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Free Money for the Masses

31 comments

We wrote here recently that Wall Street seems to be revving up for The Mother of All Blowoffs. The banks are evidently trying to stoke a mania of their own, judging from the mail we get each day. A typical batch now includes no fewer than three or four teaser offers to borrow money for practically nothing.  Just today we heard from Wells Fargo (“Enjoy 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months…”);  Discovery (“Get a fresh start on your home loan. Refinance and lock into a rate as low as 3.09% APR today!”); AT&T Universal Card (“0% Promotional APR on transferred balances until 6/01/2014”); and Chase Freedom (two fabulous offers: “0% promotional APR through your billing cycle that ends in 08/2014’;  or, “1.74% promotional APR through your billing cycle that ends in 01/2015”).  And that’s just a single day’s worth.  Add up all of the offers we’ve received in the last month and they tally more than a half-a-million dollars’ worth of instant borrowing power – all at interest rates ranging from zero to 3.09%.

It’s tempting to imagine all of the things we could do with the money.  For starters, we could trade in a 13-year-old Lexus for a new model. Buy new ski equipment while it’s on sale. Build a new patio in the back yard. Take the family to Europe this summer. And there’s plenty of room in the basement for a home entertainment center and a billiard table. What’s left could help defray the awesome after-tax expense of having two boys in college. Maybe the best play would be to parlay the entire sum in the stock market. With 11,000 stocks to pick from, surely there is at least one surefire winner in the bunch.

When Rates Turn Lethal

Alas, the banks, more desperate than ever to have me borrow promiscuously, will have to take their business elsewhere. We don’t even open their letters any more, since we’ve been down that road before. As we all know, the teaser rate will turn lethal after the promotional period ends. What that means is that zero percent loans will be adjusted upward to something like 20 percent. Judging from the rampant aggressiveness of their promotional offers these days,  it is all too predictable that millions of borrowers will be caught in a squeeze when the teaser rates expire. Will this occur in the throes of a financial crisis like the one that nearly toppled the banking system a few years ago? We’d be shocked, actually, if it were otherwise.

Please do not ask trading questions!

  • Deer in Headlights May 12, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Yes, Cam, Japan has let their currency slide %30 so an American 5,000 miles away can smoke another 1. That’s as dumb of a story as shorting 400 tons. Not sure why Cam and Gar are so intent on gold going down to $1000. A price increase wouldn’t reflect that more than 500 million people (Asia alone) have been buying gold recently? It will be interesting to see how a certain few once again rob people blind.

    • Cam Fitzgerald May 12, 2013, 3:19 pm

      Well Deere, count yourself amongst those who have no clue what is going on. There are not 500 million people in China (or even all of Asia no less) buying gold that is for damn sure. As for myself I am intent on nothing as far as gold goes being eviscerated during the current session. As a matter of fact I am very intent on mining shares and that part of the resource sector which will rely on an eventual gold bounce to start showing real growth in the future. For the time being though I only read the tea leaves exactly as I see them and find myself continually amazed at how little insight the religious sect of gold buyers have into market dynamics. But go ahead and fill your boots like every other fool who has been buying all the way to the bottom. Suits me fine. Better yet, go long and leverage. The shorts just love guys like you.

    • mario cavolo May 13, 2013, 5:04 am

      I’m here in China with my finger well on the pulse and I admit is it really hard to get a read on how much gold buying is going on by Chinese consumers.

      I can tell you that unlike America bank accounts, the ability to buy gold/silver/palladium/platinum, along with forex pairs is easy, just another menu available in your online bank account, and that’s for physical or paper metals. So yes Cam, access and availability is easy to every single person in China who has a bank account, well over 500 million. How much they are or are not buying, is a great question, I am going to ask around….

      Cheers, Mario

  • John Jay May 12, 2013, 6:44 am

    Cam,
    You can add Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the 800 page Cook Book the gang of Eight are pushing as a huge coup if they can pull it off.
    It is designed to add Mexico and it’s 112 million people as the 51st State.
    Just look at Obama’s speech down Mexico way, and Holder’s proclamation that Amnesty is a “Civil Right” for Illegal Aliens!
    We are being suicided by our own Government!
    Aside from Sessions of Alabama, and Cruz from Texas, no one in the Senate seems to have a problem with DC’s plans to give everyone in Mexico a free LEAP type Call on US Citizenship!
    It’s all closing in on us now, there is nothing they are afraid of trying to bring the USA down!
    Frightening!

