So, What's In The Financial Reform Bill?

So, What's In The Financial Reform Bill?

Our leaders were up late hashing out a version of the new financial reform bill and yes, apparently they have come to some agreement. But what’s in there? [More]

Late Payments Are Dropping Thanks In Part To The CARD Act

Late Payments Are Dropping Thanks In Part To The CARD Act

Banks and card issuers warned against the credit card reforms that went into effect a few months back, but so far it’s been a good thing for consumers, according to new delinquency numbers. [More]

Pay Your Doctor In Chickens

Pay Your Doctor In Chickens

Sue Lowden, a senate candidate in Nevada, says if you want to combat health care costs you should consider bartering with your doctor. In an appearance on a local political talk show yesterday, she clarified her proposal: [More]

Are Corporate Boards Ruining American Businesses? This Book Says Yes

Are Corporate Boards Ruining American Businesses? This Book Says Yes

The new book Money for Nothing looks at corporate boards: how they’re frequently hand-picked and ruled by the CEOs they’re supposed to keep in check, how they’re sidelined by various conflicts of interest and lack of accountability, and how the worst ones have massively screwed shareholders. [More]

Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

In case you missed it, Senate Democrats managed to succeed at their goal of pushing through some sort of health care reform bill before Christmas Day–the chamber voted this morning 60-39 along party lines and passed the bill. Up next: the Senate and House have to get together and negotiate some final version. If you want to compare what’s in the House and Senate versions, the New York Times has put together an excellent side-by-side comparison tool.

Bernanke Says The Recession Is "Likely Over"

Bernanke Says The Recession Is "Likely Over"

Good news? Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that the recession is over, but that it won’t really stop the rise of unemployment — currently at a 26-year high of 9.7%.

Is Cheap Food To Blame For Our Expensive Health Care?

Is Cheap Food To Blame For Our Expensive Health Care?

Michael Pollan thinks so. He’s got an op-ed in the NYT where he examines the relationship between or expensive health care and our cheap fast food.

AmEx, Discover Ditch Overlimit Fees

AmEx, Discover Ditch Overlimit Fees

American Express and Discover will no longer bill customers who exceed their credit limits, according to company spokespeople. The creditors aren’t eliminating the fees because they care about their customers. No, they’re providing what American Banker calls “the first concrete examples of how a new law will restrict issuers’ abilities to turn a profit.” The new CARD Act that Congress passed in May requires consumers to opt-in before they can exceed their credit limits. Since overlimit fees, which can reach $39, aren’t very profitable for creditors, they decided to ditch the fees altogether.

Comprehensive Food Safety Reform Moves Forward In Congress

Comprehensive Food Safety Reform Moves Forward In Congress

The House Energy and Commerce Committee just approved comprehensive food safety reform, setting it up for consideration on the House floor in the coming months. The Food Safety Enhancement Act was approved by voice vote, indicating bipartisan support and suggesting a relatively smooth passage through the entire House.

California To Fight Health Insurance Rescissions?

California To Fight Health Insurance Rescissions?

The LA Times is reporting that California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner will reveal new regulations aimed at stopping a controversial health insurance practice in which customers with costly illnesses are retroactively dropped.

Here's How The CARD Act Will Actually Change Credit Cards

Here's How The CARD Act Will Actually Change Credit Cards

Bob Sullivan at MSNBC—who coincidentally was one of the speakers at our event last night—has published a list of myths and facts about the new credit card bill. His article dispels some of the misinformation that’s out there right now about just what the act does, and what card companies are going to do in retaliation.

Get Informed About Credit Card Reform

Get Informed About Credit Card Reform

As we prepare to talk credit card reform with the Obama folks, we want to make sure you’re all able to follow along at home. Inside, we present a cornucopia of fact sheets, charts, and links about the fight for credit card reform.

Oh Sh*t! 40% Of Indiana's Mortgage Brokers Lose Their Licenses

Oh Sh*t! 40% Of Indiana's Mortgage Brokers Lose Their Licenses

40% of Indiana’s mortgage brokers have lost their licenses because they did not comply with a new law aimed at “raising the standards” of the mortgage lending industry. The law requires mortgage brokerages to “name a principal broker with at least three years experience who has passed a state exam and will oversee his company’s business affairs,” says BusinessWeek. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Thoughts On Health Care Reform

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Thoughts On Health Care Reform

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke shared some thoughts on health care reform from “an economist’s perspective” today. He was short on proposals, but did suggest that we concentrate our attention on improving the cost-effectiveness of our health care system:

Store Owner Demands Spanish-Speaking Customers Show Social Security Cards

Store Owner Demands Spanish-Speaking Customers Show Social Security Cards

David C. Richardson, the owner of Rhode Island Refrigeration in Providence, Rhode Island, overheard two customers speaking Spanish to each other, so he asked them to produce proof of citizenship. According to them, he then threatened to call Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and make a citizen’s arrest, although Richardson denies he picked up the phone, but not that he made the threats. In fact, he says he’s done this “fifteen or twenty times” in the past and refuses to do business with those who won’t show their Social Security cards.

Senate CPSC Reform Compromise Leaves Everyone Bitter, Unsatisfied

Senate CPSC Reform Compromise Leaves Everyone Bitter, Unsatisfied

Nobody likes the compromise reached by Senators to reform the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Industry thinks the revised plan goes too far, while consumer groups want more. For now, the compromise would allow the CPSC to operate without a quorum, inject needed cash into the Commission, and provide for several other nifty provisions.

"Overtreated" Says Too Much Healthcare Is Bad For Us

"Overtreated" Says Too Much Healthcare Is Bad For Us

The general theme of the book “Overtreated,” the New York Times’ pick for best economics book of the year, is that we can cut a significant percentage of our health care costs—”between one fifth and one third,” says the author—and not have any impact on our level of health. As a nation, we tend to err on the side of too much treatment, exposing ourselves to unnecessary risks and racking up fees on procedures we could do without. And since doctors depend on a piecemeal approach to earning income, while at the same time dealing with significant financial risks from malpractice suits, they tend to push for more treatment, not less (they need to earn a living while also protecting themselves from accusations of doing too little).

Liveblogging the Senate Commerce Committee Hearing On CPSC Reform

Liveblogging the Senate Commerce Committee Hearing On CPSC Reform

Both CPSC Commissioners are expected to testify, along with a slate of interest groups like U.S. PIRG, Consumer Federation of America, Safe Kids Worldwide, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the oddly named Global Supply Chain Policy Retail Industry Leaders Association.