Enough is Enough!
How Credit Card Companies
Are Abusing Americans
Letters from Vermont and the Nation
United States Senator Bernie Sanders
On April 24, 2009, I sent an email to my Senate mailing list. My
request: Send me detailed information about how credit card companies are
treating you and your family. Three days later, I had almost 1,000
responses. This pamphlet, which reprints a small number of them,
demonstrates in often heartbreaking manner the extraordinary greed and
callousness of some of the largest financial institutions in our country. In
order to share this information with my colleagues I have read some of these
comments on the floor of the Senate.
In my view, when credit card companies charge 25 or 30 percent
interest rates they are not engaged in the business of “making credit
available” to their customers. They are involved in extortion and loan-
sharking. This is especially true at a time when the taxpayers of this country
have provided many hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out Wall Street
and when the Federal Reserve is making zero interest loans to these very
I support legislation which will increase disclosure and transparency.
But that’s not enough! In order to protect the American people and our
small businesses, we must pass a national usury law and place a cap on
interest rates. I have proposed legislation that would emulate the
regulations that credit unions live under – a 15 percent maximum interest
rate (which currently can go up to 18 percent under exceptional
circumstances). If credit unions can grow and prosper with a 15 percent
cap, so can banks.
I hope you will take a minute to read these heart-felt letters from
Vermont and the nation. They offer a window into the outrageous behavior
of credit card companies, and why we need fundamental reform of the
United States Senator