Obama joins Wyden credit card reform effort

From the Portland Business Journal:

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has enlisted a high-profile colleague to help introduce a credit industry reform measure.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrat from Illinois who is also a presidential candidate, and Wyden rolled out the Credit Card Safety Star Act of 2007 today in hopes of making agreements easier to understand. The measure would provide ratings to credit card agreements based on how easily they can be understood by average citizens.

"With the financial future of so many Americans dependent upon unreadable jargon in credit card documents, arming consumers with usable information is more critical than ever," Wyden said.

Added Obama, "A safety star system is an innovative approach to require credit card companies to increase transparency and hold them accountable for any hidden charges or changes. This bill will give consumers a powerful tool to protect themselves, while giving credit card companies an incentive to improve their practices."

Under the legislation, every credit card, billing statement, agreement, application and piece of marketing material will be required to carry the credit card's safety star rating, which will range anywhere from one to five stars, with five stars representing the safest cards.

Wyden has begun tackling several credit card-related initiatives, including strongly backing a measure that would limit the ways companies market their cards to college students.


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    [Editor's note: I posted this as a local "in the news" item, as it ran in the PBJ, but want to err on the side of disclosure here since we're attaching our names to the posts on the presidential primaries.]

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    Hmmm... speaking as another editor, I'm not sure that was necessary. It was definitely well within the mainstream of what goes for in-the-news here at BlueO.

    It's just that when I post some national pro-Edwards stuff, or you post some national pro-Obama stuff, that's different than basic news coverage.

    As always, a work in progress...

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