Finance CC - Berkeley CSUA MOTD
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Finance:CC:
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2009/10/29-11/3 [Finance/CC, Finance/Investment] UID:53483 Activity:kinda low
10/29   Hey troll that said that 2 CS profs should make $1M/yr...
        Most CS Profs make around $120K. Now it's your turn to talk about how
        if you're not wasting your money on fancy dinners and investing it all,
        you'd make over $1M on real estate and stock market investments.
        \_ Go back and reread and apologize. 1/4 != 1
           Did you get past fractions?
           PS Our family income is usually less than that and our combined net
              worth is $1M+.
           \_ Your family income is less than $120K and your net worth is
              over $1M? I'd say that's pretty atypical.
              \_ No our family income is less than $1/4M. Usually. We had
                 two great years overall, but great in this case was 300k
                 And yes, my kids will be one of those lucky ones. Bastards.
           \_ "Two college profeesors are either millionaires
              or really bad with their money." Do you include home values and
              retirement funds when calling someone a millionaire?
              \_ Of course, why wouldn't you?
                 "... calling someone a millionaire..." heh
                 \_ I don't call people "millionaires" because it is a stupid
                    \_ Spoken like a true Trustafarian. Ever worked an honest
                       day in your entire life? I am always amused when rich
                       people attempt to deny that they lead lives of
                       privilege. Be proud of your lucky sperm!
                       \_ I work with a woman who is married to an older
                          man. They make maybe $300K/year between them.
                          He bought his house around 1980 and it is now
                          paid for. It's in a marginal area, but it is worth
                          about $1M because of all the upgrades they have
                          done to it. They live a frugal lifestyle with
                          only a few extravagances. They just bought their
                          first new car ever 3 years ago after sharing
                          a clunker that broke down all the time for a
                          decade. They still only have one car (a Nissan)
                          between them so they have to carpool. What
                          cracks me up is when they talk about 'the rich
                          people' moving into their neighborhood as in
                          'the rich people who moved in next door have a
                          Corvette'. They have no debt, a paid for house,
                          and a high income. I keep telling them: "You
                          guys *ARE* the rich people" and they don't see
                          it that way. It drives me nuts.
                          \_ You have pretty much described my wife. We
                             have $100k in savings, $200k in bonds, $300k
                             in our retirement accounts and a $1M house that
                             is about halfway paid off and she still insists
                             on clipping coupons and taking the bus. It kind
                             of cracks me up.
                             \_ listen to your wife, and stay together.
                                my mother is someone who pays credit card
                                with another credit card. i think she is
                                as typical of an American as it gets, and
                                that's just pathetic.
                                \_ Yeah, I would rather have a thrifty wife
                                   than the other kind as I am pretty thrifty
                                   myself, but it occasionally is annoying.
                                   \_ how is it annoying than spending like
                                      a typical white woman?
                                      \_ I don't understand your question.
                                         Can you reword it please?
                                         \_ You suck, FIE DOLLAH!
                                      \_ I don't know about him, but for
                                         me it's annoying when, say, my
                                         coworker has to ask for a ride
                                         because her husband has the car
                                         or it's in the shop. Get a freaking
                                         1992 Corolla to have as a second car
                                         already. Thriftiness is good, but
                                         there's a point where it impacts
                                         your life unnecessarily. That's
                                         when it turns stupid. I don't
                                         want to be one of those old men
                                         who rummages through trash cans and
                                         wears the same pair of pants every
                                         day even though he has $10M in
                                         the bank. You can be too cheap.
                                         \_ Maintaining two cars is
                                            wasteful; asking for a ride
                                            in those cases where one is
                                            needed is simply allocating
                                            resources more efficiently.  -tom
                                            \_ No, what it is is cheap. No
                                               one said to buy a brand new
                                               SUV, but with that kind of money
                                               it's ridiculous to drive around
                                               in an old broken down car for a
                                               decade that you share with
                                               your husband. It was so bad
                                               that they were afraid to drive
                                               far from home for fear of
                                               breaking down. That impacted
                                               their lifestyle in favor of
                                               saving a few bucks. There
                                               are a lot of things we do
                                               that are wasteful. I'm sure
                                               I can identify plenty of
                                               waste in your life if given
                                               the chance. Life is not
                                               about allocating resources
                                               efficiently. That's death,
                                               which is very efficient.
                                               \_ Life is certainly not about
                                                  collecting as much stuff as
                                                  you can, either, and it's
                                                  not about having all the
                                                  stuff you could ever need
                                                  to remain independent in
                                                  all situations.  You know,
                                                  some people would rather
                                                  occasionally ask for a ride
                                                  than to have the hassle
                                                  and expense of owning a
                                                  car they don't really need.
                                                  \_ why can't you all just agree
                                                     that earth is overpopulated
                                                     and that your deaths would
                                                     all contribute to a better
                                                     well beings of everyone
                                                     else? DIE MOTHER FUCKERS!
                                         \_ The most recent hilarity is when
                                            we took a flight to LA and my wife
                                            refused to take a $5 cab fare to
                                            BART and insisted on Muni, which of
                                            course did not arrive. So we carried
                                            four bags, a stroller and two kids
                                            a mile to the BART station. Stuff
                                            like that. Of course, we are too
                                            cheap to own a car.
                \_ Sometimes it is limited to liquid assets. That is the
                   definition that, say, many banks use to identify high
                   net worth individuals. "Total assets excluding primary
                   residence" is another, which allows illiquid assets
                   but discounts your home.
                   \_ Yeah banks are only interested in identifying potential
                      customers, so they only want to know how much they can
                      get fees from.
              \_ "millionaire" describes one's net worth, not one's annual
                 earned income.  -- !PP
        \_ Partha Banjeree doesn't show up on this list. I guess LBL is part
           of DoE and not UC.
           \_ psb's salary is classified information
              \_ The fact that psb's salary is classified is classified.
2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2009/9/17-24 [Finance/CC] UID:53375 Activity:nil
9/17    Has anyone done shopping card and integration with PayPal
        Credit Card processing, Yahoo Store Credit processing, or
        Google Checkout? What are you thoughts and/or recommendations?
2009/8/3-11 [Finance/CC, Academia/GradSchool] UID:53233 Activity:low
8/1 "Quarterlife Crisis"
        Too many options == no goals in life.
        \_ Really good read.  Enjoyed this article a lot, though it also was
           fairly depressing.  It seems like there is quite a bit of freedom
           for young people, but all that means is they have anxiety about
           making the wrong choices. -mrauser
           \_ Thanks, am trying to kick up the motd a bit.
        \_ If it wasn't for that last sentence I would call this a bunch of
           self-indulgent drivel. Poor bastards, they are too privileged
           and are suffering for it.
2008/11/24-12/1 [Finance/Banking, Finance/CC, Finance/Investment] UID:52089 Activity:nil
        \_ bahahahaha most hilarious
        \_ Whatever happened to all the FREE MARKET IS BETTER vote
           for GWB drones on motd?
2008/10/14-17 [Finance/CC] UID:51519 Activity:nil
10/14   Credit card questions:
        1) how long do credit card info stay on your credit report?
           I just saw my cred report for the first time and was pissed
           to see certain things over 10 years ago!!!
           \_ Positive ratings can stay on indefinitely. Was it a positive or
              negative thing? I think negative things have to come off after
              seven years.
        2) I just tried to cancel a bunch of cards (and I have perfect
           record with them) and they gave me a hard time saying that
           I don't want to cancel my card because I've had over 13 years
           with them and that doing so will hurt my credit, therefore,
           I should keep them. WTF? Is that really true even though you
           have a card that you never intend to use?
           \_ Yes.  Your score includes the age of your oldest account,
              and the average age of your accounts.
           \_ Keep the one that has the longest credit record. Total credit
              history is important. For some reason my student loan fell off my
              credit history and my credit score dropped (not much, like 10
              points, but still it was annoying)
           \_ Get your credit limit set to as low as you can and
              then cut up the card.  Your history
              will remain.
2008/10/9 [Finance/CC] UID:51444 Activity:high
10/9    "NYC National Debt Clock runs out of digits"
        Is it even possible to pay off the national debt, both in theory and in
        \_ If we conquer the country we borrow from, we'd have 0 debt.
           \_ we would be unable to fight chinese HUMAN WAVE attack re:
              Korean War.
              \_ Well... technology has improved a lot since the Korean war.
                 The Chinese would do the wave attack at night in Korea
                 because it was difficult to use area attacks like naplam at
                 night then.  This isn't a problem now.  On the other hand,
                 China has better was to tattack now as well.
                 China has better ways to attack now as well.
                 \_ But scary Chinamen already infiltrated United States!
                    Just look at the recent case of Wen Hao(sp)
                    \_ I think they have secretly infiltrated the Federal
                    \_ I thought you were going to say William Hung.
        \_ not sure.  McCain increasing spending and cutting taxes probably
           won't cut it down much.  Why does he keep complaining about
           earmarks, it's like .05 percent of the total budget.  He just
           mentioned the bridge to nowhere again!
           \_ Same reason pol's like to talk about bank CEOs getting millions
              during the crisis.
        \_ I don't see why not, it is still only $30k/person. I think the
           average American consumer has that much credit card debt at this
           point. The real way we will pay it down is to grow the economy so
           that the debt is a smaller piece of it.
                \_ Why does having credit card debt it easier to pay off the
                   national debt?
                   \_ Do you think people are going to pay off their credit
                      card debt?
2008/8/31-9/3 [Finance/CC] UID:51011 Activity:nil
8/31    Credit Card Companies Kill Mythbusters episode on how easy it is to
        hack an RFID-enabled credit card
2008/8/12-18 [Finance/CC, Finance/Investment] UID:50852 Activity:high
8/11    Our Phony Economy
        \_ This is an outstanding article.  My hope for Obama is that
           he could become the first serious politician on either side
           of the aisle to challenge the assumption that GDP growth shoulds
           of the aisle to challenge the assumption that GDP growth should
           be our primary metric of success.  -tom
           \_ Success is how many countries we can free from TYRANTS
              and AXIS OF EVIL in this world.
           \_ Given the success of a $ measurement of "the economy", perhaps
              the fix is to provide $ values for the things that have been
              left out?  Estimates of the value of "health", "environment"
              and "resources"?
           \_ This article doesn't mention any concepts not taught in Econ 1.
              Every economist knows these things. I'm not sure what's so
              great about the article or how it really addresses what's
              wrong with measuring the growth of the economy via GDP. An
              $800 pair of shoes *does* contribute 40x more to the economy
              than a $20 pair of shoes.
              \_ Proving you don't know what you are talking about.  If I buy
                 an 800 dollar pair of shoes and wear them once or twice
                 less is added to the economy then if 40 people buy 20 dollar
                 shoes and use them to be more productive as people with shoes
                 can contribute more to the economy than people without shoes,
                 they can walk longer distances, are less likely to hurt
                 themselves, etc etc.  Big luxury items don't create as much
                 wealth as a simaler level of basic needs.  That's not to say
                 they don't contribute ANYTHING.
                 \_ You have it BACKWARDS. It's called Demand and
                    Supply (or it should have been). How are you going
                    to make those other people buy the 40 pairs of
                    shoes because you've given up the $800 pair?
                    People make their own decisions about what to buy,
                    which leads to demand, which is fulfilled by
                    supply.  Now if you think 40 x $20 shoes >> $800,
                    then you let us know when you come up with a new
                    mathematical model that is internally consistent,
                    which somehow awards bonus dollars for having been
                    bought by the noble and now magically more
                    productive.  Also, do you think people buy a $20
                    pair of shoes and then say, oh, I can be so much
                    more productive now. No, poor people without shoes
                    with an entrepreneurial bent decide to take a
                    chance and make some money, then realize they can
                    be more productive with shoes, and so buy a
                    pair. The whole theory is backwards.
                    \_ Why are you assuming people are attacking capatalism?
                       Noone is trying to say people shouldn't buy luxuries.
                       People are saying when the economy becomes too geared
                       towards buying and selling luxuries that do not
                       generate work in and of themselves that an economy
                       suffers, even if the GDP is still going up.
                       \_ This doesn't make sense. Nothing generates work in
                          and of themselves. "Real GDP" going up means there
                          is more overall value in the country, regardless of
                          what it was. The market is better at deciding value
                          than you are. A real problem that is mentioned in
                          the article is when "commons" damage is not accounted
                          \_ Please provide some proof that the market is
                             "better at deciding value than you are."  That's
                             merely an assertion.  -tom
                             \_ America = free market, the strongest nation
                                in the world. You're an idiot. Go back to
                                \_ America = democracy, the largst government
                                   in the world, therefore the most central
                                   control of spending.  I see you are totally
                                   incapable of arguing your point.  -tom
                             \_ Well, is it just a coincidence that market-
                                based economies outperform planned economies?
                                Were those planned economies just unfortunately
                                saddled with the wrong planners?
