Sleazy Bankers (Part II)
Instant Credit! It’s easy for you to walk into a store with no money or credit, and walk out a few minutes later with a new credit card and several thousand dollars worth of merchandise. Unfortunately, someone pretending to be you can also do this just as easily. Result: identity theft.
There were nearly 10 million victims of identity theft last year, and the problem is getting worse all the time. The problem can mostly be blamed on the banking and retail industries’ urgent desire to issue more credit cards faster.
The author of “Credit Card Nation” notes that “you can apply for a credit card on the phone 24 hours a day, but when you file a claim for identity theft you'll get an answering machine."
Another result of this more credit faster mentality is the huge number of bankruptcies. And the banking industry is just appalled – shocked! – at the number of irresponsible consumers who go bankrupt. Hello, anybody home?!?!?
An individual person wouldn’t get away with being this oblivious to the connection between his behavior and the obvious results: he’d be taken away to Happy Acres for lots of rest and some friendly doctors to look after him. But this degree of cognitive disconnect is quite acceptable for a multi-billion dollar corporation.
There seems to be little hope of increasing protection against identity theft or reigning in the surge of instant credit all the time. The banking industry has way too much power and authority over their prostitutes, er, legislators.