American Morning

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April 22nd, 2009
01:58 PM ET

Credit crunch – Washington to the rescue, yet again?

Sen. Robert Menendez speaks to CNN about urging President Obama to crack down on credit card companies.
Sen. Robert Menendez speaks to CNN about urging President Obama to crack down on credit card companies.

Have you noticed your finance charges climbing higher on your credit card statement? Or maybe you've been late paying your electric bill and next thing you know your credit card percentage rate jumps?

Well, Washington is apparently sitting up and paying attention to the pain of many consumers already drowning in credit card debt who are finding new fees and surcharges making it worse.

President Obama meets Thursday with credit card company executives to try to push for changes to predatory practices. There are also bills in the House and Senate to do the same.

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez joined us this morning because he is spearheading one effort. Watch the interview

Sen. Menendez is calling for a stop to "blanket rate increases," an end to "universal default." This means if you are late on one card it can bump up your rate on another, which then requires penalties and other fees be tied to their actual cost. It is getting ugly! But there are two sides to every story. Lenders say they've been hurt by the rise in defaults and delinquencies and that legislating the way they do business will restrict the flow of credit and slow the economic recovery.So all eyes will be on the White House to see if and how this gets resolved.

We are going to continue to follow this debate and see where things go tomorrow on American Morning. We'd like to hear from you. Call our show hotline at 1-877-MYAMFIX. And follow us on Twitter @amFIX and @kiranchetrycnn.

See you in the morning!


Filed under: Roundup
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. michelle

    I believe that asking if residents are US citizens should be added to the census. Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't the number of people in any given area determine how much representation is alotted. Voting is the people's method of getting our voice heard. If you are not a citizen you are not afforded the privilege of voting. I have been a legal permanent resident for over twenty years and am now applying for ciitizenship so I can enjoy that privilege.

    November 4, 2009 at 8:02 am |
  2. patient zero

    don't hold your breathe waiting for me to take more poison. I'm watching your eyes and body lang. you all are very bad liars!!!

    October 19, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  3. Michael Posey

    Sarah Palin looked like a characature of a POLITICIAN.....John McCain wakes up EVERYDAY saying, "I shoulda picked Mitt...." I feel sorry for him. I don't think very many Republicans wanted a Vice-President Sarah Palin, a heartbeat (72 year-old heart no less) away from RUNNING this country, now, then, or ever. Sarah Palin is irrelevant to her party, no doubt, I've heard the comments from REPUBLICANS that say that. Democrats? They have to be in hysterics even CONSIDERING her running in '12, for nomination. IF she got nominated in '12, Obama could fail TOTALLY, and still be re-elected by a landslide....She'd get about 20% of the total vote...mostly Ku Klux Klan, White Aryans, and other wacko nut jobs, like her, with guns in their trucks and "they can take my gun out of my dying fingers" bumper stickers on their "pick 'em up trucks". Now that she has TIME I feel SORRY for the MOOSE in Alaska. She's got plenty of time to "load up" and blow some animal away.....I am a former Green Beret, Viet Nam vet, many times decorated, I use guns, shoot for sport, do NOT hunt anything, believe in the 2nd Amendment, and find Palin a nut job from Hell (Alaska). I been to Alaska....Ain't much up there.....The people are essentially "independent" read that wack jobs, who live in the most inhospitable climate in the WORLD, and LIKE it! Palin governed that bunch of wackos....says all it needs to. If the GOP has any brains LEFT, after their disastrous defeat in '08, they better NOT nominate, or even CONSIDER Sarah Palin. RIght now she couldn't get elected dogcatcher in Wosilla, (wherever that is?). In four years she'll be almost 50, and still dumb as a bag of hammers....not quite as dumb as she is now, but still dumb.....That woman, and I LIKE women in politics, is a disaster waiting to happen to the GOP. I am an Independent....I voted for Obama....he's not doing a GREAT job, but he's OK....In '12, given four years of experience, he'll be a really GOOD President, in my humble opinion. Right now? He's adequate, or a little less....But much better then McCain would have been, and certainly doesn't engender people to pray he LIVES, as would have been the case if McCain/Palin had have won....Biden actually LOOKS like a President, although he's got a big mouth.....Not because he's a White Male, but because he's been up on "the hill" for most of his adult life...Palin has been there a couple times.....Thank God the voters of this country saw that as inexperienced as Obama is, he at least picked a guy who COULD run the country, if, God Forbid, anything happens to him....We saw McCain, an old, tired warrior, try and do something extraordinary by picking Palin.....Sorry shoulda picked Mitt.....Mike Posey Lakeside California

    July 27, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  4. tony plagge

    All the talk about GM needing to sell cars, I ordered a new camaro in January and have heard nothing. they have thousands of sold orders, so why not produce the sold orders first?

    April 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  5. LIN

    As I have said to family and friends during this whole bailout of the banks and lending institutions, thye very companies that my tax dollars bailed out are the compainies that would pounce on me like ticks on a dog and take everything I have, WITHOUT regard for me at all.

    We have been convinced we HAD to save them because without them the country would financially go under! No, they would go under and Americans would learn to live within their earnings again like in days gone by.

    Credit card companies, insurance companies, and most all lending institutions are leaches on the hard working people in this country and the government wants to save them. Go figure, the very ones that make life hell are the ones our grandchildren and great grandchilden will be in debt to save. Not you or me!

    April 23, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  6. Fred Robinson

    Good Morning Kiran:

    Credit cards are a risk for anyone because it is the user who loses. The outrageous interest rates and consumer gouging that occurs must stop. Kudos to the President for standing up to the "predatory practices" enacted by the companies who screw us.

    Good story to follow.


    April 23, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  7. Dr. Florentin Fonche

    What really is a credit crunch?

    A credit crunch (also known as a credit squeeze or credit crisis) is a reduction in the general availability of loans (or credit) or a sudden tightening of the conditions required to obtain a loan from the banks. A credit crunch generally involves a reduction in the availability of credit independent of a rise in official interest rates. In such situations, the relationship between credit availability and interest rates has implicitly changed, such that either credit becomes less available at any given official interest rate, or there ceases to be a clear relationship between interest rates and credit availability (i.e. credit rationing occurs).

    April 23, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  8. Bob Bechtel

    I said this was the ones to come muching to dc how many billions will credit card companies cost us

    April 23, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  9. Bruce in Connecticut

    The banks and credit card companies are creating this problem. What sense is there in increasing interest payments for those who are already meeting their monthly obligations? Their "risk management" is just another profit plan with a license to steal. With banks charging near 30% interest rates, they are gouging us all the way to the bank (so to speak).

    April 23, 2009 at 7:38 am |