                                But let me put it another way: it's not so
                                important that the market is better at it.
                                It's that *I* am better at deciding what's
                                valuable *to me* than you are. And when we
                                all do that it's called a market.
                                \_ Is Bernake a market planner?  There
                                   are aspects of planning in all
                                   Western countries, and aspects of
                                   market economies in Cuba and China.
                                   Are we outperforming China right
                                   now?  By what metric?  It has already
                                   \_ China mysteriously has been doing
                                      *far* better since they reformed their
                                      system to incorporate market principles
                                      beginning in 1978.
                                      Chinese people are the biggest fans of
                                      the free market in the world.
                                   been proven that groups of individuals
                                   making "rational" decisions for them as
                                   individuals can produce negative results
                                   for the entire system.  And the use of
                                   GDP as a proxy for success has problems
                                   well beyond the problems of the commons
                                   or of incomplete information; the use of
                                   GDP as a proxy for success places a value
                                   judgement on monetary transactions--
                                   monetary transactions are inherently
                                   more valuable than non-monetary
                                   transactions.  Buying food is valued more
                                   highly than growing your own.  Paying
                                   $1000 for a cat is valued more highly
                                   than adopting a stray.  It is clear that
                                   dialog and politics in the US are
                                   beholden to these values, but it is not
                                   at all clear that they produce good results
                                   for the society.  -tom
                                   \_ If you have $1000 and you adopt a
                                      stray cat then you have $1000 to
                                      spend on something else. The $1000
                                      doesn't go away unless you stuff it
                                      in your mattress.
                               \_ All economies are planned, to a certain
                                  extent. The best performing economies over
                                  the long run are mixed economies, apparently
                                  ones with a bit more central planning than
                                  in the US. See Sweden vs. US long term median
                                  per capita salary growth. Even in per capita
                                  GDP they pretty much equal us, with a more
                                  evenly distributed income structure and
                                  less income volatility.
                                  \_ Sweden and the US still have roughly
                                     similar economic structures: market
                                     based democracy plus socialist programs.
                                     Sweden and the US have too many other
                                     differences... the US gets huge numbers
                                     of poor immigrants.
                                     \_ I don't really disagree, but then again
                                        the Democrats and Republicans don't
                                        really disagree either. What's 30% vs.
                                        40% state control of the economy?
                                        Mostly, a tempest in a teapot, but
                                        listening to FOX NEWS, you would think
                                        it was the difference between liberty
                                        and slavery.
                 \_ Who says what's more productive? That's USSR mentality.
                    If someone wants $800 shoes, why not? The money doesn't
                    disappear: the shoe makers profit and buy stuff from
                    others etc. and people are happier. That guy had to first
                    come up with the $800 somewhere too, probably doing
                    something productive somewhere in that chain.
                    \_ Do you have a problem with reading comprehension?
                       Noone said you shouldn't be able to buy 800 dollar
                       shoes.  But 800 dollar shoes do not help the economy
                       as much as 40 $20 shoes, assuming 40 $20 shoes are used
                       in the manner most people use them.  Just like buying
                       a 500k supercar doesn't help as much 30 people buying
                       middle of the road vehicles that let them be more
                       productive.  If you don't understand that you have
                       no bussiness saying the article writer doesn't know
                       what they are talking about.
                    \_ Can you prove that people are happier because they have
                       $800 shoes?  Because all the attempts to measure how
                       happy people are have found little or no correlation
                       between the number of luxury items someone has and
                       their level of happiness.  America has gotten
                       ridiculously wealthy in the past 60 years and has
                       not gotten any happier.  I think discussing what is
                       or isn't more "productive" is totally missing the point;
                       the purpose of our country isn't to produce as much
                       as it possibly can, the purpose is to promote the
                       general welfare of the people.  The assumption built
                       into much of our discussion is that growing the GDP is
                       equivalent to promoting the general welfare, but there
                       is really no evidence that the two are equivalent or
                       even correlated.  -tom
                       \_ Says Comrade Tom
                          \_ You have no substance.  -tom
                                            ,. ^_^ .,  <-------- tom
                                         _ .'         '. _
                                        /\)             (/\
                                       / /               \ \
                                      ( Y)               (Y )
                       \_ The point is people buy what they want. Whether they
                          are happy or not is beside the point. It might be
                          found that slaves were happier as slaves than free
                          \_ Actually, whether we are happy is exactly the
                             point.  Would you prefer a large and growing
                             economy where everyone is unhappy, or a static
                             economy where everyone is happy?  Getting rid
                             of weekends would do a great job of growing
                             the economy, but it would not be of societal
                             benefit.  The point is that growth of the
                             economy is not equivalent to improvement of the
                             country.  -tom
                             \_ Getting rid of weekends would be a planned
                                totalitarian move, not a market action.
                                Would it really grow the economy, I'm not
                                so sure... people need days off for errands,
                                shopping, and recreation which generates a lot
                                of GDP.
                                Of course it's better if we're happy.  Maybe
                                we should put antidepressant drugs in municipal
                                water supplies?
                                You can't make everyone happy though.  Which
                                country is so ideal in this regard?
                                This country has a highly stressed cultural
                                fabric.  We have many different races and
                                cultures which contributes to isolation and
                                lack of unity.  This is just the nature of
                                our nation and has little to do with markets.
                                Anyway, people seem pretty happy to me.
                                \_ You know that the "free market" didn't
                                   invent the weekend, right?  -tom
                  \_ Huh? That $800 already exists in the pocket of someone.
                     Whichever way they spend it is going to put $800 in
                     the pocket of the shoe company (for sake of argument
                     let's say the same company makes $800 snakeskin boots
                     and $20 rubber shoes) which will be used to pay wages and
                     investors who will then spend the money as they see fit.
                     It doesn't really matter what they buy with that $800 as
                     long as they spend it instead of saving it. In fact, since
                     luxury items have a higher markup you might argue that
                     luxury items have an environmental benefit because it's
                     less harm to the environment to make one pair of snakeskin
                     boots versus 40 pairs of rubber shoes. Same with your
                     car example. One supercar is better for the environment.
                     \_ Wealthy people spend money on vehicles that pollute
                        more. Look at Larry and Sergey. They got 2 Prii
                        but decided to get a modified 757 instead of
                        LearJet/CitationX which are more efficient. Also
                        jets carrying 2-4 people have horrible mileage
                        compared to automobiles, yet, they choose to fly
                        frequently. $$$ = more usage = more waste =
                        more pollution.
                        \_ side note: it is fucking stupid to pluralize
                           "prius" as "prii".  -tom
                           \_ Priusen
                     \_ But shoes have value.  If you take a man with no
                        shoes and give him a pair of cheap shoes he is better
                        equiped to create wealth.  Probably more wealth than
                        those shoes cost in the first place.  Luxury goods,
                        on the other hand, don't add as much beyond their
                        purchase price.  You know the whole concept that money
                        makes money?  It's not as productive if all that money
                        is being spent on is luxuries.
                     That millionaire is going to spend his $$$ on something
                     and 30 middle-of-the-road vehicle is not as efficient.
                     He's not going to give the $500K to someone else, which is
                     an assumption you seem to make. However, the $500K ends up
                     in the economy in either case where it gets spent on
                     other goods and services, perhaps on middle-of-the-road
                     vehicles purchased by the people who made the supercar.
                        \_ Sure it is, because it ends up in the same place
                           either way - in the pockets of the people who made
                           the goods. How does a millionaire buying 40
                           pairs of $20 shoes contribute more to the
                           economy than the same millionaire buying one
                           pair of $800 shoes? It doesn't.
                           \_ Generally utilitarian items are used more
                              productivly than luxuries.  Are you really this
                              stupid?  Items used friviously have less
                              benefit to an economy than items used
                              productivly.  Expensive luxuries are much more
                              likely to be used friviously.  And that's a
                              problem in economies where the wealth is
                              concentrated among a small portion.  Yes,
                              they will spend money.  Yes that money will
                              go to people who spend money.  But most of
                              the money stays in the small percentage it
                              will be spent on luxuries it won't be as
                              beneficial to the economy as a whole creating
                              less wealth than if the money was being spent
                              \_ Virtually all shoes are luxuries. You can
                                 buy sturdy utilitarian shoes for $10 on
                                 sale or $20 new. People choose fashionable
                                 ones as luxuries. Luxuries make people's
                                 lives happier. This is good: we're not
                                 all working for the glory of the fatherland.
                                 Demand for luxuries creates demand for
                                 productive stuff to make those luxuries and
                                 people jobs.  We're far past the point of
                                 struggling for really basic stuff like
                                 a pair of shoes (most of us anyway). It's
                                 all about improving quality of life now.
                                 Wealth concentration is a separate issue
                                 from whether GDP growth in luxuries is
                                 somehow bad for the economy.
                                 Trade imbalances are bad, wealth
                                 concentration is bad. Economic activity good.
                                 \_ You have a hard time with reading
                                        \_ No, this person is apparently
                                           just missing the point..
                                           Hey you!  Another, hopefully clearer,
                                           analogy:  is $10k of medicine which
                                           keeps a scientist alive, who makes
                                           a key breakthrough that makes
                                           cars 10% more efficient MORE or LESS
                                           "economically beneficial" than some
                                           rich doofus spending $10k on designer
                                           toilet paper?  Which is the better
                                           Hey you!  Another, hopefully
                                           clearer, analogy:  is $10k of
                                           medicine which keeps a scientist
                                           alive, who makes a key breakthrough
                                           that makes cars 10% more efficient
                                           MORE or LESS "economically
                                           beneficial" than some rich doofus
                                           spending $10k on designer toilet
                                           paper?  Which is the better
                                           allocation of the $10k resource?
                                           Which benefits society in general
                                           more?  Which individual is "happier"?
                                           YES, the $10k is given to someone
                                           either way, and is "recycled", but
                                           the HUMAN EFFORT required to earn
                                           the $10k is WASTED in one case and
                                           BENEFITS SOCIETY in the other.
                                           more?  Which individual is
                                           "happier"? YES, the $10k is given
                                           to someone either way, and is
                                           "recycled", but the HUMAN EFFORT
                                           required to earn the $10k is WASTED
                                           in one case and BENEFITS SOCIETY in
                                           the other.
                                           \_ This is fallacious. The $10k is
                                              not either spent on saving a
                                              scientist or someone's luxury.
                                              There are enough resources for
                                              both things to happen. You also
                                              \_ But there are not resources
                                                 enough for EVERYTHING to
                                                 happen.  The key point is
                                                 to maximize benefit of
                                                 resources expended.  $10k
                                                 designer toilet paper is
                                                 of less benefit than $10k
                                                 of beneficial preventative
                                                 immunizations, since you
                                                 apparently don't like
                                                 scientists.  Same with
                                                 $800 pair of luxury shoes
                                                 vs. 40 pair of $20 utility
                                                 shoes.  The market sometimes
                                                 does a very poor job of
                                                 maximizing benefit.
                                                 \_ The market does a better
                                                    job than any other method
                                                    can. It's not 100%
                                                    efficient, but as close to
                                                    it as one can get.
                                                    \_ Maybe, or maybe not,
                                                       but GDB does not measure
                                                       many economic goods with
                                                       value, as this article
                                                       points out.  It is broken.
                                                       points out.  It is
                                                    \_ Your theory says this.
                                                       But the reality is that
                                                       the market is better at
                                                       optimizing distribution
                                                       of some resources and
                                                       that community decision
                                                       making (democracy) is
                                                       better in other cases.
                                              don't know ahead of time whether
                                              medical spending will keep
                                              someone alive or that someone
                                              will do something good. Maybe
                                              scientist will actually go nuts
                                              and SHOOT everyone in his lab
                                              thereby HARMING SOCIETY. And at
                                              the end of the day, what do we
                                              get out of the efficient cars?
                                              Cars are luxuries too. They are
                                              mostly conveniences for people.
                                              Aren't we all supposed to move
                                              to the city and use mass transit?
                                              \_ Look, you don't know what you
                                                 talking about and you are
                                                 either trolling or stupid.
                                                 You also seem to think that
                                                 our point is that everyone
                                                 should live in a communist
                                                 society with no luxuries.
                                                 That's not what anyone is
                                                 saying.  So take off your
                                                 blinders and read the whole
                                                 thread again or just please
                                                \_ Here we go with ad hominem
                                                   SPLUTTERING. Nice job,
                                                   Your argument is totally
                                                   disingenuous. What you're
                                                   really getting at is wealth
                                                   equalization, and hinting
                                                   at some sort of eugenics-
                                                   based resource allocation.
                                                   The guy buying ridiculous
                                                   luxuries is doing that
                                                   because he's an EVIL RICH
                                                   \_ How did you ever pass
                                                      the reading comprehension
                                                      CAT tests?
                                    \_ Maybe you just don't get it.
