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]

Senate Bill To Curb Credit Card Swipe Fees Passes

Senate Bill To Curb Credit Card Swipe Fees Passes

The bill to curb credit card fees that was being floated last night ended up passing. Credit card industry stocks fell Friday on the news. [More]

Senate Agrees To Ban Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts

Senate Agrees To Ban Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts

An amendment to the financial overhaul bill banning the use of taxpayer funds for bank bailouts has been agreed upon in the Senate, says the LA Times. [More]

FDA: McNeil Plant That Made Recalled Tylenol Is A Dirty Stinkpot With No Quality Control

FDA: McNeil Plant That Made Recalled Tylenol Is A Dirty Stinkpot With No Quality Control

One of the implied promises of a brand name, especially when it comes to drugs, is you can expect higher quality, but maybe that doesn’t apply when it comes to McNeil products.The FDA says the plant that produced the recently recalled children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, was using raw materials that were contaminated with bacteria. The plant also lacked adequate quality-control procedures and was dirty. So far none of the recalled medicine has tested positive for bacterial contamination, but the FDA report suggests that the contaminated material was used to make the recalled lots. The plant has been shut down indefinitely. [More]

Here Are America's Most Corrupt Industries

Here Are America's Most Corrupt Industries

Do you work in a corrupt industry? The Daily Beast took a look at data gathered by Transparency International, a “global anti-corruption think tank,” and put together a list of America’s most corrupt professions. Everyone may be hating on Wall Street right now, but the worst offenders according to the criteria used are utilities. In second and third place were Wall Street and telecommunications, and media came in fifth, well before banking, insurance, or retail. [More]

Senator Asks FTC To Provide Privacy Guidelines For Facebook, Other Social Networks

Senator Asks FTC To Provide Privacy Guidelines For Facebook, Other Social Networks

Senator Charles Schumer is upset on your behalf over Facebook’s latest loosening of its privacy policies, and yesterday he called for the FTC to step in and provide some guidance, offering to introduce legislation if the agency feels it needs that extra authority. Specifically, Schumer wants three things: opt-out defaults should be switched to opt-in, sites should always disclose where the information is going, and there should be some general “guidelines for user privacy” that sites follow. [More]

White House: Free Market Isn't "Free License To Take Whatever You Can Get"

White House: Free Market Isn't "Free License To Take Whatever You Can Get"

The White House has released potions of a speech to be made by the president later today in NYC. In it Mr. Obama calls on banking industry lobbyists to halt their efforts to stop financial reforms that he feels are in the best interest of the market and the country. [More]

Should Google Be Broken Apart?

Should Google Be Broken Apart?

The consumer group Consumer Watchdog is planning to ask the Justice Department to “launch an antitrust action against the search giant and seek remedies including a possible break up,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The group will host a press conference in Washington, D.C. tomorrow where it will argue that there’s enough evidence to warrant antitrust action from the feds. [More]

Do You Mind If Mint Sells Data Based On Your Transactions?

Do You Mind If Mint Sells Data Based On Your Transactions?

Financial blogger Felix Salmon wants to know why there isn’t regulatory oversight of Mint and other financial management websites, especially if they’re going to sell data created from their users’ transaction histories. [More]

Consumer Protection Agency May Exempt Payday Lenders, Pawn
Shops, Entire Point

Consumer Protection Agency May Exempt Payday Lenders, Pawn Shops, Entire Point

The Washington Post reports that thanks to legislative compromise, banks and mortgage brokers may be the only financial institutions regulated by the proposed federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency–leaving entities that loan money but don’t hold bank charters, such as auto dealers, pawn shops, and payday lenders, unregulated by the industry. Now an unholy alliance of banking industry groups and consumer advocates are fighting the proposal, each for their own reasons. [More]

FDA Wants Tobacco Companies To Submit Ingredients List By June

FDA Wants Tobacco Companies To Submit Ingredients List By June

“Tobacco products today are really the only human-consumed product that we don’t know what’s in them,” the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products said to the Associated Press. To address that, the agency has told tobacco companies to provide a list of the ingredients in their cigarette brands by June 2010. The FDA says it won’t publicize a lot of the data in order to protect trade secrets, but that by June 2011 it will publish a list of “harmful and potentially harmful” ingredients, at which point tobacco companies will have to start listing the amounts of each one on their products. [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]

Consumer Financial Protection Agency On The Chopping Block

Consumer Financial Protection Agency On The Chopping Block

According to the Wall Street Journal, Senator Chris Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, has offered to abandon the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) proposal in exchange for Republican support on other legislation. Nobody is saying anything official right now, but the WSJ reports that “the offer is conditional on the creation of a stronger consumer protection division within another federal agency.” [More]

6 Credit Card Fee Traps To Avoid

6 Credit Card Fee Traps To Avoid

Despite the passage of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (“Credit CARD Act”), there are still fee traps out there waiting to snare you. [More]

FDA: Convince Us That Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages Are Safe And Legal

FDA: Convince Us That Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages Are Safe And Legal

The FDA says that companies have 30 days to convince them that caffeinated alcoholic beverages are safe and legal, because they don’t seem to remember approving them.

Is Bank Of America Of Trying To Skirt The CARD Act With New Annual Fees?

Is Bank Of America Of Trying To Skirt The CARD Act With New Annual Fees?

In a series of recent posts, WalletBlog has accused Bank of America of breaking the spirit of its “no new fees” promise and of potentially breaking the law next year, after it announced it will introduce annual fees on some existing credit card accounts in 2010.

Inspector General Admits SEC Pretty Much Sucks At Its Job

Inspector General Admits SEC Pretty Much Sucks At Its Job

The SEC’s inspector general has released a jailhouse interview in which his royal Ponziness, Bernie Madoff himself, explains that he got away with his scheme because the SEC basically sucks.

Is AT&T Behind Grassroots Groups That Are Opposed To Net Neutrality?

Is AT&T Behind Grassroots Groups That Are Opposed To Net Neutrality?

In the net neutrality debate, there are a surprising number of grassroots organizations (well, surprising to me at any rate) that have filed statements against the FCC’s recent draft of rules. Matthew Lasar at Ars Technica just published an interesting article where he looks at some of these groups and tries to figure out whether AT&T is secretly influencing them, or whether they really do think net neutrality will hurt those they represent–frequently minority groups–in the long run.