    • mario cavolo May 13, 2013, 5:01 am

      Adding Mexico as a 51st state JJ doesn’t sound like a bad idea, assuming they could strike a good deal. In fact, considering the rising demographic of Mexico’s population in the United States, putting the politics of it aside, it seems a natural next step and maybe a well thought out plan and implementation would improve the situation, not make it worse.

      Oh, did I say a well thought out plan and implementation? There’s the rub, our leadership are surely incapable of that.

      Cheers, Mario

  • Troll May 12, 2013, 2:57 am

    Cam, most people only read charts when it agrees with their own point of view. When the chart disagrees, they go to conspiracy websites. That’s how it works.

    • Troll May 12, 2013, 3:14 am

      I should add to that. It doesn’t matter what people are invested in; it could be gold or a retail store, but they are going to look for opinions that agree with their own. It’s not always conspiracy sites, it is simply looking for a like-minded point of view.

  • mava May 11, 2013, 9:21 pm

    Ha-ha! R.A., tell me, the last time when the home owners were looking at the high rates, did they actually get to see those rates?

    Last I’ve checked, all these shmucks who shouldn’t had have the house in the first place, are still owning the house! The only ones with a weak nerves and a sense of fairness were to lose their homes dues to surrendering them, all by themselves, solely on an expectations of worse to come.

    If history is any guide, then no, there will be no high interest rates if those rates would prove to be hard to pay. The government will not allow its citizens to make a mistake. The rules of game will be continuously changed to see to it that the borrower always wins.

    Secondly, you named all the wrong things to do with this credit. What you named was all waste, – consumption. Stocks, technically were not, but even if you are capable of finding that one in a million stock that will go up, absolute majority will lose money in the stock market, guaranteed (for you to make some money).

    Stocks are speculations, not investments, unless you’re buying them for the dividends.

    You know what would be the right thing to do with that credit. Everybody does. I can’t say it here. But I don’t think i need to. Everyone knows it by now.

  • Cam Fitzgerald May 11, 2013, 10:34 am

    No doubt most of you have read the article in the WSJ titled “Fed MapsExit from Stimulus”. It is certainly worth a look if you are not aware of it and not because I think that a withdrawal is imminent. On the contrary but in the meantime we should expect a long awaited correction to now commence in the belief that stimulus will be gradually removed. Expectations are going to be dialed back. Gold meanwhile will almost certainly take a belly gut punch again next week so we can all put away the ticker tapes and forget the parade about gold going to the moon anytime soon.

    • John Jay May 11, 2013, 4:50 pm

      Cam,
      If by some miracle the Fed is planning to ease off on the QE Bond Buying they must already have plans for a collapse in the Japan/Euro bond markets to provide a flight to quality demand for US Paper to maintain ZIRP or, even better, NIRP.
      The Fed member banks must be very nervous about all that bad paper on their books.
      If they can unload it all, and at higher prices to boot, well that would work just fine for them.
      I am certain that they would never, never, just cut back on their Treasury paper purchases, and wait to “see what happens.”
      They will already have suckers lined up with scared money to bid their inventory up to afford them a seamless and profitable exit.
      You can bet they have some manner of computer program that shows by .25% increments how high rates have to rise to implode the US Government and the US Dollar.
      Orchestration has been the name of the game for the Fed since, I would say, the Y2K liquidity deluge.
      Let’s hope they can continue to pull it off, I am not prepared to live in a Weimar/Beruit/Mad Max world.
      ZIRP is better than a collapse and a Civil War.

    • Cam Fitzgerald May 11, 2013, 10:11 pm

      Agree John. Japan figures very prominently in the Feds exit strategy. I surmise that the agreement amongst the G8 members on the issue and the absence of objections to this astounding 2% inflation agenda have much deeper roots than most are prepared to consider. There really was no other acceptable exit strategy available and the Japanese public is being leaned on by all parties who have a great deal to lose if the Fed cannot achieve withdrawal. Your comments are very timely actually and I think you make a great point with regards to Treasury and low yielding bond purchases. That whole country is now the fall-man as a means to keep the ball rolling in the right direction. We are witnessing the Seppuku of a nation that will be witnessed by the world as an act of honor assuring its protection from falling before the Chinese. It is the symbolic gutting of a nation and an act of economic disembowelment as the price that country will pay to remain standing in the coming age of conflict in Asia.

