Credit card issuers mail out fewer offers

If you've noticed that your mailbox isn't quite as full as it used to be, it's because credit card companies are mailing out fewer credit card offers to let naive consumers know that they've been PRE-APPROVED!!!! ... to pay 23% interest.

Mintel Comperemedia reports that unsolicited mailings from credit card, banking, investment, and mortgage loan companies mailed out 12.7% fewer unsolicited offers in the first quarter of 2008 versus the same period last year. JPMorgan Chase alone cut its credit card mailings by 34%.

Well isn't that just great: now that the economy is struggling and food costs are rising, the credit card issuers are tightening up. Of course when the economy was booming, they were happy to lend stupid people money to buy luxury apparel. Now, many consumers are tapped out, maxed-out and overdrawn, and they're no longer good risks for credit card issuers.

In the long run, like most developments that reduce the availability of high-cost consumer credit, this is good news for most people. With credit card companies pulling away the punchbowl, they'll have to resort to more creative ways to meet their expenses like, oh, I don't know, working more and spending less.