Thursday, April 23, 2009

Obama Meets With Credit Card Executives

Updated with video: Obama says no more fine print. Forms and statements need to be written in plain language. No more abusive fees and penalties. People need to be able to comparison shop, Obama says. Contract terms need to be easily accessible and lastly, more accountability is needed.
Austan Goolsbee emphasizes credit card company clarity, simplicity and disclosure:

This afternoon, senior executives from 13 companies -- including Gordon Smith, chief executive of Chase Card Services for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; Paul Galant, chief executive of N.A. Cards for Citi; and Richard Struthers, president of Global Card Services for Bank of America -- are meeting with Obama and his top economic aides at the White House. Edward L. Yingling, president and chief executive of the American Bankers Association, was also scheduled to participate. The president was to be accompanied by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, top economic adviser Lawrence Summers, chief economist Christina Romer and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Aides said Obama will make clear that the power of the White House will be behind the legislation.

"The President believes new rules of the road for the credit card industry are needed and he looks forward to having an open and productive conversation tomorrow with the representatives of the credit card industry about the impact of the current crisis on consumers," Obama aide Valerie Jarrett said in an e-mail sent late yesterday.

As they prepared for today's meeting, credit card executives and their representatives sounded conciliatory. WaPo