Financial Services Report, Summer 2008


Financial Services Report, Summer 2008

In this issue:

Editor’s Note

MoFo Metrics

Ahead of the Summons

Beltway Report

Credit Card Report

Arbitration Report

Mortgage Report

California Report

Firm Offer Update

Preemption Report

Privacy Report

Creditors’ Rights Report

Editor’s Note

Hollywood screenwriters have it easy. Down market has gone mainstream, which means that puberty is once again funny, not to mention dementia and teen pregnancy. But try doing that with the FACT Act. Or RESPA. If the last few issues haven’t been up to snuff, blame the writer’s strike. We have been working on “The Idiot’s Guide to ‘The Idiot.’”

In an incidental, yet parallel, subplot, this is an election year. If you doubt that, search “immigration” in

Thomas’s congressional legislation website and you get 696 hits. “Foreclosure”? Ninety-one hits. “Credit card” yields 24, and “privacy” will get you 204. There are two dozen bills responsive to “mother” but, sad to say, none addressing “apple pie.” Where is the outrage?

The banking regulators in Washington have been lifting weights. Lots of new regs and near regs. The big item

this quarter was the new proposed UDAP regs (see “UDAP, I Dap, We All Dap”). Credit cards are the new black, or at least the new subprime: Racial discrimination in pricing, disclosures, new do’s and a lot of don’ts. We now have a new student loan bill and could have foreclosure legislation in time for the Fourth of July fireworks. In the courts, the Seventh Circuit may have removed the “Firm Offer of Credit” cases from life support. And the Ninth Circuit said that the payment networks and card-issuing banks didn’t violate the antitrust laws in setting interchange fees. All in all, taxpayers got their money’s worth. And then some.

Until next time, let’s make the pie higher, as President Bush would say. To that, we tip our glass—or, do we lift

our hats?—and say: “Ibid.” William L. Stern, Editor

(See full newsletter for more information).

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