  • Deer in Headlights May 11, 2013, 8:47 am

    not talking about silver. talking about the 22k or 24k gold that ever store was recently cleaned out of. You can do that math. At least 100 million chinese buying pure gold jewelry…. = short gold? haha, another joke. let gary and cam explain this 1 away.

  • Deer in Headlights May 11, 2013, 7:15 am

    The old grannies are buying up the gold. Stores were emptied not long ago. A drop to 1300’s will cause another rush to the store. It will be interesting to see how the “paper” market loots a few hundred million people on more lies (yield?). If you have ever played a video game like Sim City, what happens when your city is running at a deficit? Game over. Now imagine it at 30+ years and now many more countries. Its actually none of my business, but I don’t like having to wake up on a Monday morning to find my gold ring has dropped %10 in value because a few dirt bags have decided to short a few hundred tons of paper backed up by more lies and stories (what fake news story this week to distract the masses?) A bit of truth is that silver eagles are selling on ebay for $32 + shipping. That is actual truth that you can see with your own eyes.

    • Cam Fitzgerald May 11, 2013, 7:58 am

      Sheesh! Don’t you follow the reports on metals volumes any more closely than to checking in on the conspiracy websites? There is a massive global SURPLUS of silver right now. Mineweb just reported this week that Indian investment demand for silver collapsed by 80% in 2012 and continues to fall this year as well. They note there are a great many sellers and virtually no buyers anymore. The stuff of coin shortages and high premiums is absolute fluff and if you buy into it you will be a serious loser ahead. More to the point, the last time we saw these kind of high premiums is just before the price of precious metals imploded in 1981. I know, I was there. Most of the popular news on metals lately is just based on anecdotal evidence as well and not hard facts related to genuine shortages or surplus situations. Since when does a person make an informed choice about lineups in China anyway? The price trend is undeniably down and until that changes you should avoid any and all PM investments. And please keep in mind…..Silver ALREADY made a parabolic move and suffered a blowoff top. That tells me beyond a shadow of a doubt that gold will follow. Does nobody read the damn charts anymore. Not to be obnoxious, Deere but I do not agree with your assessment.

  • Cam Fitzgerald May 10, 2013, 3:48 pm

    By the way (and just a little off topic) but can anyone of you technical people explain to me how it is possible to “print” a weapon. I just ran across this article on ZeroHedge talking about doing exactly that but being a Neanderthal of the tech world I just don’t get how a printer can make parts for anything let alone build a gun. Sign me “puzzled”.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-09/us-state-department-halts-3-d-gun-production-demands-removal-all-online-blueprints

    • Mario cavolo May 10, 2013, 4:11 pm

      Hi Cam, exact same thing was going on with me re the credit card lifestyle when I pulled the plug…

      3D printers print using plastic resin, apparently there is some hard enough to make resin plastic guns that can actually fire a bullet, though I doubt Dirty Harry would regard such a gun with admiration compared to his .44 magnum or 007 to his Walther PPK…Ahh the good ol’ days of American Hollywood…

    • Cam Fitzgerald May 10, 2013, 6:01 pm

      Ok…now I get it. Plastic and normal printing paper. Why didn’t I think of that? But there must be a huge cut and paste job afterwards to make all the pieces work. like gluing together a couple hundred layers on one of those CT scanners .

      Who thinks this stuff up?

      Moving on….gold is getting hammered right now. Yikes!! On a low of 1418.00 not long ago and threatening to fall back into the 1300s again. Just as I suspected though….the carnage is not over and all the hoopla over how gold-horny grannies in China were about to drain the metal from the vaults of JPM, the Fed, the Treasury, the Investment Banks etcetera and destroy Western civilization!!

      The gold-bugs really make me laugh!

      They will grasp at any twig or straw floating down the media river to make a case for why metals will rise from the tombs at any minute now. Waiting for it….waiting….waiting…….. And the poor saps who listen to their constant repetitive bleating and back up the truck to buy at every new low just keep getting beaten out of their investment nut over and over and over again.

      Some guys never learn. The popular theme they have all been following lately is that gold is like “insurance” against financial catastrophe. Oh please! That is just so lame. What else are they going to tell the wife after losing everything betting against the Fed.

