, I stand down.  I can’t figure out where Barney Frank wants to be counted from day to day.

Seems Fox News touched base with Congressman Frank, and he told them, “no” he would have been part of the dogpile votes against ACORN.  The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund chortled about that and was glad to give the Frank flip flop some ink.

At the same time he continued to say that he and Representative John Conyers (D-MI) believe the ACORN defunding bill was a “bill of attainder” and unconstitutional.  Yet, Barney would have voted for it?  I’m getting lost here!

The Congressional Research outfit that they asked to investigate has now indicated that their preliminary review DOES find that the ACORN slapdown was illegal.

I would have thought Frank would have let well enough alone, but at this point he is confusing me on this matter just as he has on some consumer protection issues around his financial services committee.  I had an associate for years who talked about some people being “blurters,” who would just “blurt out” the first thing that comes to their mind regardless.  Frank may just be a blurter with no filter on non-stop opinions.

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