                                       What is the point of all the "productive
                                       spending"? what is it all for? at the
                                       top of the food chain is luxury.
                                       You don't even make sense. "most of the
                                       money stays in the small percentage it
                                       will be spent on luxuries" What? speak
        \_ 30-40% of growth in healthcare doesn't have to mean we're getting
           more sick. It may mean we're just more and more focused on being
           \_ Or getting ripped off more and more by the insurance companies.
           \_ And this is the point of the article: GDP, by itself, with no
              analysis of where the money is going, is not itself an indicator
              of efficiency or success. A more meaningful figure would include
              an analysis of American health, and corruption and inefficiency
              in the healthcare industry.
              \_ That's a straw man argument. No one claimed GDP growth
                 measures efficiency, quality of life, or "success" (whatever
                 that means). However, a larger GDP almost by definition
                 means a larger economy and a larger economy means, again
                 almost by definition, more goods and services produced.
                 Think of it as "economic capacity" or "economic capability".
                 A larger GDP nation can outproduce a smaller one, whether
                 all those goods and services go to one individual
                 (dictatorship), everyone (communism), or are distributed
                 by the free market (capitalism).
                 \_ Read the article. The author argues that when the govt.
                    says that the economy is strong based solely on GDP, that
                    is a meaningless simplification. Yes, a _significantly_
                    higher GDP demonstrates the difference between a
                    modern industrialized nation and a third-world developing
                    nation. However, if the President says the economy is
                    strong because GDP has increased half a percent, what does
                    that mean? Does it mean people paid more money for the
                    same amount of gas (money that goes directly into the
                    pockets of the House of Saud)? Does it mean more people
                    are eating out? Does it mean that it was hotter this
                    summer so ice cream sales are on the rise? It might mean
                    any of the above or none at all. At small levels of
                    difference, it's a meaningless stat.
                    \_ But it's a straw man argument, because no one is
                       saying that GDP by itself is so incredibly meaningful.
                       This is mentioned in Econ 1, as are externalities.
                       Real GDP versus nominal GDP are also basic concepts.
                       So this genius author points out something every Econ 1
                       student learns - that there are limitations and
                       caveats when measuring economic output and that GDP
                       (even Real GDP) alone doesn't tell the whole story. BFD.
                       Even the Wikipedia article on GDP talks about its
                       limitations. There was nothing interesting or novel
                       in that article.
                       \_ Sweet mother of god, this guy is not talking about
                          people who've taken Econ 101, he's talking about
                          politicians who wave around a 1-point increase in
                          GDP as if it's the holy fucking grail.
                          \_ So you're damning a statistic and centuries of
                             economics on measuring econ output because Bush
                             and other policticians are abusing the term?
                             and other politicians are abusing the term?
                             \_ Did you read the article?
                                \_ I don't know if he did, but I did and
                                   it was full of crap like (coming full
                                   circle) the specious argument about $800
                                   shoes somehow contributing less than
                                   40 pairs of $20 shoes. He worries that
                                   "[t]he money in the big pot could be going
                                   to cancer treatments or casinos, violent
                                   video games or usurious credit-card rates."
                                   Yes, it could. So what? It's still economic
                                   output. Somehow "violent video games" are a
                                   lesser form of economic output or something?
                                   It sounds like he wants to characterize
                                   what is "good spending" and what is
                                   not. In fact, he goes so far as to say
                                   that people are not rational with their
                                   expenditures. Presumably they would be
                                   a lot happier if he made their expenditures
                                   for them? He speculates that marriage is a
                                   threat to GDP because there's no divorce
                                   spending? Is he on crack? The money that
                                   isn't spent on divorce will be spent on
                                   something else (or invested). It doesn't
                                   disappear and will be reflected in the
                                   GDP either way as the person who receives it
                                   will then make his own economic decisions.
                                   Economics is not about value judgements.
                                   His article boils down to: "People
                                   don't spend their money the way I think
                                   they should." No wonder Tom likes it.
                                   \_ His point was that touting an increase in
                                      the GDP as some sort of indicator of
                                      the health of the nation is overly
                                      simplistic and meaningless. We're
                                      measuring throughput while ignoring
                                      destination. We don't know if the end
                                      result is investment in our own
                                      economy (yay!) or pools full of diamonds
                                      in Riyadh (boo). He's saying that we
                                      \_ GDP includes an exports minus imports
                                         in the equation. Consumption isn't a
                                         one way street. To pay for diamonds in
                                         Riyadh requires spending money.
                                      need to assess more than just the amount
                                      of money that trades hands. That's not
                                      the same as a "planned economy" a la
                                      Stalin or Mao; it's arming the consumer
                                      with tools for making more informed
                                      choices. His point about divorce was an
                                      obvious exaggeration designed to show
                                      that an activity which increases money
                                      flowing from one set of hands to another
                                      is not necessarily an indicator of a
                                      a healthy economy; it's an indicator of
                                      nothing more than money moving. I don't
                                      see where you see this ominous shadow
                                      of socialism that seems to have you in
                                      a tizzy. I don't see anything anti-
                                      capitalism in wanting to know where the
                                      money's flowing; if anything, I think
                                      it's the basis for the purest capitalism.
                                      \_ Nothing wrong with knowing where
                                         the money is flowing, but what does it
                                         matter? His undertone is that it's not
                                         necessarily flowing where it should
                                         be. He can't make that call. Divorces
                                         make plenty of people happy. Recall
                                         the days before they were common.
                                         I can sell you a service and then you
                                         can sell me one back. It's not
                                         "nothing more than money moving". Two
                                         services were performed.
                                         \_ Do you think that having two
                                            parents working and paying a
                                            nanny to raise the kids is
                                            inherently better for the
                                            country than having one parent
                                            stay home?  -tom
                                            \_ No idea and, unlike you, I don't
                                               profess to know.  However, if
                                               parents are doing it then they
                                               must feel it benefits them and
                                               their family.
                                               \_ The problem is, because we
                                                  are measuring our success
                                                  by GDP, we create political,
                                                  economic, and social
                                                  incentives to make the
                                                  choice to outsource
                                                  parenting.  Prior to Keynes,
                                                  families with two working
                                                  parents were virtually
                                                  unheard of; now they are the
                                                  common case.  It's
                                                  fallacious to consider this
                                                  the result of the free
                                                  market, except insofar as
                                                  free market ideology values
                                                  monetary transactions and
                                                  thus encourages them.  You
                                                  get what you measure.  -tom
                                                 \_ Uh, that's not due to
                                                    measuring GDP. Those
                                                    incentives exist anyway.
                                                    Prior to Keynes women
                                                    couldn't even vote in
                                                    general and their
                                                    economic opportunities
                                                    were culturally limited.
                                                    How do you propose to
                                                    "get the women back in
                                                    the kitchen"?
                                                    \_ Look, it's simple;
                                                       the metric you use to
                                                       measure success has
                                                       effects on behavior.
                                                       This is self-evident.
                                                       The primary measure we
                                                       have used to measure
                                                       success of the country
                                                       in the past 60 years
                                                       has been GDP.  It is
                                                       not at all coincidental
                                                       that the society we
                                                       have built in that time
                                                       values consumption,
                                                       planned osbolescence,
                                                       and outsourcing.  Those
                                                       are predictable effects
                                                       of using GDP to measure
                                                       success.  The point is,
                                                       no one ever bothered to
                                                       prove that we'd be
                                                       better off with GDP
                                                       as our primary success
                                                       metric.  And it's not
                                                       clear that we are.  -tom
                                                       \_ Dude, you are way out
                                                          on a wobbly limb here.
                                                          The BEA uses GDP as
                                                          a measurement of
                                                          economic strength.
                                                          You'll have a hard
                                                          time proving that
                                                          individual purchasing
                                                          and business
                                                          decisions are
                                                          somehow tied to that
                                                          measuring stick.
                                                          Consumers and
                                                          corporations aren't
                                                          making decisions
                                                          based on how they
                                                          affect GDP. GDP
                                                          reflects the
                                                          decisions. It doesn't
                                                          drive them.
                                                          \_ The incentives
                                                             our society puts
                                                             in place are based
                                                             on how they affect
                                                             GDP.  Individual
                                                             decisions are
                                                             skewed based on
                                                             those incentives.
                                                             \_ I assume you are
                                                                referring to
                                                                interest rates
                                                                when you say
                                                                I think your
                                                                position is
                                                                Rates are
                                                                by a lot more
                                                                than just GDP
                                                                and it's not
                                                                clear to what
                                                                extent monetary
                                                                policy affects
                                                                the economy.
                                                                (See Japan's 0%
                                                                rates and yet
                                                                You are
                                        Why would you assume I'm
                                        referring to interest rates?
                                        I'm referring to an enormous
                                        number of decisions around
                                        taxation, subsidy, and policy.
                                        For example, farm subsidies
                                        for factory farms.  "Get big
                                        or get out."  Subsidy for the
                                        road system, while passenger
                                        rail is starved.  Oil
                                        subsidies.  The military-
                                        industrial complex.  Allowing
                                        obnoxious advertising
                                        virtually everywhere.  Christ,
                                        the week after 9/11 there were
                                        press conferences that weren't
                                        about terrorism or security,
                                        they were about "America: Open
                                        For Business!"  All these
                                        things are in support of the
                                        idea that more consumption is
                                        better.  You can't go through
                                        an election cycle without
                                        hearing virtually every
                                        politician talk about "growing
                                        the economy" and "creating
                                        jobs"; no one even suggests
                                        that growing the economy might
                                        not be the right goal.  -tom
                                       \_ Please provide proof that any of
                                          these are tied to a large extent to
                                          the way that GDP is measured. I
                                           mean, seriously, how does the
                                           way GDP is measured lead to the
                                           decision (if it's even true,
                                           which is its own argument) to
                                           subsidize roads versus rail?
                                           How would you change the way
                                           GDP is measured in order to get
                                           the "correct" result?
                                          mean, seriously, how does the way
                                          GDP is measured lead to the decision
                                          (if it's even true, which is its own
                                          discussion) to subsidize roads
                                          versus rail? How would you change
                                          the way GDP is measured in order to
                                          get  the "correct" result?
                                          \_ hi dim!
                                          \_ I'm not talking about changing the
                                             way GDP is measured, I'm talking
                                             about changing the way *success*
                                             is measured.  Success is measured
                                             in the US by GDP growth, therefore
                                             politicians make decisions which
                                             encourage GDP growth.  An
                                             auto-based culture has many more
                                             transactions than a transit-based
                                             culture; its inefficiency
                                             "creates jobs" and therefore is
                                             good if you're measuring success
                                             by GDP.   -tom
                                             good if y
                                             good if you measure success by
                                             GDP.  -tom
                                             \_ What you are missing, just like
                                                before, is that *if* a
                                                mass-transit-based culture has
                                                fewer transactions and/or
                                                smaller transactions (not
                                                necessarily true) then that
                                                leaves more resources to
                                                spend on other projects,
                                                which makes the GDP pretty
                                                much unchanged as compared
                                                to auto-based. These are not
                                                decisions that affect the size
                                                of GDP. These are distribution
                                                decisions: how do we spend the
                                                GDP that we are capable of
                                                \_ What *you* are missing is
                                                   that GDP is the result of
                                                   labor, and that the US
                                                   systematically encourages
                                                   choices which result in
                                                   increased labor.  For
                                                   example, if someone stays
                                                   home with the kids, that
                                                   family will have less
                                                   income and spend less money.
                                                   If someone decides to take
                                                   a lower-paying job so he
                                                   doesn't have to commute
                                                   an hour each way, the family
                                                   will have less income.
                                                   If someone decides to work
                                                   a part-time job because he
                                                   really enjoys working in
                                                   the garden, and is able
                                                   to provide a good percentage
                                                   of the food the family
                                                   consumes, the family will
                                                   have less income.  In all
                                                   these scenarios, the family
                                                   spends less and thus
                                                   contributes less to GDP.
                                                   It's not a zero-sum game.
                                                   Why should Americans work
                                                   more hours and have less
                                                   vacation than Europeans?
                                                   Shouldn't our excees
                                                   capacity be used at least
                                                   partly to give people more
                                                   leisure time?  -tom
                                                   \_ That's not some official
                                                      policy. That's just
                                                      economics. Yes, choosing
                                                      to work less results in
                                                      less output. If you work
                                                      a good job you can afford
                                                      to have lots of free time
                                                      if you want. Maybe our
                                                      capacity isn't as excess
                                                      as it seems... tons of
                                                      people are in debt. Maybe
                                                      it's a function of our
                                                      banking industry which
                                                      idolizes debt. Debt
                                                      pushes up money supply
                                                      and inflates everything.
                                                      We have to go into debt
                                                      to compete for resources
                                                      against everyone else who
                                                      is in debt, working off
                                                      their monthly payments.
                                                      We're all indentured to
                                                      people are in debt.
