New Book Shows How Consumer Debt Will Make The Impending Recession
Fundamentally Different From All Previous Ones.
(back to books)
“From credit cards to predatory lending to pay-day
loans, Manning takes a thoughtful and comprehensive look at life
on the financial edge, where credit comes at too high a price for
those who can least afford it.”—U.S. Representative
John J. LaFalce (D-NY), Ranking Member, Committee on Banking and
Unprecedented in scope and depth of research, CREDIT
CARD NATION exposes one of the most severe social and economic crises
of our time—America’s escalating credit card debt. Recently,
all attention has been turned to Allan Greenspan as he reacts to
the slowing down of the economy. The reality is that the Bull Market
has masked the economic fragility of overextended households.
Credit card debt expert Robert Manning argues that
the consequences of consumer debt will severely impact the future
of our economy. College students, new entrepreneurs, the elderly,
minorities, women, and the middle class as well as the working poor
will feel the effects most drastically. In this wide-ranging study
we learn of the following:
- Over the next five years, banks will pay
the largest 250 universities nearly $1 billion annually for exclusive
marketing rights on campus.
- The personal testimony of a parent whose
22 year-old son committed suicide over credit card debt.
- Rise of college student indebtedness and
graduate school and job rejection due to credit card debt.
- The decline of community banks and the increase
of pawnshops and check-cashing services for the poor as well as
the middle class.
- How small businesses, female entrepreneurs,
and the elderly rely on credit cards because they are routinely
turned down for lower interest bank loans.
- Between 1994 and 1998, the credit card industry’s
advertising budget doubled from $425 million to $870 million.
- How Citigroup and other financial conglomerates
have profited from consumer credit card debt.
- Intense lobbying by banks for greater access
to data on consumer behavior.
Through in-depth interviews with hundreds of consumers,
Manning describes the real-life consequences of America’s
indebtedness. He shows how credit card interest rates that outpace
even generous increases in annual household income have cost many
Americans the opportunity to take part in the recent economic upswing.
Manning also details the history of credit since the
beginning of the deregulation of financial services in 1980. He
itemizes the social cost of U.S. industrial restructuring, which,
at the same time that it has produced enormous corporate conglomerates,
the highest profits in banking history, and unprecedented growth
of billionaires, has also produced the greatest economic inequality
in the Western world.
Credit Card Nation dramatizes how the credit card
industry preys on the American belief in happy endings and unstoppable
social mobility. Furthermore, the book offers solutions, from government
regulation to educational programs, so that we can resist the mounting
tide of personal debt and the concomitant loss of faith in the very
resourcefulness that will be needed to balance American’s
increasing appetite for credit.
CONTACT: Barbara Fillon at Basic Books
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