"Any effort to restore confidence in our economy must start not on Wall Street but in Main Street, and that's what the credit card situation is all about."
-- Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic Majority Leader, speaking before a Senate vote on Tuesday that put new restrictions on the credit card industry. The bill is supposed to make card terms more explicit and be fairer to customers, providing safeguards against rate increases and late fees.
The vote did not cap interest rates, so the card-issuers can continue to raise them. This is exactly what banks including American Express (AXP), Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC) are doing as they cut risky cardholders from their rosters. The banks may also look at adding other fees back in and cutting rewards programs. So while the bill may spell relief for some consumers, those who regularly pay off their card balances may lose out. Three words: no more miles. --Jessica Shambora
"Being a Republican moderate sometimes feels like being a cast member of "Survivor" — you are presented with multiple challenges, and you often get the distinct feeling that you're no longer welcome in the tribe."
-- Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine in an Op-Ed piece in today's New York Times, referring to Senator Arlen Specter's flight to the Democratic party. Snowe's passionate argument is that her party could have avoided MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Apr 29, 2009 5:34 PM ET
"You get the argument, 'Well, this is not a stimulus bill; this is a spending bill.' What do you think a stimulus is? That's the whole point."
--President Obama, in a feisty address Thursday night at a House Democratic Caucus retreat in Williamsburg, Va. Frustrated by the quibbles of Senate Republicans, Obama called the delay to pass the $800 billion stimulus bill "inexcusable."
Today's bleak jobs report--the worst since December 1974--added to MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Feb 6, 2009 6:27 PM ET
"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer."
-- Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, on the floor of the Senate Friday. McCaskill introduced legislation stipulating that no employee of any company that accepts federal bailout money be allowed to earn more than the President of the United States. Obama's annual salary is $400,000. The bill came a day after Obama MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Jan 30, 2009 7:28 PM ET
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