                                                      Americans don't like to
                                                      "do without".
                                                      \_ Our use of GDP as a
                                                         measure for success
                                                         is not merely an
                                                         official policy; it
                                                         is deeply ingrained
                                                         in our culture.  The
                                                         idea that more is
                                                         always better has been
                                                         so effectively sold to
                                                         us that most Americans
                                                         accept the idea as
                                                         axiomatic.  It's not.
                                                         There is no reason
                                                         why Americans need
                                                         to use 2-3 times more
                                                         resources per capita
                                                         than Europeans; we
                                                         just assume that the
                                                         ways we do things are
                                                         the best ways, because
                                                         that's the way we've
                                                         "always" done it. -tom
                                                        \_ It's not just us.
                                                           Immigrants who come
                                                           here lap it up. And
                                                           they all use GDP to
                                                           measure their econs.
                                                           \_ GDP is a decent
                                                              measurement of
                                                              the size of an
                                                              economy.  It's
                                                              not clear it's
                                                              a good
                                                              measurement of
                                                              the *success*
                                                              of an economy.
                                \_ You are just wrong about there being
                                   centuries of measuring economic statistics.
                                   This stuff was practically invented by FDR
                                   and his economists. Keynes is considered
                                   the father of Macroeconomics.
2008/7/9-11 [Finance/CC] UID:50504 Activity:nil
7/9     "Gas stations' sneaky trick"
        I'd think it's illegal unless they display both prices.
        \_ This is a violation of their CC agreement.  They're not supposed to
           charge different prices if you use a CC.
           \- while i believe that is normally true, i think there must be
              some loopholes ... possibly with some "powerful clients" ...
              like ARCOs have officially and openly had cash != credit
              prices for a long time and VISA etc are clearly aware of that.
              it's not like a random cafe having a verbotten "$5 min" clause.
              [BTW, in some "remote" where credit cards are not de rigeur
              but accepted from say tourists, it is totally standard to
              markup by credit card fee ... like say you want to bill a
              tour in nepal to your CC ... in fact, if they dont charge you
              a CC surcharge, you can be real sure you are massively over
2008/5/13-16 [Finance/CC] UID:49939 Activity:nil
5/13    I just found that if I make a donation to Red Cross by credit card,
        the credit card company still charges Red Cross for processing fees.
        \_ Why wouldn't they?  You think they aren't gonna take a cut just
           because Red Cross is a charity?
        \_ Free market at work. A consumer should shop around and decide
           what is the best for himself. Self help encouranges competition
           thus everyone will benefit.
2007/12/7-13 [Finance/CC] UID:48763 Activity:high
12/7    Got a weird letter from a bank I've never heard of saying
        "Your request cannot be approved at this time. In reaching
         this decision, your request was judgementally reviewed and
         denied for the following reason(s):
         unable to verify identity"
        What the hell? I didn't apply for anything, what's going on?
        \_ Maybe just a phishing attempt.
        \_ Someone may have tried to apply for credit cards in your name,
           i.e. an identity theft attempt. I would contact the bank and
           ask about it. You should also probably check your credit
           and see if there has been suspicious activity lately. If so,
           you can put some kind of "Fraud Alert" on it, notifying potential
           credit grantors to be careful, but I am afraid I don't know too
           much more about that.
           \_ The fraud alert is actually quite helpful.  Basically it locks
              your credit report for anyone inquiries regarding new loans or
              credit cards until you call the reporting agencies and ask them
              to unlock it. -dans
              \_ It's only good for 90 days.
                    You can do something called a "Security Freeze" on your
                    credit rating, too, but it sounds like a hassle.
                    \_ I did that.  I got my mortgage and other credit the
                       way I want then I froze everything.  I think getting
                       your ID stolen is a bigger hassle.  YMMV.
                       \_ No doubt that getting your ID stolen is worse, but
                          what are the odds of that happening? Aren't you
                          paying $120/yr for protection against something
                          that is very unlikely?
                          1) low but climbing every day  2) I pay nothing.
                          Even if I had to pay, $120/year insurance would be
                          worth it to avoid the horror.
                          \_ I don't think you know how to do a cost/benefit
                             analysis. The average loss is $5k and if your
                             chance is 1%, why pay that? Add to that the
                             hassle factor of not being able to apply for
                             credit. How do you not pay? Were you a victim
                             of ID theft? In most states, it costs money.
                             of ID theft? In most states, it costs $10/mo.
                             \_ As I said, I don't need more credit so the
                                hassle factor is zero.  Life is more than a
                                straight cost/bene analysis.  If I had to pay
                                $120 that would be worth it.  My credit
                                rating, time, and peace of mind are worth a
                                lot more to me than $10/month.  Think of it
                                like this: the odds of an asteroid hitting the
                                earth anytime soon are near zero, yet a lot of
                                very serious scientists are looking into ways
                                to defend the planet if we spot one.  Why?
                                Because if you lose the gamble you're totally
                                fucked.  People spend years tracking down and
                                correcting ID theft problems.  The thieves
                                don't just grab a few $K and go away.  ID theft
                                is a personal finance asteroid hitting your
                                life.  YMMV and you may find $120 to be worth
                                a lot more than the time you'd spend cleaning
                                this up should it happen to you.
                                \_ No, asteroids have something like a 1/1M
                                   chance of killing 6B each year, so their
                                   "expected" yearly casualty rate is 6k/yr.
                                   That is worth a fair bit of research to
                                   prevent. A 1/1000 chance of losing $6k is
                                   not worth much time or money at all to
                                   prevent. But if it makes you sleep better
                                   at night, do whatever you want!
                                   \_ 6k people a year is *nothing*.  It
                                      deserves no research for a death rate
                                      like that by your calculations.  OTOH,
                                      a 1/1000 chance of fucking up my entire
                                      financial situation and spending years
                                      cleaning it up is worth it.  Your value
                                      judgements are 'confused'.  Anyway, for
                                      the record, it cost me $20 for a one time
                                      lock.  It costs $10 per time I want to
                                      unlock it for a single transaction.  I
                                      have yet to pay the unlock fee.  I have
                                      no idea how you came up with this idea
                                      that ID theft = $6k loss.  I had more
                                      credit than that on my student card.
                                      How can you ignore the value of your
                                      credit, potentially not getting a job
                                      at places that do credit checks, and
                                      the vast amount of time and agony being
                                      an ID theft victim would inflict?  It
                                      is not like you write a check for this
                                      fabricated $6k you bandy about and walk
                                      away.  Your life is hosed.
                                      \_ You are a victim of fear:
                                (PDF file)
                                         Most ID theft victims just challange
                                         the credit card charge and walk away.
                                         How much do you think a human life is
                                         worth? The US civil engineering
                                         society estimates $1-10M, so 6k deaths
                                         are easily worth $6B to prevent. I
                                         think you have a seriously confused
                                         sense of priorities. You really think
                                         having a credit snafu is more important
                                         than the loss of 6000 human lives? Wow.
                                         \_ Way to put words in my mouth.  If
                                            you really want to discuss this
                                            seriously, say so, but I've made
                                            my position clear, I explained the
                                            costs (zero), the hassle (zero),
                                            and the benefit (> zero) of a
                                            credit lock and you have yet to
                                            acknowledge any of that.  IHBT.
                                            \_ The cost and hassle is not
                                               zero. It might be low and
                                               therefore worth it to you, but
                                               claiming that it is zero makes
                                               your whole analysis suspect.
                                               \_ I spent more than $20 on
                                                  lunch yesterday.  If a one
                                                  time $20 fee is too high for
                                                  you, you have bigger problems
                                                  than ID theft.  Keep up the
                                         \_ Spoken like a person who has
                                            never experienced ID theft.
                                            \_ I dunno, does having Romanians
                                               charge your credit card count,
                                               so that you had to change it
                                               and dispute the charges?
                                               \_ That's fraud and not
                                                  really ID theft.
                                            \_ Are you a victim of ID theft?
                                               How much did it cost you?
                                               \_ I have been and my gf has
                                                  been, but the biggest
                                                  PITA was my brother. It
                                                  took him years to sort
                                                  through and even now
                                                  sometimes he is affected.
                                                  When someone has your
                                                  SS# and a DL with your
                                                  name on it all kinds of
                                                  interesting things happen
                                                  and you get to talk to
                                                  the police, government
                                                  agencies, banks, and
                                                  credit bureaus a lot. In
                                                  this case, it was a
                                                  former roommate of his
                                                  that stole his identity.
                                                  \_ How much did it cost you?
                                                     \_ In $$$ or in time
                                                        and trouble? How do you
                                                        calculate the cost of
                                                        spending a year in jail?
                                                        This problem is similar.
                                                        My brother missed a job
                                                        opportunity in the UK
                                                        because he couldn't get
                                                        a passport. Do you
                                                        just look at the $$$
                                                        lost? What about the
                                                        trouble he went through
                                                        and the emotional
                                                        rollercoaster of moving
                                                        to UK and then not?
                                                        \_ How much did your
                                                           incident of ID theft
                                                           cost you personally?
                                                           It is a simple enough
                                                           question, why won't
                                                           you answer it? I want
                                                           a dollar amount
                                                           though a time est.
                                                           would be nice, too.
                                                           I don't consider you
                                                           a reliable reporter
                                                           on your brother's
                                                           costs, frankly.
                                                           \_ Costs in
                                                              Answer *my*
                                                              What if I
                                                              said it cost
                                                              me zero
                                                              dollars, but
                                                              a year in
                                                              prison? What
                                                              would that
                                                              mean to you?
                I asked first, I believe. It is hard to
                value what a year in prison is worth. More
                than a years salary, for sure, maybe 5X
                if it was a Club Fed kind of minimum security
                prison, much more if it was an ass-raping
                AIDS sentence kind of prison. What would
                it be worth to you?
                \_ See, I knew your attitude was like this, which is why
                   I don't take you seriously enough to answer. If I said
                   it cost me $500K you would consider that to be
                   equivalent to a year in prison? I value my time, my
                   freedom, and, yes, my identity a lot more than you do.
                   If I have to go down to the DMV three times to fix my
                   records that, to me, is a lot bigger pain than 3 days
                   of salary. So I don't think you really understand how
                   much being inconvenienced really means to many people.
                   You just want to boil it all down to some dollar amount
                   and that's not really useful information to have. For
                   instance, in my case, I still get notices from other
                   counties about fines "I" haven't paid and vehicles "of
                   mine" that have been impounded. Usually it doesn't cost me
                   much in dollars to resolve these (a phone call and a letter
                   or two) but that doesn't mean the cost isn't high. I very
                   well could wind up in jail for some unpaid fine I
                   didn't know "I" had. When I resolve each of these items
                   is it truly resolved or will some clerk somewhere screw
                   it up? So stop worrying about the dollars lost and
                   focus on the gravity of the situation.
                                   \_ Old age kills a lot more than that each
                                      each, and with much lower variance.
                                      Almost no research is being allocated
                                      on this problem though. -- ilyas
                                      \_ What are you talking about, the
                                         diseases of old age (cancer, heart
                                         disease, etc.) get tons of research
                                         money. -jrleek
                                         \_ I mean mortality itself. -- ilyas
                                            \_ That's being researched as well
                                               "Why we age," etc. -jrleek
                                               \_ I meant the research
                                                  spending on this is
                                                  completely out of proportion
                                                  with the severity of the
                                                  problem. -- ilyas
                                                  \_ It's at times like this
                                                     where there's really
                                                     only one response.
                                                     You Are A Fucking Moron.
                                                   \_ Whereas your response
                                                      is about all we need to
                                                      know about you. Why don't
                                                      you sign your name? Would
                                                      you say that to his face?
                                                \_ Politically, research into
                                                   mortality itself might
                                                   appear to be blasphemous.
                                                   After all it's not death
                                                   itself that is supposed to
                                                   be a problem but merely
                                                   suffering... I suppose.
2007/11/19-26 [Finance/Banking, Finance/CC] UID:48660 Activity:kinda low
11/19   Prosper update. I am getting 13.3% on my loans there, but one of them
        is now 45+ days lates. If that one is a write-off, as seems increasingly
        likely, my ROI will be about 11% over my first year there. Not too
        shabby, but we shall see how it goes as this credit crunch thing
        plays out. Lately I have been getting better rates, but I suspect
        the risk is higher, too.
        \_ that is awesome.  How much was your initial stake?
           and what are your parameters for which ones you invest in?
           \_ I am only taking AA, A and B rated borrowers who have a debt/
              income ratio under 30%. My initial stake is just a couple
              thousand, as I am just sort of checking it out for now.
              \_ Who verifies this debt/income ratio?
                 \_ Prosper does.
                    \_ How?
        \_ How are you getting more than a credit card loan?
           \_ The magic of the market? The invisible hand at work? How
              do you expect me to answer this question? This is what people
              with reasonably good credit are willing to pay to borrow money.
