U-su-ry (y00′zha-re) 1. The act or practice of lending money at an exorbitant or illegal rate of interest. b. Such an excessive rate of interest. 2. The act or practice of lending at any rate of interest. 3. Archaic. Interest charged or paid on a loan. American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower the servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22: 22 & 23
“Those who understand interest, earn it. Those who don’t, pay it.” Albert Einstein
In my travels of late, going in and out of airports, and occasionally a train or two, I continue to be disturbed how debt is marketed in America. It is a non-stop tsunami of blitzkrieg advertising for credit cards, student loans, mortgage re-financings and auto loans. The predator state of debt is alive and well in America.
Banks no longer want to teach people the benefit of saving, they want people in debt because selling debt is very profitable to them. We are brainwashed with incessant credit cards. Visa, the credit card giant, says ,”Find the Right Card for You.” “Life Takes Visa.” “More People Go With Visa.” And to give Visa that granddaddy you can trust me touch, Morgan Freeman narrates the commercials.
MasterCard is not much better, but with Madison Avenue advertising, it puts shine on a debt guillotine. “Priceless”…”There are somethings money can’t buy…” Have we forgotten that it was unregulated predatory debt which has gotten America in trouble in the first place? Hello, is anyone out there?
The point is,debt advertising is everywhere, but it is perhaps no more in your face than in the airports throughout America. HBSC, the British banking giant, has its life-sized white and red letters splashed on gangways feeding out to jet airplanes. In one airport, maybe Newark, New Jersey it looks like HSBC logo was painted on every gangway in the airport. Electric blue Chase ATM machines are at airport gates. And while eating an in flight sandwich on Continental, a JP Morgan Chase napkin is buried on the bottom of the food tray. Fifth Third Bancorp ATMs are at the airport in Memphis. Citigroup ads and Citi themes are everywhere. A flight out west solicits Bank of America, by the stewardess no less.
But on a recent flight, there was a particularly hard sell by U.S. Air, when you apply on board the aircraft, you receive an additional 500 bonus miles. Earn 500 miles just for applying when I am in the air, one place, quite frankly, I do not want to be solicited for. Leave me alone. The country is already $12 TRILLION in debt, and the airline–with their bank partner–the British bank Barclay’s wants to market me credit on U.S. Airways Premier World MasterCard credit card. So what does the bank charge the consumer, when they cannot even get 1% on a savings account? Lets summarize.
Annual Percentage Rate: 15.24% or 18.24%
Annual Percentage Rate for Cash Advances: 21.99%
Penalty Annual Percentage Rate When it Applies: Up to 30.24%
Annual Fee: $79 for Premier Word MasterCard, $49 for Platinum
Balance Transfer: $10 or 4% , the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Cash Advance: Either $10 or 3% the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Purchase of Money Order, Travelers checks, etc: $10 or 3% whichever is greater
Foreign transactions: 3% of each transaction
Late payment: $15-$39.95 ( the amount varies by state, see more fine print for more details)
Returned payment: $15-$39.95 ( the amount varies by state, see more fine print for more details).
Sky High Usury in the Friendly Skies. And we are $12 trillion in debt, the banks that brought us this crisis, the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, are still peddling mountains of debt. They are essentially getting money for nothing from the government. They want low-interest rates on money they get from the government and consumers, but they want sky-high usury in the friendly skies…