President Barack Obama and Congress are pushing for new protections for credit card users, but consumers shouldn't hold their breath for any meaningful change.
Obama, after meeting with executives from major credit card lenders at the White House Thursday, said he wants legislation that will protect consumers from sudden spikes in fees and confusing information provided by lenders. Both the House and Senate separately are considering a credit card "bill of rights" striking many of the same tones.
But isn't this a rather weak reply? The government owns major portions of big credit card lenders like Citigroup (C - Get Report) and Bank of America (BAC - Get Report). But while it considers allowing federal judges to alter the amount owed on mortgages to address the housing crisis, it seems powerless to set a cap on credit card interest rates.
All the proposed legislation does, essentially, is beef up disclosure. Companies like American Express (AXP - Get Report) have nothing to worry about. So what, the bill says they have to notify cardholders before they go over their limits and incur extra fees? Guess what -- the companies will just decline that purchase. Big deal.
WTF? Credit Card Bill of Rights?