              Not AA credit, but B credit, with a low Debt/Income and home
              owners to boot. I could get more, but then my default risk
              would go up, too.
              \_ Maybe people are willing to pay more on the bet that if they
                 default you are less likely to send them to collections?
                 \_ No, all defaulted debt is automatically sent to collections.
                 \_ No, all defaulted debt is automatically sent to
       \_ How many loans have you made over that period?
          \_ Around 50.
        \_ I looked at prosper when it was first mentioned on the motd.  I
           wouldn't risk a penny on any of those people.  I'm glad you've
           made some bucks but your risk looks way higher than the interest
           rates these people are paying.  There's a very good reason they
           can't get money from more traditional sources.
2007/2/23-26 [Finance/CC, Politics/Domestic/Immigration] UID:45807 Activity:nil
2/23    B of A starts offering credit cards to people w/o SSN:
        That's strange.  My dad got a B of A credit card in 1980 when he
        didn't have an SSN and was on a work visa in the Bay Area.  Today he
        still doesn't have an SSN and is still using the card overseas
2006/7/21-25 [Finance/Investment, Finance/CC] UID:43759 Activity:kinda low
7/21    I understand valet tipping is now customarily $2 (up from $1).
        Is it customary to tip the valet if, let's say, there is a required
        $2.50 or $3 fee to use the valet, and you're driving let's say an
        1999 Camry?  What about required fees of $5 or higher?
        What do you do?
        \_ To avoid this stupid discussion again, look:
        \_ Generally, tips are independent of any "mandatory" charge.  A
           gratuity is a thank you for good service and is voluntary,
           I don't care what anyone says.  -John
                        \- i'm sort of curious what your actual
                           tipping range is in USA restaurants.
                           say what percentage of the time do you
                           tip under 10%? BTW, do you also consider
                           wedding gifts optional? was it holube
                           who considered wedding gifts optional
                           but considers tips "mandatory"?
                           \_ was it passb who considers "holube" a clever
                              insult?  Wedding gifts are optional if you
                              didn't attend the wedding.  -tom
                              \_ They are mandatory if you did attend?
                                 \_ By etiquette, yes.  -tom
                           john advisory: are you from SF? the situation
                           in SF has gotten sort of complicated with the
                           minimum wage law change since it doesnt have
                           a tip credit ... it basically takes money away
                           from the worst paid employees [busboys, dishwasher
                           etc] and xfers more money to the much-higher-paid
                           and certainly over minwage frontroom wait staff.
                           one restaurant owner [i think at incanto] responded
                           by creating a "mandatory" service charge, which
                           made a lot of people go insane. then again most
                           people cant think in economically rational
                           manner and people seem to have amazing ability
                           for self-serving delusion per the corkage
                           article recently discussed in the motd.
           \_ OK, we'll just cut your salary in half, then, and expect you
              to make it up on tips.  -tom
              \_ Bad example; I'm an independent consultant and if I don't
                 deliver, or provide crappy service, I don't get paid.  Why
                 should I be compelled to pay someone anything beyond the
                 indicated price if he's a surly shit?  -John
                 \_ Gee, I didn't know I could refuse to pay my independent
                    consultants if they are surly.  Does it say that in
                    your contract?
                    You are compelled to pay according to whatever the local
                    tipping rules are, because their salaries have been
                    cut with the expectation that they will make the rest
                    on tips.  The U.S. would be a better place if waiters
                    earned a real wage and tipping were truly gratuitous,
                    but they don't and it's not.  -tom
                    \_ No, you're able to not pay them if they do not
                       provide the service they are contracted to do.  In
                       the case of service personnel, part of their job
                       is to provide me with civil, competent service.  If
                       they do not, it should reflect on their earnings.  And
                       tipping is fine, it gives me a chance to stiff the
                       guy throwing a snit while serving me.  -John
                       \_ But it's not OK for someone to stiff you for
                          throwing a snit, of course.  -tom
                          \_ Apples and oranges. A waiter might get a
                             $100 tip or a $0 tip. A better waiter will
                             usually make more than a poor one. I happen
                             to think that waiters actually benefit from
                             the current system. A decent waiter can make
                             $60K/year easy. Without tips, it's probably
                             half that.
                             \- 1. the true distribution is not $100 or $0.
                                and you need to talk in terms of percentages
                                anyway. a server at a boulevard  may get
                                a $100 tip but will never ever get $0.
                                the waiter at the neighborhood pasta restaurant
                                is never ever going to get $100. so i think
                                the tip distribution has probably 90% of its
                                mass in the 12%-22% range. 2. i think tip
                                pooling among the frontroom staff is not
                                uncommon, so the poor waiter can be
                                shielded. 3. the waiters even benfitted
                                more from the fact that there is no
                                tip credit in CA when it comes to min wage
                                [this is for waiters at decent places].
                                4. i think $60k is a bit high for your
                                waiter salary estimate [do waiters
                                work 40hr weeks?].
                                See e.g.
                                work 40hr weeks?]. See e.g.
                                for some details on reasonably high end
                                restaurant operation. As well as:
                                \_ If you have a crappy waiter, SOP is to give
                                   the manager a tip and tell him to make sure
                                   the bus boy gets it.  Stiffing bus boys is
                                   king lame.  And Partha, my mom has a
                                   culinary placement company in SF, so I'm
                                   well aware of the tipping & wage situation.
                                   I'm also aware that a good waiter can pull
                                   upwards of $100k, a lot of it effectively
                                   tax free.  -John
                                   \- What percentile would you guess $60k
                                      and $100k are in terms of waiter incomes
                                      in SF?
                                   \- What fraction of waiters in SF would
                                      you say make $60k or more? $100k or more?
                                      Yes, I realize there are escalatory
                                      ways of dealing with exceptionally
                                      lame service, but I dont think most
                                      people resort do that ... and they are
                                      pretty rare events i'd say. i agree
                                      routing the tip to the mgs is a good
                                      routing the tip to the mgr is a good
                                      way to deal with the situation.
                                      [I personally weigh intentional things
                                      like snooty obnoxiousness [Aqua] more
                                      heavily than minor incompetence [dropped
                                      plate ... that stuff happens]]. I've
                                      sort of decided to put up with less
                                      deliberately bad service and walk out
                                      of places.
                                      BTW, I do agree with you than the getting
                                      rid of tipping is probably not the way
                                      to go, although I dont think the
                                      status quo is perfect. It's sort of
                                      like rent control ... there are pros
                                      and cons ... one regime not unambiguously
                                      better than the other.
                                      and cons ... one regime not "pareto
                                      superior" to the other.
                                      \_ I'm not interested in how much a
                                         waiter makes, or what percentage of
                                         waiters make >$60k (a good number in
                                         more upscale restaurants).  That is
                                         not my problem.  In a restaurant, I am
                                         paying for the experience as much as
                                         for the food.  If a waiter is being
                                         a shit (surprise, it does happen), I
                                         should make sure the owner knows this
                                         (maybe through the manager) as he has
                                         a financial stake in the business.  In
                                         the meantime, I will not give "hey,
                                         thanks, good job" money to a waiter,
                                         bellhop, cabbie or anyone else who
                                         gives me a shitty attitude (note that
                                         I'm not talking about incompetence or
                                         inexperience here.)  There is no
                                         obligation to tip, but if you feel
                                         your service was ok or better, some
                                         conventions apply.  -John
                                         \- I understand what you are saying.
                                            I am just sort of curious what
                                            %age of the time or how many times
                                            per year the service hits the
                                            threashold of not tipping,
                                            rerouting the tip etc. In the past
                                            15 years say, i can think of maybe
                                            10ish incidents ... in one case
                                            [in durant court] we left a 5cent
                                            tip that was thrown at us as we
                                            we leaving, but i really havent
                                            caused a scene in a med/highend
                                            place. [sometimes because i was
                                            somebody else guest, in other cases
                                            because the management made it up
                                            sort of [free bottle of wine] etc.
                                            if this is something you do 1-2%
                                            od the time [like inb my case],
                                            od the time [like in my case],
                                            then it's more sort of an ad hoc
                                            reaction, than your "standard
                                            behavior for bad service". i think
                                            the place where i most frquently
                                            get annoyed are bars where the
                                            bartender is lame about imple-
                                            menting FIFO. i guess i have caused
                                            a scene in a high end place but we
                                            left a very very large tip :-).
        Not often, to be honest--maybe about 10 times in the last 5 _/
        years.  I have a pretty high tolerance; usually I just leave
        a lower tip if service is really bad enough to make me notice.
        However, we frequently go to nice restaurants, and I know what I can
        expect for a given price, so I don't hesitate to ask for a different
        waiter.  I've only walked out on a place once or twice, and usually
        I'll tell the manager if something really pisses me off (normally
        they're very cool about it.)  I dislike waiters being snippy, being
        ignored, having food take a very long time even when we ask about it,
        pissy reactions when a dish isn't acceptable, and worst of all, "do
        you want your change?"  The problem is that most people feel a bit
        intimidated and think they owe the waiter something, and are afraid
        to speak up when something really sucks.  -John
        \_ Once a waitress argued with us that a certain item was not on the
           menu. We said that it was. She said it was not. We again told
           her it was. She again said it was not. We asked for the menu.
           She was wrong. This was a fairly nice restaurant (Campanile in
           LA). The manager overheard the whole thing and gave us free
           dessert. That is acceptable and she got a 15% tip. Since two
           of my sisters (and their two boyfriends) are in the restaurant
           business (GM, chef, waitress, and sommelier) in nice SF
           restaurants I can definitely say that $60K isn't a problem if
           you are experienced and that you really shouldn't leave less
           than 10% even if the service sucked. However, you should
           complain to the GM. It is the GM's job to make things right.
           Also, without tipping, I really do think waiters/waitresses
           would make a whole lot less money and as a result the quality
           of service (already poor in most cases) would get worse as
           professionals left for other jobs. Tipping works well, because
           when the restaurant does well so does everyone and when the
           restaurant does poorly then everyone suffers. No sense keeping
           waiters on at $60K+ when business is bad.
           \_ Only once in the last five years have I not tipped, and that
              was at the Grill place across the street from the Piedmont
              Landmark Theater (formerly a Rolling Dunes): the entire wait
              staff were rude and indolent. We did not tip, and we will not
              be back. --erikred
              \_ Funny, that's in my neighberhood, I go there all the time,
                 and get fine and friendly service.  Chris, the owner and
                 often bartender, is the only shop owner on the street
                 (except for the yogurt place) who knows me and greets me
                 on sight.
                 One thing to remember is that waiters have to deal with
                 obnoxious customers a lot more often than you have to
                 deal with obnoxious waiters.  We all have bad days.  -tom
                 \_ Agreed, but this was beyond the pale. This was mid-day,
                    and the fan above our table was casting a shadow that was
                    making all four of us dizzy and queasy. We asked a waiter
                    if it would be possible to turn it off; he went off to ask
                    someone, but never came back to tell us one way or the
                    other. We asked another waiter and finally the person who
                    looked like the manager at the time, and were similarly
                    blown off. At the same time, our orders arrived and were
                    wrong; even though there were only three groups of
                    customers there including us, no one ever came by to see
                    if we needed more water, more food, or even the bill. We
                    eventually went to the bar to ask for our bill, and when
                    we paid, we left no tip. Please understand, I have friends
                    who are waiters and I am sympathetic to the plight of the
                    working wait staff, but this level of silliness was
                    untenable. --erikred
           \- i think "routing around" the problem works when the problem
              is a lame/snooty/etc waiter, but there are some establishements
              that have that problem [farralon, aqua, various medium level but
              hot and packed placed in the mission], i wonder if they will do
              anything. or even at say zacharies, a place i think is sort of
              customer unfriendly. re: the "feel they owe their waiter
              something" ... i think in part they feel they will be thought
              of a cheep [perhaps "justifying" in the waiters mind thinking
              "these guys are declasse"] if they just leave a small tip without
              elaborating on the reason. and most people may not have the
              personality to say something beyond the tip.
              \_ Weird. I have been to Farralon three times and Aqua once
                 and all four times I had great service. How many times
                 have you been to Aqua? -ausman
                 \_ I, too, had superb service at Aqua the one time I went.
              \_ If you leave a 10% tip they definitely get the idea
                 that you are either dissatisfied or declasse. You have
                 to tell the manager why if you want them to know which.
                 All I am saying is that 10% is low enough that they will
                 know something's up. I know people who stiff the
                 waitstaff and I've only do that in an extreme situation
                 (e.g. the one time I was asked to not patronize a
                 particular restaurant ever again). As for Zachary's, it
                 is very unfriendly to customers. The cash only policy is
                 evidence of that.
                          \- along with no RSVP, no pitchers of soda,
                             exploiting children etc.
