26 November 2008

Spend! Save! Don't spend! Don't save!

As the economic recession gets closer to a full-blown depression, the conflicting messages from economic fundis and would be fundis become more and more confusing, leading to reports like this: Spend less this Christmas, says the Church of England, as retailers head for bankruptcy :: Damian Thompson:
Every year the Church of England tries to underline 'the real meaning of Christmas' with a publicity campaign and every year it makes a hash of it. Indeed the sound of a Christian PR stunt backfiring has become a much-loved feature of the festive season. This year s headline the Bishop of Reading the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell calls on the public to spend less in the shops just as the recession is biting and shopkeepers are searching anxiously for customers. Nice one bish.
Hat-tip to A conservative blog for peace.
And then there's this.
TitusOneNine - Joe Nocera--The Worst Is Yet To Come: An Anonymous Banker Weighs In On The Credit Card Debacle:
Over my career, I have seen thousands of consumers that have credit card lines in excess of their annual salaries. Some are sinking under their burden. Some have been fiscally responsible and have minimal amounts outstanding. My 21-year-old daughter, who’s in college, gets pre-approved offers all the time. She has no ability to repay debt, yet the offers flow in just the same. We all know how these lines are accumulated. The banks, in their infinite stupidity, keep upping credit lines because the customer pays the minimum payments on time. My daughter’s credit line started at $1,000 and has been increased over the last two years to $4,400. She has no increased earnings to support this. But the banks do it without asking. And without being asked. The banks reel in the consumer, charge interest rates higher than those charged by the mob, increase lines without the consumer asking and without their consent, and lure them into overextending. And we can count on the banks to act surprised when they aren’t paid back. Shame on them.

You swipes your credit card and you takes your pick.


The Scylding said...

I don't believe fundis anymore. Somebody, unfortunately I don't remember who, listed what some of these people were saying before the crisis - and they were so far oof its not funny. Now some swing to the extremes of the doom and gloom scale.

As the CBC Radio 1 Economic correspondent said yesterday, echoeing my own thoughts: The truth is probably somewhere betwen the best and worst views.

James Higham said...

Credit cards are the modern evil. I'll none of it.


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