Год издания: 2004
Количество страниц: 164
В продаже с 18.01.2012
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Credit and debt appear to be natural, permanent facets of Americans' lives, but a debt-based economy and debt-financed lifestyles are actually recent inventions. In 1951 Diners Club issued a plastic card that enabled patrons to pay for their meals at select New York City restaurants at the end of each month. Soon other "charge cards" (as they were then known) offered the convenience for travelers throughout the United States to pay for hotels, food, and entertainment on credit. In the 1970s the advent of computers and the deregulation of banking created an explosion in credit card use--and consumer debt. With gigantic national banks and computer systems that allowed variable interest rates, consumer screening, mass mailings, and methods to discipline slow payers with penalties and fees, middle-class Americans experienced a sea change in their lives. Given the enormous profits from issuing credit, banks and chain stores used aggressive marketing to reach Americans experiencing such...