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Blog Post
7/8/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
I never thought I would own GM, or even a piece of it, when I was an eight year old kid playing in my dad's parked, sky blue Oldsmobile Cutlass. But all of us Americans are inches from owning the new GM with a bankruptcy court ruling approving the deal. It's more than ironic that right after the 4th of July, as we celebrate the rule of law and the...
Blog Post
6/26/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
The big banks just launched a supposedly 'grass-roots' campaign to try and rehabilitate their image. Said Americans United for Change today (a coalition ally in the Americans for Financial Reform coalition):  Largest Wall Street Trade Group Launches PR Campaign to Defend Against “Populist Overreaction”   Americans United...
Blog Post
6/17/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
The administration releases its financial reform plan in just a few minutes (download it here.) There are a lot of moving parts, and the devil will, of course, be in the details that no one has yet. But it’s a good start on one crucial piece for consumers: the creation of a new consumer protection board dedicated to keeping financial...
Blog Post
6/16/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
It’s time the financial industry stopped calling the shots in Washington. That’s why Consumer Watchdog has joined a broad coalition of reformers - consumer, investor, community, worker and civil rights organizations – dedicated to real reform of the financial system. We launched our campaign today, Americans for Financial Reform...
Blog Post
5/20/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
I spent a half hour on Larry Mantle's popular Los Angeles Air Talk Show this morning going through the pro's and con's of the credit card reform President Obama is expected to sign this weekend. You can listen to the podcast here.  Not even the credit card industry or the Cato Institute could make a compelling case against the common sense...
Blog Post
4/13/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
I read the news today, oh boy. Start with Goldman Sachs' first quarter profit of $1.8 billion, about twice what "analysts" thought it would be. Then add in the good Wall Street Journal roundup on the many creative ways that the big banks are gouging their customers, particularly with stratospheric credit card fees. It's usury and robbery...
Blog Post
3/31/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, introducing a bill last week to cap credit card interest rates at 15%, quotes Dante and the Bible to make his point about the current situation: Let’s be clear.  At a time when many Americans in the collapsing middle class use credit cards for groceries, gas and college expenses, what Wall Street and...
Blog Post
3/20/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
The president talked and joked easily with America from Jay Leno's couch last night, as close to a fire side chat as it gets in these times. Leno is no Jon Stewart and largely gave the president the floor. Still Obama spent most of his time on AIG and the financial crisis, suggesting that his future approach to regulation might be in line with a...
Blog Post
3/19/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
After Enron's fraud on California during the 2001 electricity crisis became clear, a lot of politicians felt they had to give back their Enron contributions.  Our consumer group was the beneficiary of a few of those returned dollars, since we fought the energy industry's deregulation schemes. Now Open Secrets reports AIG's contributions, from...
Blog Post
3/16/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
President Obama has told Treasury Secretary Geithner to "pursue every legal avenue" to block $165 million in bonuses to American International Group executives.  Come on, this isn't rocket science, it's derivative trading. Here's a simple way to get the job done without filing a lawsuit. Just let every AIG exec know that each bonus...