Small Talk: A break from the headlines

On the air radio microphone


KAI RYSSDAL: A final note this Friday afternoon. A break from the headlines. A chance to hear, courtesy of Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano, and the Marketplace staff about the news that didn't make it on the radio.

Rico Gagliano:Scott Jagow, Marketplace blogger and host of the "After the Bell" podcast, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Scott Jagow: Well, Wired magazine had a great story that the CIA is sinking millions of dollars into a company that tracks blogs and other social network sites on the Web.

Gagliano: And that's not anything I should be afraid of, right?

Jagow: Well, I don't know. I think they're really trying to target foreign social networks to keep tabs on terrorists.

Gagliano: So the lesson is if you're a terrorist, don't Twitter about it.

Brendan Newnam: Stacey Vanek-Smith, senior reporter at Marketplace, what's your story?

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Bank of America and Citigroup are going to start charging people for being good.

Newnam: It was only a matter of time.

Vanek-Smith: I know. So Bank of America is going to start charging people who pay off their credit card balances every month.

Newnam: What?

Vanek-Smith: I know. And Citigroup are going to start charging people who don't spend enough on their credit cards.

Newnam: And next comes the "helping an old lady across the street" fee and then the "daily breathing" toll.

Vanek-Smith: Yes.

Newnam: And of course, the banks won't be subject to these fees, because they're not in danger of paying back the government on time.

Gagliano: Rod Abid, senior producer of the Marketplace Morning Report, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Rod Abid: Well, I love this. Guy in Massachusetts goes to a Honda dealer, wants to test drive a new Honda. Salesman gets in with him. A thousand miles later, they catch the guy in Wisconsin. He took it on a 1,000 mile test drive.

Gagliano: He just wanted to be sure that the brakes were really reliable.

Abid: Yeah, you have a lot of things to check out. You've got to get the seat just right, you've got the radio.

Abid: Exactly, and if this guy goes back to buy the car, he'll get a discount, because there's 1,000 miles on it.

Ryssdal: That's a quick taste of what Brendan and Rico can do. Their full talents are on display in their podcast. It's called "The Dinner Party Download." And there's a link to it on our Web site. It's Marketplace.org.

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they continue to say it isn't true. I'll cut the card up if they do it. They need me way more than I need them.

Not wanting to have to pay because I pay off my credit card every month, I called B of A and was told they have been getting a lot of calls and it is not true. Spreading rumors about what is currently the scum of the Earth is not a good thing.

I called B of A to ask about this because and they said it's not true. I can't believe they'd do this, it would be hugely stupid. The main reason I use my credit card is for the mileage rewards and I suspect that nearly anyone who pays their balance of every month on a personal credit card would have similar reasons for using their credit card.

I was shocked to hear, in the story "A Break form the News" 10/23, of the intentions of Bank of America and CitiGroup regarding their credit card accounts. Can you post citations for these items here. I googled using key words and couldn't turn up a specific source.



Ha! I couldn't believe it when I heard it so I had to come to the webpage to be sure. BoA and Citibank want to charge me, a responsible credit card holder who pays off her balance every month (as well as a responsible tax-payer who has helped to bail out these banks), as she has done consistently for the last 16 years.

I dare them to try. As soon as I read something official about this in the mail, which the banks must send to me with warning of the fees, you can be sure I will cancel the cards. And I encourage all others who pay off their balances to do the same. Cut the cards right up, and cut off the banks. (I can't imagine anyone in their right mind without a balance would consider otherwise).

What does my resulting action mean for the banks? If enough of us do it, it means the banks have less patrons using credit cards. This leads to less incentive for retailers to offer to take credit or offer it for free.

Can't wait to see the end of credit cards. Most Americans it seems are over-borrowed and without the gumption to manage their personal finances.

I'm tired of banks capitalizing on the ignorance of my fellow citizens!

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