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The Battle Over Credit Card Reform
Credit card advertisements posted at a bowling alley in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, July 30, 2008. Visa Inc. says its profit rose a better-than-expected 41 percent in the most recent quarter, as more money changed hands using its credit and debit cards. (AP)

Credit card advertisements posted at a bowling alley in Palo Alto, Calif., July 2008. (AP)

Americans and their credit cards have always been a saga. In the economic meltdown, it’s been a bloodbath, too.

Fifty-five billion dollars in credit card defaults last year. But top banks still made $27 billion off plastic and you. They did it with some pretty hardball tactics. Tricks and traps, critics say. Rough fees, fine print, jacked up rates.

Banks say they need the rough stuff to make it work. Consumers are crying foul. Now Congress is weighing in with a Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rghts. The White House is on board. Banks are fighting back.

This hour, On Point: The battle over credit card reform.

Have American credit card lenders gone too far with the rough stuff? The squeeze? Has American borrowing gone too far, on plastic? Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from Washington are:

Sudeep Reddy, reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

Nessa Feddis, vice president and senior counsel for the American Bankers Association, the financial services industry’s largest advocacy group, representing the majority of credit card companies.

Travis Plunkett, legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America, which represents hundreds of consumer advocacy groups.

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