Credit Card Jawboning

If you're one of the credit card executives going to the White House today, I guess you better be ready for a little smack from the President of the United States.

Some of the execs work for companies that have received Wall Street bailout money.

And yet, some complain, those same institutions are now raising interest rates and fees for their customers, even as the feds are helping to keep them afloat.

Congress has been making noise about a "Credit Card Bill of Rights" for consumers for awhile, and this may finally be the year that they get it done.

One goal is to cut down on the seemingly endless appeals that arrive in your mailbox for a new credit card.

I really wish I would have taken the time to see how many of those I get each year.  And then applied for all of them.

Legislation now moving through Congress would also try to limit credit card companies from quietly raising interest rates on balances and require a more up front listing of fees and other terms.

"So the amount of credit card debt has increased greatly in the past 10 years, and I think it's incumbent upon this Congress and the President to address some of the deceptive practices that we've seen," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs last night.

"I think he's going to outline and go through some principles of what he would like to see and that he believes Congress can get done in order to protect the American people," Gibbs added.

We'll see what message gets sent today.

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