Wikinvest Wire

No, not so bright

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is it just me or does anyone else stop and think of the irony when they hear another one of those credit card commercials with the slick glorification of debt and tacit approval of overconsumption during what is one of the worst credit crises in history.

This little gem was transcribed from a Discover Card ad the other day that showed happy consumers and their big screen TVs, designer sunglasses, iPods, and all sorts of other consumer items that are now considered an essential part of modern life.

We are a nation of consumers ... and there's nothing wrong with that.

The trouble is, there's so much cool stuff, that it's easy to get a little carried away.

But what if more credit card companies were like Discover Card?

What if they actually helped us spend smarter?

Maybe then we could have a better quality of life and be in a better financial position while we're living in it.

Discover Card. Brighter.
No, not so bright.

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Dan said...

Wouldn't "Spending Smarter" entail not using credit cards?

Oh Discover, will you cut my available credit if I spend too much and continue to charge me for the "privilege" of carrying your name in my wallet? Thank You Discover card!

Tim said...

You know, I thought this ad was so twisted that I really didn't give sufficient thought to that line about "spending smarter".
But, yes, spending smarter would actually involve spending less and not using credit.

Anonymous said...

I saw this the other night on TV and thought it was sending the wrong messages too. Its so wrong.

Bud said...

It's as if a bunch of ad-men sat around the table with the bank executives and said, "People are starting to get afraid of carrying too much debt. We have to remind them of all cool stuff they can buy so they won't be afraid to keep their balances high and, in a best case scenario, run their balances even higher".

I guess that's what I'd do if I ran a credit card company, but, its disgusting.

Anonymous said...

The business model of all modern banks is to collect interest and fees while sticking someone else (i.e. taxpayers, or currency holders to be more accurate) with the default risk. They can't make money if they do not lend. This will continue to the extent that somebody is willing to assume that risk. Legislation is one way out. Exchanging paper for gold is another. Best not to wait for human nature to prevail.

Anonymous said...

I just received another discover card in the mail yesterday. This one offers five free dollars just to activate and use it. I'm going to do just that. I'm what they call a "deadbeat", I pay my balance monthly, have no mortgage or other debt, and live within my means. Guess what? Five bucks will buy enough beans (dried) and rice for a week. Go ahead and laugh, but I'll be damned if I let a car tell me where to eat a fifty dollar steak.

jp said...

Off topic: I'm sure you already saw this. Can't decide if it's sad or pathetic.

"More than 1,800 people showed up to help ABC's "Extreme Makeover" team demolish a family's decrepit home and replace it with a sparkling, four-bedroom mini-mansion in 2005.

Three years later, the reality TV show's most ambitious project at the time has become the latest victim of the foreclosure crisis."

Anonymous said...

If there is some-one who's financial planning is based on believing a cute blonde raspy/husky voice-over telling them that they are a consumer, and there is nothing wrong with that, and there is a credit card that helps them spend smarter, then they and discover card deserve each other.

Anonymous said...

Creditworthiness is not the key consideration here and Discover are not going to be the ones suffering. For that matter, it's pretty clear this whole country isn't creditworthy. The business is slavery through debt until default ... but the bank always gets to unload the default onto the public. This is an open loop that does not get closed until the currency fails. Sooner the better, imo. Everyone, please speed it up by abusing credit to the fullest extent.

Anonymous said...

I chuckled at the ad as they had just given me a $6,000 credit card with 0% on purchases and 5% rebates on gas purchases and such. I use these cards to earn a nice little carry trade. By the time one expires, another always shows up offering free money. I can only imagine how badly they have to rape someone else to make up for customers like myself.

staghounds said...

They hate me, too. I pay in full on time. Can't find a 5% rebate card though- just a 1%.

I just stopped using my GM credit card, which gave me a 5% rebate good at GM dealers, took $2500 off the price of my new truck and I still have a $4000 balance, if you know anyone who wants a nice discount or lease front end payment.

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