      And we all know what a turn-on it is for the wife when she learns the family jewels and most of her savings went up in smoke on a bad bet in the stock market or physical gold investments.

      Some insurance policy. These guys don’t even need to wait for the reserve currency to collapse. By the time that event happens they won’t have any money left anyway.

    • Buster May 12, 2013, 3:52 pm

      Cam, no printing paper. The 3d printer builds layer upon layer using different material base to produce the 3d object, anything from a nick nack, replacement part of even mobile phones, apparently. The Aston Martin in Skyfall which was shot to pieces was actually a model made using a 3d printer.
      Quite a manufacturing revolution awaits us!

  • John Jay May 10, 2013, 3:33 pm

    Mario,
    Oh, don’t worry “Guilt” and “Personal Responsibility” are fading fast and are just about gone here.
    As I related in another post here, I overheard a young guy at the gym telling his friends he was taking out maximum Student Loans because, “the Government is just going to forgive all that debt anyway.”
    The morals of a starving Great White Shark have trickled down to the masses from our Masters up on high!
    Brand new high end cars are back in force here in Southern California. I have seen a Mercedes SLS AMG and a Bentley convertible parked in local strip malls.
    Both of those cost north of 200k.
    I think there are more new high end cars running around here now than there were at the peak of the last housing bubble.
    Whenever I see an exotic car on the road I head right to the internet to see what it costs.
    Fascinating to see the echo boom in action here!

    • Deer in Headlights May 11, 2013, 8:51 am

      who needs to watch a north korean movie. Just watch the local news or an episode of COPS.

  • gary leibowitz May 10, 2013, 6:53 am

    Nothing new. Those teaser rates were there from the 90’s on. In fact the notion of maxing out credit cards and rolling them over to another new credit card has been done way before the mortgage implosion. Banks are once again promoting the notion that you should live off debt. So far the American public is hesitant to plunge back in. This is the same reason why stock investments are still so weak. Once the public embraces the old ways again is a sure sign of major problems ahead. We are in the early stages.

    Anyone sitting on pins and needles in anticipation of an equities top and subsequent crash might be very disappointed. The consumer, even with such paltry alternative investment options is staying away from stocks. What is needed to cause major problems is the massive weight of the consumer going against the intent of this government. So far there is no pressure on any front. the dollar, inflation (with the exception of ever increased demand for energy), spending, borrowing, wage growth, interest rates, employment, etc… in other words there is still more supply than demand. Once that changes the Fed’s control is gone. The notion that Gold falls to perhaps 1,000 in next few years makes sense in this context.

    • Buster May 10, 2013, 12:27 pm
    • gary leibowitz May 10, 2013, 5:08 pm

      Buster, are you really serious on North Korean news?
      They already depict every American living on the street melting snow for water to drink.

      Me, I only give opinions that have been PROVEN to come true. Lets look at GOLD for example, my latest obsession. Where is it today?

      Compile my opinions and track record over the last 18 months and actually match the timeline and accuracy. What everyone here concludes is that I am either in cahoots with the so called establishment to sidetrack the “real” issues, or just naïve. Yet here we are with some pretty darn good advise to make money. I should charge for this. No, I will hold back my opinion on the market from all those here that are so annoyed at my rants. I will bet 99 percent of you would prefer it. Strange behavior, but that’s what makes us human, and that’s what makes it pretty predictable for guessing how it all plays out.

    • Buster May 10, 2013, 8:47 pm

      Actually, I wasn’t talking about your track record, or suggesting imminent market collapse either. Also, the Korean documentary was mostly just a rehash of western investigative journalists work, some of them even prize winning, & even previously listed here at Ricks (I wonder whether this is where he got his info??), so can’t be dismissed as Korean propaganda, to be fair, though it’s sometimes good to see how our ‘enemies’ see us rather than our ‘friends’, just as it is often good to hear opposing viewpoints, even if just to learn from having to explain our own.
      The question was based on the possibility that this depiction is the actual ‘proven’ one, to use your term, of what is happening in the world, as there is, in fact, mountains of evidence that it very possibly is, both historical & current, facts, figures & witnesses both inside & outside of the system. In that case, can you see the problem of actually investing in this system? ….thereby even becoming supporters of it. What worth do we have in such a system, & what chance do we have of actually profiting from it, really? I think running from it would be the wiser action, but maybe I’m wrong in my analysis??
      Good luck, whatever road one takes, anyway. I sincerely hope it’s not as bad as it looks to me.

