The Wall St. Journal has an editorial this morning about the Credit Card Fair Fee Act introduced by House Democrat John Conyers of Michigan and Republican Chris Cannon of Utah. 'The Conyers-Cannon bill requires that any credit card company with more than 20% of the credit and debit market -- Visa has about 50% and MasterCard 25% -- negotiate for 90 days with a coalition of retailers on a mutually acceptable fee. (The retailers would gain an antitrust exemption for these deliberations.) If the parties can't agree, a three-person panel of "electronic payment judges" will "determine rates and terms" which shall be binding. That sounds like a price-control regime.'
Separately, today's New York Times editorial page had an editorial titled 'Plastic Card Tricks' saying that 'Washington needs to change the way these companies [credit card issuers] do business to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.' Further: 'Congress needs to address numerous unfair practices, including interest rates that skyrocket for no apparent reason and due dates that suddenly shift — forward — so that an unwary consumer pays late.'