I know, I was surprised too. The Federal Reserve and two other banking regulators are set to unveil today one of the most aggressive efforts in decades to crack down on the credit card industry, prohibiting practices such as arbitrarily raising interest rates on outstanding balances.The proposed regulations, which could be finalized by year's end, would label as "unfair or deceptive" practices that consumers have long complained about. That includes charging interest on debt that has been repaid and assessing late fees when consumers are not given a reasonable amount of time to make a payment. When different interest rates apply to different balances on one card, companies would be prohibited from applying a payment first to the balance with the lowest rate. But I'm with Travis Plunkett. Travis Plunkett, legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America, said it would be hard to properly assess the proposal until all the details were released."The details matter," he said. "What we don't know is whether there will be exceptions or limits on what they say they're going to do. " Let's not give Bush any more credit (no pun intended) than he deserves until we see the details.
Adam Doster, a contributing editor at In These Times, is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former reporter-blogger for Progress Illinois.