Sources for “House of Cards: Gambling with Debt”

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Too many Americans have credit cards: “Credit Cards: Use and Consumer Attitudes, 1970-2000,” Federal Reserve Board.

Cardholders with too many cards: Cardweb.com.

Americans are drowning in credit card debt: Cardweb.com.

54 poorest countries owe less in foreign debt: Jubilee Debt Campaign, United Kingdom.

Credit card companies’ “preferred customer”: Maxed Out, James Scurlock, Scribner.

Americans in debt for more than a year: “Plastic Safety Net,” Demos.

Average U.S. household has a lot of debt: Cardweb.com.

Calculating toward a debt-free life: Bankrate.com

Responsible borrowers: Cardweb.com.

What the industry calls responsible borrowers: Cardtrak.com.

Credit card penalties on the rise: “Credit Cards: Increased Complexity in Rates and Fees Heightens Need for More Effective Disclosures to Consumers,” Government Accountability Office, September 2006.

Best-of-debt marketing: American Express Red; Usher Raymond Debit Card; Hello Kitty Debit Mastercard; Hilary Duff Prepaid Visa; Enlightenment Visa Reward Card; Kiss Platinum Visa Card.

Disposable income spent paying off credit card debt: “Fair Credit Reporting Act: Access, Efficiency & Opportunity, The Economic Importance of Fair Credit Reauthorization,” Information Policy Institute, June 2003.

Americans aren’t saving: “Examining the Billing, Marketing, and Disclosure Practices of the Credit Card Industry, and Their Impact on Consumers,” Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Robert D. Manning, Professor of Consumer Finance, Rochester Institute of Technology, January 25, 2007.

Total credit cards in circulation: “Credit Cards: Increased Complexity in Rates and Fees Heightens Need for More Effective Disclosures to Consumers,” Government Accountability Office, September 2006.

Credit card companies’ direct mail habit: Cardtrak.com.

Signing up a new credit card customer: $58: “Fair Credit Reporting Act: Access, Efficiency & Opportunity: The Economic Importance of Fair Credit Reauthorization,” Information Policy Institute, June 2003.

Madonna’s daughter’s credit card habit: “Tab Fab,” E! Online; Liz Rosenberg, publicist to Madonna, Warner Brothers.

Visa, official currency in the “Game of Life”: Press Release from Hasbro, March 8, 2007.

Quarter pounder with fries? Just charge it: Cardtrak.com.

Low- and middle-income households incur credit card debt for cost of living expenses: “Plastic Safety Net,” Demos.

Blogging about debt: Kiss of Debt, Make Love, Not Debt, Wallowing in Debt, Brokeass Student.

The Supreme Court’s effect on credit card fees and late penalties: Cardweb.com.

Credit card companies clean up with interest and fees: Robert K. Hammer, CEO of R.K. Hammer Investments.

Discover Bank v Owens: Discover Bank v Owens, Cleveland Municipal Court, September 8, 2004.

Bankruptcy filers’ credit card debt = year’s salary: The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke, Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi, Basic Books.

New, tighter bankruptcy laws—courtesy of the industry: NPR’s Fresh Air with Professor Elizabeth Warren of Harvard University Law School, March 27, 2007.

Top 5 credit card companies in 2006: Cardweb.com.

Credit card companies’ gifts to Congress in 2006: Opensecrets.org.

Bankruptcy and medical expenses: “MarketWatch: Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy,” Health Affairs, February 2005.

Military debts for soliders injured and killed in combat: “Hundreds of Battle-Injured GWOT Soldiers Have Struggled to Resolve Military Debts,” Government Accountability Office, April 2006.

Credit cards’ sneakiest tricks: Contract hits: “Fine Print: Growing Profit Source for Banks,” Mitchell Pacelle, Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2004.

Credit cards’ sneakiest tricks: Let’s bounce: “2007 Credit Card Survey,” Consumer Action, May 2007.

Credit cards’ sneakiest tricks: Growing rates: “Credit Cards: Increased Complexity in Rates and Fees Heightens Need for More Effective Disclosures to Consumers,” Government Accountability Office, September 2006.

Credit cards’ sneakiest tricks: Outside interests: “Credit Cards: Increased Complexity in Rates and Fees Heightens Need for More Effective Disclosures to Consumers,” Government Accountability Office, September 2006.

Credit cards’ sneakiest tricks: Double trouble: “Credit Cards: Increased Complexity in Rates and Fees Heightens Need for More Effective Disclosures to Consumers,” Government Accountability Office, September 2006.

Lower rates for soldiers in combat: Military Star Card.

Circle of debt: “Risking Homes to Pay Off Credit Cards,” Center for Responsible Lending.

Troubled teens and debt: WWASP refinancing plan.

Human billboards sell credit cards: Karen Ammond, Publicist for Chris and Luke.

Automobile auto warning for subprime auto loans: Payment Protection Systems.

Sharia-compliant credit cards: “ABC Islamic Bank Launches Islamic Credit Card,” Middle East Company News Wire, September 24, 2002.

Credit card companies follow laws of their own states, not their customers’: Marquette National Bank v First of Omaha Corporation, December 18, 1978.

Former South Dakota governor Bill Janklow on credit cards: “Secret History of the Credit Card,” Frontline, PBS.

Dante on usury: Circle 7, cantos 12-17.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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