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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The Secret Government (Full Version), 4.6 out of 5 based on 9 ratings
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The Secret Government (Full Version)

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This aired on PBS in 1987.  Moyers interviews many different people involved with the CIA and other government agencies. His documentary gives quite an overview of what has actually happened in the last 50 years regarding the CIA and the cold war (including Iran, Guatamala, Cuba, Viet Nam and Chile). He features such people as Ralph McGeehee and Phil Retinger (both former CIA agents), Rear Admiral Gene La Rocque (Ret. U.S.N.), Theodore Bissell (active in the CIA at the time), Sen. Frank Church and many others.

 

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The Secret Government (Full Version), 4.6 out of 5 based on 9 ratings

5 comments to The Secret Government (Full Version)

  • And what have you (The People) done for your country for what you learned since?

    It is been 65years of Power, Secret, War, Recession and since then you have been giving birth to a nation called ” Nation Of Sheep”. A nation who happened to be innocent, sweet, kind and extremely Guilible and worst cretins. A nation who has been fiercely lived under scrutiny, being spoiled, burned alive broad day light in their own soil by the very people you cared. And nothing, nothing has been done to wake you and bravely say ” Give me a liberty or Give me a death

    You can’t defend your naive innocent big hearted mindless gullible nation, you are already enmeshed in crystal glass container and you have been watched.Any one who objected the oppression were oppressed, assassinated and forgetten by you (Nation of Sheep)

    I am aging but my will is in the hand of my attorney to disclose my secrets to you, until then I leave you with these comments & prayers ( Halaluya)

    I only pray 4 you to have justice one day, a day you won’t vindicate but to wisely discern who is your friend & who is your enemy. A day you will ban all mindless entertainment,Main stream Media filthy & destructive events, A day every child who born in USA will be educated in the fields of Engineering, Science, Mathematicians, Medical Fields and don’t need to pay. A day every child will honor for their motherland, A day every American will die the dignity of their constitution. A day we all come together with one voice, one flag and one language to say with confident & loudly no more BELLICOSITY

    VIVO USA
    Granny

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  • Howard T. Lewis III

    The ‘fighting communism’ jingoism was enough to fool Ronald Reagan. Reagan loathed George H.W. Bush, and used the ‘fighting communism’ excuse to carry on a massive cocaine importation business that spanned the globe. Bush’s United Fruit ownership utilized the U.S. military to assassinate Central American labor leaders and political figures.Arms manufacturers and participants in the drug trade made millions. Oliver North arranged hits on Americans who turned against the criminal cabal when it was quite active in Florida.

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  • Howard T. Lewis III

    Yay granny!! You tell these sheeple what they need to hear.

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  • .

    movie is unavailable due to copywrong claim

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