Search results for: charging-ahead-the-growth-and-regulation-of-payment-card-markets-around-the-world

Charging Ahead

Author : Ronald J. Mann
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This book was the first comprehensive treatment of credit cards in the global economy. The topic is timely not only because of the attention focused on cards as a contributor to the substantial rise in consumer borrowing, but also because of the role of cards in the recent retrenchment in the U.S. bankruptcy system. Relying on data from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan, Charging Ahead includes the first careful statistical analysis of the relation between the rise of credit card use and broader macroeconomic phenomena like consumer borrowing, savings, and bankruptcy. It also provides a broad narrative of how credit cards have come to be used so differently around the world. Finally, it sets out a detailed and coherent program for regulatory intervention grounded in both empirical analysis and the existing theoretical literature.

Seduction by Contract

Author : Oren Bar-Gill
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Consumers routinely enter into long-term contracts with providers of goods and services - from credit cards, mortgages, cell phones, insurance, TV, and internet services to household appliances, theatre and sports events, health clubs, magazine subscriptions, transportation, and more. Across these consumer markets certain design features of contracts are recurrent, and puzzling. Why do sellers design contracts to provide short-term benefits and impose long-term costs? Why are low introductory prices so common? Why are the contracts themselves so complex, with numerous fees and interest rates, tariffs and penalties? Seduction by Contract explains how consumer contracts emerge from the interaction between market forces and consumer psychology. Consumers are short-sighted and optimistic, so sellers compete to offer short-term benefits, while imposing long-term costs. Consumers are imperfectly rational, so sellers hide the true costs of products and services in complex contracts. Consumers are seduced by contracts that increase perceived benefits, without actually providing more benefits, and decrease perceived costs, without actually reducing the costs that consumers ultimately bear. Competition does not help this behavioural market failure. It may even exacerbate it. Sellers, operating in a competitive market, have no choice but to align contract design with the psychology of consumers. A high-road seller who offers what she knows to be the best contract will lose business to the low-road seller who offers what the consumer mistakenly believes to be the best contract. Put bluntly, competition forces sellers to exploit the biases and misperceptions of their customers. Seduction by Contract argues that better legal policy can help consumers and enhance market efficiency. Disclosure mandates provide a promising avenue for regulatory intervention. Simple, aggregate disclosures can help consumers make better choices. Comprehensive disclosures can facilitate the work of intermediaries, enabling them to better advise consumers. Effective disclosure would expose the seductive nature of consumer contracts and, as a result, reduce sellers' incentives to write inefficient contracts. Developing its explanation through a general framework and detailed case studies of three major consumer markets (credit cards, mortgages, and cell phones), Seduction by Contract is an accessible introduction to the law and economics of consumer contracts, and a powerful critique of current regulatory policy.

Insufficient Funds

Author : Rebecca M. Blank
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One in four American adults doesn’t have a bank account. Low-income families lack access to many of the basic financial services middle-class families take for granted and are particularly susceptible to financial emergencies, unemployment, loss of a home, and uninsured medical problems. Insufficient Funds explores how institutional constraints and individual decisions combine to produce this striking disparity and recommends policies to help alleviate the problem. Mainstream financial services are both less available and more expensive for low-income households. High fees, minimum-balance policies, and the relative scarcity of banks in poor neighborhoods are key factors. Michael Barr reports the results of an in-depth study of financial behavior in 1,000 low- and moderate-income families in metropolitan Detroit. He finds that most poor households have bank accounts, but combine use of mainstream services with alternative options such as money orders, pawnshops, and payday lenders. Barr suggests that a tax credit for banks serving primarily disadvantaged customers could facilitate greater equality in the private financial sector. Drawing on evidence from behavioral economics, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir show that low-income individuals exhibit many of the same patterns and weaknesses in financial decision making as middle-class individuals and could benefit from many of the same financial aids. They argue that savings programs that automatically enroll participants and require them to actively opt out in order to leave the program could drastically increase savings ability. Ronald Mann demonstrates that significant changes in the credit market over the past fifteen years have allowed companies to expand credit to a larger share of low-income families. Mann calls for regulations on credit card companies that would require greater disclosure of actual interest rates and fees. Raphael Bostic and Kwan Lee find that while home ownership has risen dramatically over the past twenty years, elevated risks for low-income families—such as foreclosure—may well outweigh the benefits of owning a home. The authors ultimately argue that if we want to demand financial responsibility from low-income households, we have an obligation to assure that these families have access to the banking, credit, and savings institutions that are readily available to higher-income families. Insufficient Funds highlights where and how access is blocked and shows how government policy and individual decisions could combine to eliminate many of these barriers in the future.