                 \_ Again, stiffing the "waitstaff" is lame.  The busboy
                    can't help it if the waiter's a prick.  Nor can the
                    waiter if the restaurant has crappy policies.  Use your
                    own judgment, and as psb says, let the GM know, they
                    need to be aware of this sort of stuff.  But I've been at
                    Farallon 7-8 times and never had bad service.  -John
                    \_ Tipping is fundamentally a way to enforce class
                       structure.  The wealthy (restaurant/valet/hotel/taxi
                       patrons) want to have the right to punish the servants
                       for insolence.  Look at the sense of entitlement
                       displayed in the comments in this thread; it's really
                       pretty sad.  -tom
                       \_ Uh...I want to punish someone who gives me crappy
                          service and bad attitude.  In shops, I can't do
                          this to the sales clerk directly, in restaurants I
                          can.  Don't turn this into some pseudo-Marxist class
                          warfare claptrap.  I's a not tryin to keep the po'
                          folk in they's place, just have a nice dinner
                          without some snotty shit spoiling it.  15% says
                          "you did a reasonable job, thanks".  10% = "you did
                          not do a good job."  Anything less, including 0% =
                          "you suck, fuck you."  That's my right as a
                          customer.  -John
                          \_ Ponder these two questions:
                             1) How did the tipping rules get developed in
                                the U.S.?  Why is the waiter tipped and
                                the shopkeeper not?
                             2) Why are relatively large tips customary
                                in the U.S. and generally not elsewhere?  -tom
                                \_ The shop clerk (not shopkeeper, wrong
                                   comparison) is not tipped because he is
                                   not providing a service in the same class
                                   as the waiter, shoe shine guy, taxi driver,
                                   etc.; many salesmen also get commission.
                                   \_ Commission is not the same as tipping.
                                      And what is different about the class
                                      of service being provided by a taxi
                                      driver vs. a shop clerk?  Non-circular
                                      definition, please.  -tom
                                      \_ The shop clerk is selling me an item.
                                         His manner of selling it, strictly
                                         speaking, is not part of the overall
                                         experience I am paying for.  With a
                                         waiter or cab driver, it is (how nice
                                         is the service, how smooth is the
                                         ride.)  Same with shoe-shine guys,
                                         or valets.  What's your point?  -John
                                         \_ That's a crock; plenty of shops
                                            provide personal service at or
                                            above the level of shoe-shine-boy.
                                            (Like a shoe store, for one). -tom
                          \- i agree there is something "american" about
                             the tipping system ... compared to a more
                             "socialist" system [modulo tip pooling], but
                             i think holube is overstating things. where i
                             think there is a class system is the disparity bt/
                             frontroom staff and the often minority back
                             of the house people like the dish washing crew
                             who are paid lower and certainly work hard
                             and get no part of the tip pool. under a sort
                             of rawlsian theory i'd rather see increased
                             spoils going to them rather than the wiatstaff
                             [in re: sf min wage change]. and i also think
                             at reasonable standard resturants the waitstaff
                             are not just passive agents to their fate ...
                             i think some probably consciously tailor
                             behavior to who the expect better tips from ...
                             and if they guess wrong, well they deserve to
                             lose out a bit. [i've seen white businessmen
                             in their 50s get much better service than
                             i did when in my late 20s at places like aqua.
                             analogous to the bartender who give better
                             service to hot chicks who are lousy tippers ...
                             at least in cash.]
                       \_ Hello, there is no tipping in Japan and yet the wait
                          staff are still professional and polite. I see no
                          reason to reward wait staff here who cannot do this.
                          I'm not expecting anything more than civility and
                          politeness; I'm certainly not looking for servility.
                          \_ Paying 15% in the U.S. isn't "rewarding" wait
                             staff; it's paying their wage.  More than 15%
                             could reasonably be construed as reward.  -tom
                             \_ This is an semi-invisible system in that the
                                general public is not usually made aware that
                                wait staff's salaries have been depleted to
                                the point where tips mean the difference
                                surviving or not. I agree that the situation
                                needs to fixed (i.e., adjust wages to comp),
                                but relying on customer support of an
                                unpublished system sounds broken. That said,
                                I generally tip 20%. --erikred
                                \_ It's not really an unpublished system;
                                   it's part of etiquette.  I agree that
                                   the system is untenable, and I think it's
                                   particularly onerous because it has its
                                   roots in slavery and the culture surrounding
                                   it.  I certainly don't think I get better
                                   service in the U.S. compared to overseas
                                   in countries where tipping is not
                                   customary (because they pay full wages).
                                   \_ In many other countries, being a
                                      waiter is a career choice. In the
                                      US (except at high-end restaurants)
                                      it is not. The quality of service
                                      reflects this. However, I can't say
                                      that I've gotten really great
                                      service at dive restaurants in, say,
                                      Europe either. I think your ideas
                                      about the nature of tipping are
                                      crazy. As I said before, I think
                                      most waiters make out better by
                                      earning tips than they would without.
                                   \_ It is basically unpublished. There are
                                      so many immigrants here in the bay area
                                      for example that it's not realistic to
                                      expect everyone to be on the same page
                                      wrt tipping. I see that clearly with
                                      coworkers. They have no idea. I never
                                      really analyzed it in detail either...
                                      sure you see your parents and others
                                      do the 15% thing but the details are
                                      not explained. How many people know
                                      how the tips apply to busboys? What
                                      do you do in buffet restaurants? The
                                      tipping system seems like a good one
                                      for a more homogeneously civilized
                                      society but not apropos now. (One
                                      coworker from India thought it was
                                      ok to tip almost nothing at a lunch
                                      joint. Of course he also liked to talk
                                      about the dirt-cheap food and services
                                      in India where regular engineers had
                                      full-time chauffeurs etc.)
                                      \- having a chauffeur in india is like
                                         having somebody mow your lawn here.
                                         but your major point stands: indians
                                         treat service class people like
                                         shit and tip like shit. the latter
                                         is a social norm diffcult to change
                                         but there is no excuse for the
                                         former. a dramatic case of this is
                                         how westerners and indians deal with
                                         say trekking guides and porters ...
                                         on the other hand, i think indians
                                         are often pretty low maint when it
                                         comes to "special requests".
2006/7/12-18 [Finance/CC, Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:43652 Activity:nil
        Use your head to solve problems
        \_ Could have been done so much better.
        \_ I thought this was hilarious:
2006/7/10-11 [Finance/CC] UID:43617 Activity:nil
7/10    Citibank mastercard changes me 3% when I use the card in Canada.
        WTF? What are some other cards that charge less? 3% is just
        \_ Capital One is supposed to be the only major credit card provider
           left that doesn't charge extra for charging outside the country.
  (, June 25, 2006)
        \_ Anyone know what Amex rates are?
           \_ 2%, still better than many others with 3%, but not as good as
              those rare 1% only ones.
        \_ (
           don't know how correct it is, but the site looks maintained
           \_ Doesn't look all that up-to-date.  Capital One no longer absorbs
              the 1% VISA charge, but they still don't charge anything beyond
              that, which is why I use their card the most.
2006/2/19-23 [Finance/CC, Recreation/Food/Alcohol] UID:41928 Activity:kinda low
2/18    Does anyone know whether or not it is legal for a restaurant to
        withhold wages/tips from a waiter if a customer leaves without paying?
        This seems totally illegal to me but my google legal fu is weak.
        \_ Wages, no.  Tips, the portion the customer might reasonably be
           expected to tip. -dans
           \- i doubt that is legal. in CA management cannot force the
              tips to be shared with anybody not directly involved in
              front room service [can share with busboy butr not dishwasher
              front room service [can share with busboy but not dishwasher
              or cooks]. in fact i would think this is covered under some
              broader employment rules about you cant charge employees for
              fuckups like this. i can ask a acquiantance who is a chef-owner
              fuckups like this. i can ask an acquiantance who is a chef-owner
              in SF about the dine&&dash situation.
        \_ might depend on locale... see #9
           \_ That guy needs to seriously get a different job.
           \_ -- whoops, next
              link down.
                \_ This answers the question. Since most waiters make minimum
                   wage (in CA), it's going to be illegal in most cases.
        \_ at least in santa clara county, you can call for a quick 20min
           free legal referral
        \_ It's illegal in all states my contact at the Golden Gate Rest.
           Assn. knows of.  If someone doesn't pay for a meal, obviously
           there's no tip for that meal for the rest. owner to withhold, but
           they may not withhold money from any of the other tips.  Nor can
           they charge waiters for broken dishes or the likes.  That said,
           there is a good reason why most people who matter in any given
           restaurant loathe waiters (especially primadonna prissy
           whores like the blogspot guy above).  Good ones are few and very
           far between and deserve a nice fat cash tip.  -John
           \- Your GGRA assicate isnt named "Dan" is he?
              \_ No, it's my friend Vinnie da Pesto Hammer.  -John
2006/1/20-23 [Finance/CC, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Others] UID:41461 Activity:kinda low
1/20    So some guy (with an obvious Indian accent) calls me at home
        and says he's calling about some govt consumer grant where I can
        get up to $5000 and they will send me a package with an application
        and I can apply for the grant?  I was skeptical and just asked him
        if he was from India and he got pissed off and hung up on me.  So,
        do all the soda motders think this guy was really working for the
        govt and that they were calling me so I could apply for a grant,
        or is it more likely some scam?  He knew my name already, and
        didn't ask for any more information from me.
        \- maybe he was really from pakistan.
        \_ I'm from the Government and I'm here to help!
        \_ Maybe you should've asked if he was *in* India.
           \_ Well, I asked him where he was and he said he was in
              St. Petersberg, FL.  Later, I asked if he was from India.
              He said his last name was Rodgers, but he had an obvious
              foreign accent.  -op
        \_ Sounds like a scam to me.  Here:
           But here's a rule of thumb:  if it appeals to your greed, it's
           likely to be a scam.  I mean, how eager are you to give someone
           something for nothing?  --PM
           \- one of my credit card companies offered me i think $25,000
              for a year at 0% interest for $75 up front. after it became
              clear i didnt "need" the money, we actually had sort of an
              interesting conversation ... i said "that is below mkt interest"
              and she said she knew but they sort of rely on people screwing
              up and not being able to pay back or forgetting ... and then
              complimented be on having a high savings rate. that was a weirdly
              refreshing conversation. you got the sense the person at the
              other end was reasonable sharp and not a telemarketing drone.
              \_ YMEW
2006/1/5-7 [Finance/CC, Consumer/TV] UID:41248 Activity:nil
1/5     Planet of the Apes Complete TV Series, see "similar items"
        \_ No, seriously, wtf?
           \_ Oh darn someone updated the web site
              Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, and SW Trilogy indeed.
        \_ did you find this yourself or did you read it somewhere?
           Article on this found:
2005/12/23-28 [Finance/CC] UID:41131 Activity:kinda low
12/23   Thanks for the Taiwan visit tips.
        In the meantime I've found some links listing rates for ATM withdrawals
        and credit card purchases, and another link on travellers check cards. (
        My conclusion (for a trip to Taiwan) is that the travellers check cards
        suck, ATM / credit cards are okay, and the AmEx Travelers Cheque is
        best (with an AmEx card membership to avoid the 1% fee) if you cash the
        checks at the AmEx office one stop north of the SOGO dept store.
        The biggest hassle is finding a local AmEx office where you can buy the
        checks at 0% (although they are 0% at Wells Fargo if you have an
        Advantage checking account with $2,000 minimum daily balance).
        Shee-it!  I just noticed the Capitol One credit cards charge 0% AND
        absorb the usual 1% Visa/MC conversion fee if you use it to charge
        something in foreign currency.  That takes care of restaurants that
        take credit cards I guess.
        Also, the consensus
        for Europe is ATMs, just like what another sodan wrote, and that
        travellers checks suck.
        \_ if you need help when you get here, shoot me an email.  kngharv
2005/10/11-13 [Finance/CC, Transportation/Car/RoadHogs, Recreation/Humor] UID:40045 Activity:high Cat_by:auto
10/11   "I Can't Afford My Gasoline" (has sound)
        \_ Once we hit $6/gallon, those hybrids will start to look attractive,
           \_ It's been over $6/gallon in Europe. Cost me 34 Euro for a half
              tank of gas on a Ford Fiesta (rental car) 2 weeks ago. Figures
              it would cost around $85 for a full tank. And we're taking puny
              \_ do you have a choice?  how about Ford Ka?
                 \_ I don't buy cars that chops heads off of cats.
                 \_ I probably did, but didn't know how to say it in Spanish.
              \_ Where in Europe? Get a SMART.
                \_ Was in Spain (Madrid), I don't think Avis has SMART; besides
                   I don't know if I'd fit in it (too tall).
                   \_ A colleague of mine drives one.  He's 6'6", about 250lbs.
                      He got it because of the leg room.  -John
                   \_ Take the train.