    • gary leibowitz May 11, 2013, 3:46 am

      Buster, what you call propaganda is really nothing more than fulfilling peoples cravings. Idolization happens whether it is intentionally done or not. We are never satisfied with our own life and escape using fashion, lifestyle of the rich and famous, and decadent outlandish behavior. In every society “entertainment” is needed for distraction. I don’t think it is intentionally done to divert us from reality. In fact I would suggest that the more comfortable and complacent our society becomes the more we crave these distractions.

      The diversity and instant retrieval of news is testament to the fact that governments lost their ability to steer us in any one direction. The internet can now be described as the all inclusive entertainment vehicle. Games, fiction, non-fiction, video, social media clubs, work arena, investment tools, sexual titillation, mental therapy, and anything else in everyday life can be boxed neatly without the ability of governments to stop its diversity. In my estimation the internet is an all seeing or all delusional medium that caters to each individuals inclination. If you don’t trust mainstream news to tell the truth, there are always blogs and sites that will satisfy your needs. Clearly “propaganda” wasn’t involved. Your internal makeup of who you are, or how you were brought up in early environmental development, can now be amplified.

      Isn’t this site’s discussion points proof enough that “propaganda” no longer has much external influence. We can now seek what we want to satisfy our needs.

      BTW, sorry for my tirade earlier. Had a bad work day.

  • Rich May 10, 2013, 5:58 am

    All these credit card offers after five years of QE look like the last train out of sanityville and smack of desperation.

    If they catch consumer traction, CPI and Interest rates may leap into the stratosphere as capital markets including mortgages collapse.

    If they don’t, capital markets may correct more than most expect, 15% or more.

    Here are the data:

    Thurs 9 May 2013 EOD Chart Diary
    $BPENER BPENER +6.66% Bull Confirmed = MENA madness
    $BPSTAP BPSTAP -2.38% from 100% High = Consumer Defense Stock Top
    DDX -2.11% from 144.62 2011 weekly high = Market Downtrend
    Italy down -2.29% from 18.89 high 2011 high on heavy volume = Global Market Top
    NIKK 14,428.38 New four-year weekly high with 14,000 Target = Goodbye Western Markets
    $NYMO NYMO -46.49 from 8-month High = >15% Market Correction Top
    PALL up +1.53% from $391.20 2010 weekly low = Market Stress Alert
    TRIN up +43.42% from 0.55 weekly low with 10.38 Target = Market correction top in place
    USD engulfing bullish reversal +.91% = Market Correction Top
    UTIL -1.46% down from 537.86 top = Market Correction Top
    XAD -1.08% engulfing bearish candle with 82 Target = Export Demand Destruction
    XAL -2.06% down from 58.72 top = Market Correction Top
    Yen broke a Buck -1.62% New Low with 70 Target = Look out below trade wars
    XSF – 1.37% engulfing bearish candle with 86 Target = Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic…

  • Rob P May 10, 2013, 1:01 am

    I remember the day, not many years ago, when the banks’ skim off the top (transaction fee) was maxed out at 3% or $100, whichever was lower. Now it’s 4% and open-ended.

    The result is that you get 96% of the loaned money for 12 – 15 months, effectively just like a bond. I used to roll over balances from bank to bank with the best of ’em, but I can’t compete any more.

    What’s a man to do – pay down the mortgage with “free” money? I can borrow 0% for 15 months for an effective rate of 3.27% to reduce the balance of the 6.25% loan on my underwater house. Then when the 15 months is up, I can roll over my credit card balance and do it again. If everything about interest rates stays the same for many many years, and as long as credit card balances can be perpetually rolled over, it’s almost like refinancing the mortgage!

    However, if rates go up or if balance transfer offers dry up, things go south in a hurry. I leave these bank offers alone so that the currently greedy or desperate can have a crack at the money they want or need.

    • VegasBob May 10, 2013, 5:28 am

      I have a high FICO score and was getting about 10 of those credit card solicitations a week. My shredder was working overtime, so I finally called the “opt-out” number, and the offers stopped.

      It looks like the banks are now loosening credit card standards in an attempt to restart the “better living through borrowing” economy, hoping they can “trap” customers into paying those absurd 19.99% interest rates when the “teaser” periods expire.

