Friday, November 8, 2013

Chicago Prof Mahoney Praises Card Law by Maloney

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NYC) gets her pen after Pres.
Obama signs the law she introduced, the CARD Act.
Man bites dog. The NY Times Business Section highlights a Chicago School economist who set out on a routine debunking of credit-card regulation and along the way decided the data show the opposite.

He meant to show the law did not benefit consumers... and found that it actually did benefit them. In fact the law was a $20.8 billion gift of lower fees to credit-card holders, not just in 2010 but every year.

Credit-card users are paying $20.8 billion less per year, just because of the law, concludes Prof. Neale Mahoney, along with his three NBER co-authors -- Sumit Agarwal, Souphala Chomsisengphet and Johannes Stroebel -- the last of whom is a professor at NYU Stern School.

But where did this law come from? The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act resulted from a long struggle. Surprisingly for a newspaper published in New York City, Floyd Norris does not mention that the law was introduced by New York City's Congresswoman from the Silk Stocking District, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, and was supported by then-Senator Barack Obama on the Senate side.

Maloney first introduced the bill as the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights in the 110th Congress (H.R. 5244) when she chaired the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. The bill passed 312-112 in the House. Although Sen. Obama supported the bill, it was not voted on in the Senate.

Maloney reintroduced the bill in the 111th Congress (H.R. 627), during which she chaired the Joint Economic Committee. On April 30, 2009, the House passed the bill 357-70, the Senate passed an amended version on May 19, 90-5, and the House passed the amended bill May 20, 279-147.

The bill was signed by President Obama on May 22 at a White House ceremony at which he acknowledged Maloney's key role in it by putting her right behind him when he signed the bill and bestowed on her a pen and a kiss. The law went into effect February 22, 2010.

Give credit where credit is due.