2005/9/3-4 [Finance/CC] UID:39469 Activity:moderate
9/3     When you use your CC in Canada, what kind of exchange rate and
        fee do they charge? I'm asking because I got ripped off by my
        Chase Freedom card. They gave me a 0.8246 exchange rate even
        though at the time, it was really 0.835X. They also attached
        an exchange rate adjustment fee, which was 2.9%. What a rip
        off! Are there other CC that give you a better rate? ok thx
        \_ Maybe it was because you were using your "freedom card" in
           a French part of Canada.
        \_ Typically, credit cards charge about 3% coversion fee.  Some it's
           as low as 1%.  I've never seen anything less than 1%.
        \_ Major credit cards have started charging 3% effective mid 2005.
           It used to be that MBNA and Capital One were the last bastions of
           1% foreign currency surcharge, but no more, starting Oct 1 '05.
           Look for credit union-issued Visa/Mastercard that still charges
        \_ MBNA isn't 1% any more?  Those bastards!
        \_ I withdrew money from Wells Fargo acct in the UK, they didn't charge
           any fees.
2005/7/14-15 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/CC, Recreation/Dating] UID:38617 Activity:low
7/14 - more Denise!
        \_ so what?  fake tits and a vacant stare?  there's no shortage
           of that in Hollywood.
        \_ Here's a more interesting pic:
           \_ Hot chicks sorted by ...
        \_ Is there some significance to this particular cheesecake?
        \_ Looks like a chick I met in a Reno stripclub who came to visit
           me in the Bay Area, but this was before the boob job.
2005/6/30 [Finance/CC] UID:38382 Activity:nil
6/30    Dunno who nuked the motd, but a comment on the credit card thread.
        I've carried ~$20,000 debt on different credit cards for ~4-5 yrs.
        APR: 0%, one card rolled over into the next.
2005/6/30-7/1 [Finance/CC] UID:38377 Activity:high
6/30     How many credit cards do you have?
        \_ 4-6: I've carried ~$20,000 debt on different credit cards for
          ~4-5 yrs, APR: 0%, one card rolled over into the next. Had to be
           careful enough to switch banks each time I roll a 0% apr into the
           card.  But I really only use one card for most of my purchases
           that I do pay off every month.
         \_ 3 but never carry any of them, use only one for making purchases,
            and pay off the balance every month.
            \_ I have 3 as well (BofA Visa, Citi MC and Amex Blue). I only
               carry the Visa and the MC. I use the Visa for all my purchases
               except for gas. I use the MC for gas b/c I get 5% cash back on
               all gas purchases. I have the Amex Blue b/c it was free for
               life when I was in school and they used to have the 1 time CC
               number. I stopped using Amex Blue as my main card when the 1
               time CC number program was discontinued. Now it just sits at
               home gathering dust.
               \_ does your 5% cashback offer have a cap of $300/yr (eg. $6k
                  in purchases) ?
                  \_ Not AFAIK.
                     \_ I bet it does. Not that it really matters though.
                        Also, Citibank offers 1-time card numbers.
                        \_ Do you know what the url is for 1 time cc numbers?
                           \_ There's a link somewhere on your account
                              details page.
         \_ 2
         \_ 1
         \_ Related poll: Do you pay off the balances every month?
            Yes: ...
            Both: .
            Will eat out of dumpster before carying a balance, death to cc
            companies: ..
            \_ Good advice I once heard: "How can you tell if you are in
               financial trouble?  If you don't pay off your credit cards'
               balance every month, you're in financial trouble.
               \_ Not sure I agree with this. It's along the lines of
                  people who advise to pay for everything cash, including
                  big ticket items like cars. There are lots of times it
                  makes sense to carry debt. The most common is when that
                  debt is working for you, like if you borrow to open a
                  business or to pay for school. Debt-free is not
                  necessarily a good thing.
                  \_ Not lots.  Three: School, business, home.  That's it.
                     Anything else and you're a fucking idiot.  I would
                     say that carrying debt on a vehicle you're buying for
                     work counts under the second item, though.
                     \_ Furthermore, you're also an idiot if you're doing
                        any of this ON A CREDIT CARD.  If you can make debt
                        \_ More fundamentally, CC type debt (rolling balances)
                           vs. amortized loans are a huge pain.  Getting back
                           on top of a rolling balance is HARD.
                        work for you at 21% intrest, I'm sure you can get
                        it to work harder at 5% intrest.
                        \_ A couple of friends work the 1.9% credit card balance
                           transfer deals.  This is very cheap money, but you
                           have to be careful about making payments.
                             \_ No shit. Who is paying 21%?! In many cases
                              \_ Lots of people.
                              it makes a lot of sense to use a CC instead
                              of a secured loan.
                       \_ Interesting. I'd say you're an idiot to use up
                        valuable cash to buy a car, but that's me. Lots of
                        companies take loans out to buy things they can
                        pay cash for, so that the cash can do something
                        else. Cash is hard to come by. I try not to spend
                        it if I can help it, even if it means taking out
                        small loans. Lots of wealthy friends do the same
                        thing, which is where I learned it. They buy their
                        Porsches on a 24 month loan so that they don't
                        have to suddenly cough up $100K, even though they
                        have the cash, for example.
                        \_ If I had a billion dollars in the bank and
                           infinite credit, I would still never spend
                           100k on a car.
                           \_ How nice for you. You sound boring.
                              \_ You sound stupid.
                                 \_ Stupid is having a billion dollars
                                    cash and pinching pennies.
                                    \_ Who said anything about pinching
                                       pennies?  I'd have a helicopter,
                                       a boat, a truck, heavy equipment
                                       and lots of land, but I fucking
                                       hate cars.  You'd have to *pay* me
                                       to own a fucking car.  A privelige
                                       of wealth for me would be to own
                                       land near enough to wherever I work to
                                       never drive.
                                       \_ If this is the case then your inane
                                          comment was off topic and doesn't
                                          belong here. I thought it's well
                                          understood in the thread that we're
                                          talking about car purchases by people
                                          who _need_ a car.
                                          \_ railing against cars is never off
                                             topic.  And no one is buying a
                                             100k porsche because they *need*
                                             a car. If you have the cash to
                                             buy a 100k car you have the cash
                                             to re-arange your life a little
                                             to not be a fucking car driving
                                         \_ You need to seek help from a mental
                                          health professional.
                                       \_ Ride a motorcycle, way funner
                                          than driving.
                                          \_ So's running barefoot across sharp
                                             rocks, but you don't see me doing
                                             that to get to work either.
                                          \_ And your chances of hurting someone
                                             with your idiotic driving are much
                                             lower.  Of course, your own chances
                                             of being killed by an idiot driver
                                             are much higher...
                                             \_ True, I'm just saying,
                                                hatred of driving is what
                                                got both me and my brother
                                                on motorcycles.
                 \_ if you can get 10% money market, and your credit card
                    loan is 1%, where would you put your money?
                    \_ Show me a real life example of this.  Not to
                       meantion, it's generic advice.  That doesn't mean
                       there aren't strange exceptions.
                       \_ In my real life, American Express offered a lifetime
                          2.9% balance transfer option. So I charged new windows
                          for my house to my credit card, transferred it to
                          American Express and used the cash to buy 5%
                          government bonds. I get $300/year for free!
                          \_ This is pretty amazing.  Just out of
                             curiousity though, don't you have to pay
                             taxes on the bond interest at the full 5%?
                             What percentage are you actually getting?
                             How much money did you have to use?  I assume
                             if you miss a payment, AmEx screws you bad.
                             \_ No, it is a muni bond. $15k. Yes, if I
                             \_ No, it is a muni bond. 2.99%. $15k. Yes, if I
                                miss a payment, I plan on paying it all
                                \_ How did 2.99% become 5%?
                                   \_ Your question is unclear. What percentage
                                      am I actually getting on what? The
                                      percentage Amex is charging me is
                                      actually 2.99%. I checked after
                                      you asked. The percentage I am
                                      actually getting on my bonds depends
                                      on which one I am buying with borrowed
                                      money. The one that most closely matches
                                      the term of the credit card balance gives
                                      me just over 5%. If you bought the same
                                      bond today you would get about 4%.
                                      CUSIP: 486375DS4
                             \_ FWIW, missing a payment nowadays is easily
                                avoidable as long as you have the funds in your
                                checking.  Use your banks auto-pay ebill
                                system, or even the credit card might have an
                                auto-pay system.
         \_ about 10: .
2005/4/26-27 [Finance/CC, Computer/Domains] UID:37362 Activity:low
4/25    I got a debt collection notice because I signed up for a $6 domain
        name under a fake first name but correct last name, and I'm not sure
        exactly what happened after that, but I couldn't manage to get it
        to accept my valid credit card number. I think it's probably because
        they wouldn't let me specify an alternate name for billing. Anyway,
        I didn't really use that domain and forgot about it, and assumed
        they would just cancel the domain or something. I mean really, if they
        accept my card and then order the domain and then don't charge my
        card (which is perfectly chargeable), it's their fault. What do you
        think I should do about the notice, though? It's for 21.94, and I'm
        against paying that on principle.
        \_ Pay it.  You'll want a house someday, and you don't want a
           lingering petty debt on your report.  There is no principle
           at stake here.  You wanted them to bill with a mismatched
           name and they couldn't/didn't.
           \_ The bill is actually not in my name. They accepted the billing
              info, ordered the domain, then declined to charge the card.
              \_ You are in the wrong. You should have cancelled. I am
                 sure they tried to charge your card. Pay them and ask
                 them not to report you. It's not worth your time.
                 \_ They accepted the billing info and then did not charge
                    the card. I attempted several times to correct the
                    information before giving up. The last name is the same.
                    They could perfectly well have charged the card; I've
                    done the same with magazine subscriptions.
                    \_ Did they set you up with a domain or not? It sounds
                       like they did. You owe them.
                       \_ Amd I was perfectly happy to pay them if they were
                          happy to charge my card, which they did not.
                          All sensible businesses these days get credit
                          card authorization before providing a service.
                          Presumably they had authorized my card. Not
                          following through on the charge seems to be their
                          fault. I didn't feel like I should have to struggle
                          with contacting them just to have them charge me.
                          \_ Did they provide you a service? If so, you
                             owe them. They are making it easy to pay now,
                             so do it.
        \_ Agreed that it's easier just to pay it but you might be able to
           dispute it on the grounds that since they declined your card and
           never gave you an order confirmation they failed to render services.
           And since they never gave you a bill you are not liable for any
           late-payment penalties.  But how much is your time worth?
           \_ I don't know, is it legal to register the domain under a
              false name?  Is it legal to use your credit card under a
              false name?
        \_ Your credit has already been damaged if you got a debt collection
           notice.  Paying it won't help that.
           \_ Not true. Lots of times it hasn't been reported yet,
              especially for a small amount like this. They give you a
              chance to cough up the money before spending $50 or whatever
              it is to report you. I've been in this situation a few times
              (mostly with doctors with confusing billing, but not only
              that) and was never reported. The collection agency said not
              to pay the doctor, but I did anyway and the problem went
              away. I have like an 800 credit score.
        \_ You should have sent them an e-mail saying, "Your ordering system
           gave me a domain, but wouldn't accept my credit card number.
           Please cancel my domain if you are unable to charge my card."
           By not writing this e-mail, you left the ball in their court.
           They noticed the domain was active for some time, noticed you
           hadn't been charged yet, and based on this, sought debt collection.
           You are well within your rights to explain the situation and offer
           If you don't want to waste your time, pay $21.94 and write it off
           as a loss.
2005/4/8 [Finance/CC] UID:37123 Activity:nil
4/8     Is there any downside to setting your fraud alert flag at the credit
        agency even if there's no report that you've been compromised?
        \_ You may get rejected for 'unusual' purchases, meaning locations
           and types of stores that don't fit your usual patterns.
           \_ I assume you mean for credit card purchases.  Won't a call to
              the credit card issuer clear that up?  More difficult to do
              overseas, but trivial domestically in this cell phone age.  Seems
              like a small price for stronger security.
              \_ Yes it would clear it up, but you've now turned a 2-minute
                 purchase into a half hour conference call.
                 \_ I would think that "unusual" purchases are by definition
        \_ When I visited China 1.5 years ago I noticed that their credit cards
           have passwords, much like ATM cards have PIN's.  Is it just
           because Americans are lazy and forgetful that we don't have that?
                   \_ Considering how much I hear that crime is
                      expanding in china; it makes sense. I hear  from a
                      friend of mine that the "entertainment" industry is
                      doing especially well.
           \_ We have passwords on our credit cards too.  It's called yermom's
              maiden name.
              \_ Nobody ever asks for that when I make purchases.
           \_ Some gas pumps ask for ZIP code, althought that's not very useful
              since crooks can just try the ZIP code of wherever they steal the
        \_ you will have to go through more loopholes for things like
           loan applications, lines of credit, new credit cards, auto
           financing and the like.  Basically, any application for new
           or more credit.
