Obama summons credit-card execs for a lecture on principles


President Obama made good on a campaign pledge for credit-card reform on Thursday when he sat down with execs from issuers to demand a halt to an epidemic of increasing fees, interest rates, and red tape.

The New York Times (among other publications) reports that Obama envisions a compromise preserving both the credit-card market and consumer sanity. A bill protecting consumers passed the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, designed to limit steep fees and penalties and prohibit the marketing of cards to minors. The bill may go to the House next week.

A credit-cardholders' rights bill in the Senate Banking Committee doesn't have the same guarantee of swift passage. Among the bill's features, outlined in detail on Wednesday by Credit Karma, would be a ban on hikes in interest rates without legitimate cause and 45 days' notice. Credit-card executives and lobbyists argue that the Federal Reserve's restrictions, set to take effect in July 2010, make further restrictions unnecessary.