Frontline: Secret History of the Credit Card

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In “Secret History of the Credit Card,” FRONTLINE® and The New York Times join forces to investigate an industry few Americans fully understand. In this one-hour report, correspondent Lowell Bergman uncovers the techniques used by the industry to earn record profits and get consumers to take on more debt.

“The almost magical convenience of plastic money is critical to our famously compulsive consumer economy,” Bergman says. “With more than 641 million credit cards in circulation and accounting for an estimated $1.5 trillion of consumer spending, the U.S. economy has clearly gone plastic.”

Millions of American families use their personal, general-purpose credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover to make ends meet; credit cards have been a discreet lifeline for families in financial straits.

But other consumers, like actor and author Ben Stein, use plastic purely for convenience. While it would appear that Stein — who says he charges a small fortune every month on his credit cards — is the ideal customer, in reality, he is what some in the industry call a “deadbeat.” That’s because he pays his balance in full every month.

The industry’s most profitable customers, the ones being sought by creative marketing tactics, are the “revolvers:” the estimated 115 million Americans who carry monthly credit card debt.
 

Watch The Secret History of the Credit Card on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

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Lugovoy Lie Detector Test: Who Killed Litvinenko?, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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Lugovoy Lie Detector Test: Who Killed Litvinenko?

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The Lugovoy polygraph official documentary. Who killed Litvinenko, was Lugovoy involved? See the lie detector test and decide yourself.

 

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1 comment to Lugovoy Lie Detector Test: Who Killed Litvinenko?

  • uighya

    Conducted by a UK pawn? Hardly objective. About as impartial as the BBC reporting on Jimmy Savile or the MI6 examining war crimes vis a vis the dodgy dossier. Pure crap

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