      It won’t end well this time around any better than it did last time…

  • John Jay May 10, 2013, 12:36 am

    I have heard rumors of guys using those offers to pay off Student Loan debts, which can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, and then declaring bankruptcy on all that unsecured debt.
    I don’t know if it works, just rumors I have heard.
    If you can’t beat them, join them!

    • mario cavolo May 10, 2013, 8:29 am

      That is exactly the kind of tricky thing people need to start doing to survive JJ, and it leads to the unraveling of financial morals and ethics more and more people are feeling without any “Catholic guilt”. Imagine the gaul, not to mention waste of taxpayer money, of the IRS going after the little guy for a few hundred dollars when in fact, they should be targeting the root problem, the big business and elite-protected rich who are getting away with financial murder and destroying the economic fabric of society in the process. Get some of their stashed twenty trillion! By govt edict! Not making us pay for their shenanigans.

      You got bad debt? Perhaps a concept is to simply not pay it back. In fact, you don’t even actually need to declare bankruptcy. Let me explain how that supposed horror may actually affect you:

      1. If you are struggling financially, you are now staring at $10 in your hand. Look at it. What is its priority?: Your family? Your child’s college fund? Your medical expenses? Your needs? Your friend who lent you a $100 and wants it back?…even he wouldn’t get the $10, yet you would send it as a payment to your credit card company! The bank credit card repayment so that you don’t get a bad credit score? Who gets the $10?

      I hope I made my point. Start fresh if you need to and stop concerning yourself with what will happen if you tell your debtors to go fly a kite. Lots of folks need to and and do it and lots of huge companies do too. Get over it. Join the party sans Catholic guilt.

      2. The only reason you have for not allowing your credit score be ruined by not paying some debts are a couple of bigger loans:
      1. You then couldn’t get a mortgage. So what, what’s wrong with renting? Rent rates are far better than mortgage/home ownership costs including property taxes. And if you want tax advantages to boot, you simply start any small home-based business and get yourself a basket of reasonable tax deductions including a home office tax deduction without a fuss. There are dozens of ways to do that.
      2. You then couldn’t get a car loan. Oh gee, ruin your life, eh? Buy the car you can afford. There are many really nice cars to purchaser for as little as $5000, even less. Go buy one. Then get cheaper liability coverage only and take your chances on collision body damage. Statistically, you probably won’t get in an accident anyway.
      3. You couldn’t get any other types of unsecured loans. You shouldn’t be anyway if you can’t afford to buy the item cash, you probably don’t really need it.

      To which I ask, what’s so freakin’ bad about all that? You’ll be ahead of the game, not a scared sheep in their system where you’ve given them false control of things in fact they are not in control of. You are.

      Tough times. Unpaid debts. I feel bad. Catholic guilt. Sh*t happens, life goes on. Move forward.

      SINCE THE DAY I LEFT American soil 13 years ago, I have not accumulated one single penny of credit card debt or any other kind of debt. Live frugal, simple, pay cash. Buy what you can afford. The only Visa I own and use for 13 years, for when I may need it, is a debit card Visa. In this regard, Chinese families in their society who have needed to survive on basic, comfortable low incomes have taught me a lot. And its not far off from the “quiet millionaire neighbors” , Rich Dad, Poor Dad, concepts back in America. People who live middle class lives with all the creature comforts while accumulating their small fortunes and assets.

      Think about it folks. Get out of the system in a healthy way, starting with buying everything you can afford to pay for. That may mean starting by torpedoing your credit status, in which case you’ll be joining millions of other people who’ve figured out its not the end of the world, its a nasty, crazy, scary, yet new world in which you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for yourself, not them. Learn the real rules of the game, hope I’ve helped.

      Cheers, Mario

    • Cam Fitzgerald May 10, 2013, 3:17 pm

      Interesting theory Mario. That would bring an end to our credit bubble if everyone did as you. Actually, I gave up on the credit card world probably 15 years back and have never had one since. About the same time as you did. It was only after I realized that the damn things were in control of my life that I took action and cut them all up. Can’t blame anyone but myself. I was suffering from a bad case of irresponsibility with other peoples money and it was when I finally got to the point where I was using one to pay the other and even to shop for groceries and pay off personal loans that I knew the end was near. What a relief to be free of it all. They are truly a curse for those of us who are challenged with actually adding up what we spend and trying to reconcile it with income.


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