Consumer Credit Debt and Bankruptcy

Author : Johanna Niemi
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After a long period of prosperity and steady economic growth, the world's leading economies are now in crisis, and although there will be debate about its origins, the scale and seriousness of the crisis is in no doubt. There is also no doubt that excessive amounts of consumer credit, allied to a weak understanding of how globalised credit markets might react to a crisis, have played a significant part. This book, which is primarily about credit, debt and the trouble they have led to, is written by authors who have specialised in researching into over-indebtedness, that is, situations in which an individual's debt burden has become overwhelming. For these authors the plight of individuals is a primary concern, but the wider issue is how credit is used and how it changes societies. The essays in this volume, addressing topics which are fundamental to our understanding of the current crisis, range widely across the whole sector of consumer finance, including mortgages, 'credit-binges', the regulation of consumer lending, insolvency, repayment plans, debt counselling and much more besides. The conclusions drawn from the book are equally wide-ranging, but above all the lesson learned from these essays is that the financialisation of contemporary life ensures that issues of the appropriate role of credit remain of critical importance in society.

Bankruptcy

Author : Joseph Spooner
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Excessive household debt has allowed for economic growth, but this model has become increasingly unstable. Spooner examines bankruptcy law as a potential solution.

Handbook of Consumer Finance Research

Author : Jing J. Xiao
File Size : 22.33 MB
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This handbook surveys the social aspects of consumer behavior, offering latest data and original research on current consumer needs as well as identifying emerging areas of research. This accessible volume (which can be read without advanced training in the field) starts with current concepts of risk tolerance, consumer socialization, and financial well-being, and moves on to salient data on specific settings and populations such as high school students and the older consumer.

Collateral Damaged

Author : Charles R. Geisst
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Sometime in the 1970s and 1980s, the use of credit cards, which had begun as a convenience, began to grow into an addiction. Collateral Damaged: The Marketing of Consumer Debt to America explains how a nation of savers became a nation of consumers and how Wall Street used consumers' addiction to spending to create the "toxic securities" that threaten to bring about the collapse of the global economy. Geisst looks at the policy implications of the credit crisis and describes how the United States can get its fiscal house in order: Debt must be brought back onto the issuer's balance sheet. Investors must have the assurance of recourse to the debt issuer's own funds, rather than the empty promise of a valueless document. Regulators must be educated to know at least as much about financial engineering as the structured finance instruments' architects do. This book connects the dots from consumer spending to credit cards to home-equity loans and back to credit cards.

The End of Money

Author : David Wolman
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For ages, money has meant little metal disks and rectangular slips of paper. Yet the usefulness of physical money -- to say nothing of its value -- is coming under fire as never before. Intrigued by the distinct possibility that cash will soon disappear, author and Wired contributing editor David Wolman sets out to investigate the future of money...and how it will affect your wallet. Wolman begins his journey by deciding to shun cash for an entire year -- a surprisingly successful experiment (with a couple of notable exceptions). He then ventures forth to find people and technologies that illuminate the road ahead. In Honolulu, he drinks Mai Tais with Bernard von NotHaus, a convicted counterfeiter and alternative-currency evangelist whom government prosecutors have labeled a domestic terrorist. In Tokyo, he sneaks a peek at the latest anti-counterfeiting wizardry, while puzzling over the fact that banknote forgers depend on society's addiction to cash. In a downtrodden Oregon town, he mingles with obsessive coin collectors -- the people who are supposed to love cash the most, yet don't. And in rural Georgia, he examines why some people feel the end of cash is Armageddon's warm-up act. After stops at the Digital Money Forum in London and Iceland's central bank, Wolman flies to Delhi, where he sees first-hand how cash penalizes the poor more than anyone--and how mobile technologies promise to change that. Told with verve and wit, The End of Money explores an aspect of our daily lives so fundamental that we rarely stop to think about it. You'll never look at a dollar bill the same again.

Boilerplate

Author : Margaret Jane Radin
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Why the increasing use of boilerplate is eroding our rights Boilerplate—the fine-print terms and conditions that we become subject to when we click "I agree" online, rent an apartment, enter an employment contract, sign up for a cellphone carrier, or buy travel tickets—pervades all aspects of our modern lives. On a daily basis, most of us accept boilerplate provisions without realizing that should a dispute arise about a purchased good or service, the nonnegotiable boilerplate terms can deprive us of our right to jury trial and relieve providers of responsibility for harm. Boilerplate is the first comprehensive treatment of the problems posed by the increasing use of these terms, demonstrating how their use has degraded traditional notions of consent, agreement, and contract, and sacrificed core rights whose loss threatens the democratic order. Margaret Jane Radin examines attempts to justify the use of boilerplate provisions by claiming either that recipients freely consent to them or that economic efficiency demands them, and she finds these justifications wanting. She argues, moreover, that our courts, legislatures, and regulatory agencies have fallen short in their evaluation and oversight of the use of boilerplate clauses. To improve legal evaluation of boilerplate, Radin offers a new analytical framework, one that takes into account the nature of the rights affected, the quality of the recipient's consent, and the extent of the use of these terms. Radin goes on to offer possibilities for new methods of boilerplate evaluation and control, among them the bold suggestion that tort law rather than contract law provides a preferable analysis for some boilerplate schemes. She concludes by discussing positive steps that NGOs, legislators, regulators, courts, and scholars could take to bring about better practices.

The Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights

Author : United States. Congress. House. Committee on Financial Services. Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
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