           \_ But isn't it *good* if credit applications require stronger
              proof?  Besides, can't you just remove the flag before you
              know you're going to apply for something, and then just reset
              the flag afterwards?  Setting the flag is free, after all.
              \_ in other words, you're not disagreeing with me.
                 \_ Since the original post asked for "any downside", I
                    assumed you would consider "more loopholes[sic]" to be a
                    downside.  In that sense, I am not sure I agree, as my
                    post indicated.
2005/3/30 [Finance/CC] UID:36967 Activity:high
3/30    Why can't the Social Security office issue new SSN's for people whose
        numbers are stolen, similar to what credit card companies do when cards
        are stolen?  Thanks.
        \_ It's more complicated than that. Do you change your name when there's
           an identity thift?
           \_ No, but I change my credit card numbers.  Obviously I'm missing
              something.  Please elaborate.  I thought since credit card
              companies could issue new card numbers for the same card account,
              the SS office should be able to issue new SSN for the same SS
           \_ 2-4-6-0-1 !!
2005/3/13-15 [Finance/CC] UID:36670 Activity:kinda low
3/13    What's the deal with this academic conference spam?  Are any of these
        real conferences, or are they scams to get email addresses and credit
        card numbers?  I get quite a few of these, and they don't seem to care
        that none of the conferences are even close to my field.
        \_ The one someone forwarded to me came from an ISP account and was
           relayed through China.  Looks like a new virus or some such.  -tom
        \_ Many academics, me included, get a phenomenal number from the
           "World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics".
           These clowns extend the deadlines repeatedly and generally send
           me something about once a month, which is why I'm such a fan of
           the terrific paper by David Mazieres and Eddie Kohler that they
           submitted to the conference:
           \_ That's funny and clever and I appreciate the sentiment, but it
              doesn't really answer the question.  Does the WMCSCI conference
              really exist?  If not, is it just an email harvester or are they
              stealing credit card numbers also?
              \_ I think it's "legit" in that it's not a scam, but it's just
                 a really really crappy conference, and the only people there
                 will be the authors. (Lots of Euro conferences are like this -
                 it's a joint venture between the conference organizers and the
                 hotel, just to fill the hotel, and they usually invite a big
                 name [Nobel] to speak and pay him with your conference fees.
                 But the only attendees at the conference are the authors.)
                 \_ Ok, thanks.  That's idiotic, but I guess I can't call the
                    FBI over it.
                 \_ This sounds worse than a scam to me.
                 \_ Why do authors bother to attend then?
                    \_ Some academics are more desperate than others to publish
                       somewhere, anywhere. Also if you have funding to travel
                       to present, a European location ain't bad.
2005/3/9-10 [Finance/CC] UID:36598 Activity:moderate
3/9     To the person who ranted about having been owed money and trying to
        collect:  I've loaned people money in the past, but only to people
        I had reason to trust to be able to pay it back.  I haven't been
        burned yet.  The credit card companies seem to want to skip that little
        piece of the puzzle.  They have predatory lending practices, and they've
        finally been able to pour enough money into congress to give them
        rule over those they snare.  Of course you can reject credit, cut up
        your cards, and trim down your consumption to live within your means,
        but as a general rule americans don't.  There's nothing in this bill
        to address foolish lending practices.  All the "blame" is put on the
        consumer.  Indentured servitude was as bad then as it is now.
        \_ It's quite apparent that you A) don't own any real estate and
           B) You've never been in business. If you've never been shafted
           by a deadbeat then you've probably never done any real business
           before. Unfortunately the real world is quite different from
           your ivory tower fantasies, and people lie, cheat and steal.
           When you're running a business over an extended period of time
           you'll eventually meet people like these, and you'll eventually
           have to deal with them. Let's face it folks, you can't attribute
           a 360% increase in BKs to anything other than consumer
           incompetence. Let's stop blaming everyone else for the problem
           and address the real issue, people have to stop incurring
           so much damn debt. As for the credit card companies (and
           for that matter banks) , I say we highly regulate them in
           return for the legislation they want past. That'll make it
           even on both sides of the fence.
           \_ Lenient bankruptcy rules ENCOURAGE entrepreneurship.  You can
              take the risk without having to worry about being completely
              destitute and indebted for life if things go south.  Btw, do you
              have a source for the 360% number you keep spouting?
              \_ Yes, it was on the linked page of the first post, so unless
                 you want to get irritated by the OP of the first post
                 bemoaning the bill, don't even go there.
                 Read the archive to get all the numbers. If you don't read the
                 fucking links then why do you even fucking comment? The
                 time period was measured from around 1984 to around 2000.
                 Also, encouring entrepreneurship this way is highly
                 questionable. Apparently you either have an exceedingly
                 short term memory or are just dumb. Ever heard of the dot-com
                 \_ tell me, what happened to all those dot coms that declared
                    bankruptcy?  Did they have to pay money to everyone they
                    fradulently issued stock options to?  Did the CEOs have
                    to give back their multi-million dollar salaries?  -tom
                    \_ CEOs defrauding companies of money should have had to
                       give it back.  CEOs using legal loopholes for large
                       salaries?  Change the law, that's what it's there for.
                       As for options, same as above, if they were issued
                       under the letter of the law, nobody forced anyone to
                       work for a .com.  I see where you're coming from, but
                       .coms with all the associated stupidity and greed are
                       not a good example.  -John
           \_ of course, it's totally fine for *businesses* to run up huge
              debts and bilk their employees and investors while the board
              members earn multi-million-dollar salaries and golden parachutes.
           \_ speaking of americans running up huge damn debts, what's the
              per-taxpayer federal debt at now?  $30,000?  More?
              \_  26,000 is thier quote,
                 it scares me all the time that the US owes THAT much money.
                 I don't see how that can ever be paid back. -mrauser
        \_ More importantly the person ranting about the increase in
           bankrupcies was missing a key point.  Bankrupcies have gone
           up at the same time that saftey nets have gone away.  The vast
           majority of cases (I seem to remember 70% but can't look it up
           right now) are caused by a family member getting ill.  Boom, one
           \_ Sorry, you're wrong, it's around 40-50%, lower, but still not
           serious illness and you are fucked if you don't have GOOD health
           insurance.  Fucking over people who are already fucked won't fix
           a thing.  It's like treating AIDS by covering up those unsightly
           skin blemishes with foundation.
           \_ No, this is at best a red herring. Should debtors get away
              with debt because of XYZ circumstance? Then everyone will
              claim XYZ circumstance. The health care system is very broken,
              that's a given. However, a broken health care system shouldn't
              be an excuse for people to get out of debt easily. Anyway,
              people in the past used to get ill, probably at a higher
              rate than they do now. Granted, healthcare costs have
              skyrocketted in relation (another reason why we should institute
              government healthcare like every other civilized nation on
              the planet, hell, cuba has better health coverage than the
              U.S.), but if consumers weren't already neck deep in debt.
              BKs are caused by one simple fact, people are already
              overextended. If people were to save instead of continuing
              to spend at their current levels the number of BKs will go
              down dramatically, regardless of whether a person in the family
              gets sick or not. And FYI, yes, I've gone through the terminally
              ill family member bit myself, so I know firsthand what's involved.
                \_ No I'm saying the reason the number of bankrupcies have
                   gone up is because of the lack of support services, not
                   because people are lazy and just don't care and want the
                   easy way out.  People were making that argument yesterday
                   and it is bullshit.  As for credit card companies they
                   make tons of money by charging obscene intrest rates to
                   people who use their services.  Presumably those interest
                   rates are so high to make up for defaulters.
                   \_ I agree with you on the credit card companies. I think
                      that they should be heavily regulated. Banks are heavily
                      regulated, credit card companies should likewise be
                      heavily regulated. I find what credit card companies
                      do to be despicable, and some of their direct mail
                      ploys border on fraud.
                      \_ Yes, because credit card companies are not
                         regulated at all right now and most credit cards
                         are not issued by banks anyway.
                \_ You theory that people will save instead of spend just
                   because of the new bankruptcy law is naive and silly.
                   \_ If it's more difficult to bail yourself out through
                      bankruptcy, then there is a less of an incentive to
                      file. If there is less of an incentive to file, less
                      people would get into the situation in the first place.
                      If you actually read the bankruptcy overhaul, it throws
                      out the "clean slate" and forces people to pay back
                      their debt. Obviously it's a credit card/retailer/
                      business driven bill. However, the central issue here
                      isn't necessarily the bill, it's the fact that too many
                      people are taking on too much debt. The bill itself
                      forces people to own up to their debts, a good thing
                      in general. It obviously only addresses one side of the
                      coin, for obvious reasons. The other side of the issue
                      is regulating creditors and their exceedingly deceptive
                      marketing practices.
                      \_ the bill is stupid.  why residence is protected even
                         if it's a multimillion dollar house.  People with
                         a multimillion dollar house should take out a home
                         equity loan to pay their bills.  it's obviously
                         designed to protect rich people.  As it is,
                         bankruptcy laws are enough to make one's life
                         miserable enough.  If people aren't bright enough
                         to know not to spend beyond their means, I doubt
                         they will be bright enough to distinguish between
                         current law and the new bill.
                         \_ I swear, I need to smack you people on the MOTD
                            on the head. READ THE FUCKING BILL BEFORE
                            COMMENTING. If you read it you would know
                            there's a fucking provision to limit the
                            homestead protection to a max of $125,000.
                            This would eliminate homestead states such
                            as TX. This obviously is designed to catch
                            rich cheats trying to get out of paying massive
                            debts. If you don't read the goddamn bill,
                            don't goddamn comment on it.
                            \_ Okay.  Smack in head deserved, but how about
"The Senate, during debate on the bill, also rejected efforts to kill
off the loophole that permits the wealthy to protect assets by opening
special trust accounts in any of several states, including Alaska,
Delaware, Rhode Island, Nevada and Utah. Doctors have been setting up
these so-called asset-protection trusts for years to protect
themselves from malpractice litigation. Now, executives are following
suit, as a result of the latest round of corporate scandals and the
passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes top executives and
directors accountable for their company's financial results."
        "The Senate, during debate on the bill, also rejected efforts to
         kill off the loophole that permits the wealthy to protect assets by
         opening special trust accounts in any of several states, including
         Alaska, Delaware, Rhode Island, Nevada and Utah. Doctors have been
         setting up these so-called asset-protection trusts for years to
         protect themselves from malpractice litigation. Now, executives are
         following suit, as a result of the latest round of corporate
         scandals and the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes top
         executives and directors accountable for their company's financial
         \_ ^only the little people pay taxes^only the little people get
             fucked when they declare bankruptcy.  Those senators are probably
             thinking, "hey if I file I better get to hide all my asetts
             cuz I'm rich, bitch!"
2005/3/8-9 [Finance/CC] UID:36580 Activity:high
3/8     Kinda funny how this horrid bankruptcy bill, that was essentially
        written by the credit card industry, is going to pass without almost
        a single mention in the press.
        \_ hey, can we get a similar corporate bankruptcy bill, which says
           that board member's assets are seized to pay off employees and
           shareholders in the case of chapter 11?  -tom
        \_ Can you give specifics on this bill? I tend to think that a tougher
           bankruptcy bill will have people thinking twice before going into
           debt. I think that Americans as a whole are too dependent upon
           debt anyway, and declaring bankruptcy has never been easier.
           If the bill makes it more difficult and puts a greater stigma
           associated with going into bankruptcy it may result in more
           careful spending.
           \_ It implement a means test for who can file for chapter 7.  It
              also allows for trusts to hide assets.  If you're not super
              wealthy (i.e. can afford to set up a trust), you could very well
              be forced to spend the rest of your life repaying debt rather
              than getting the clean slate that is your constitutional right.
           \_ You're an imbecile if you think people don't "think twice"
              before going into bankruptcy. "Has never been easier"?  How
              do you figure?  This bill treats "abusers" the same as someone
              who goes under because of medical bills.  More than 90% of
              filings are because of medical costs, job loss, or divorce.
              What will you think about ease of filing when 1 or more of
              these event happen to you?
              It allows loopholes like Asset Protection Trusts (great for
              joe q. moneybags.  not so good for you or me).  This is a
              boon to credit card companies and gives you or me no recourse
              in the event of emergency to protect ourselves financially.
              \_ Uhm, no. You're a moron if you think it's really difficult
                 to go Chapter 7, it's not. If it was you wouldn't see a
                 360% INCREASE in 16 years.
                 Anyway, if people actually SAVED their money
                 instead of carrying large credit card debts they wouldn't
                 have to declare bankruptcy when they lose their jobs.
                 I know plenty of people who go through divorces who don't
                 have to go through personal bankruptcy. The Medical Bills
                 is also a red herring. Many institutions will grant waivers
                 for medical bill debt if the person is indeed needy.
                 Let's face it, America has become a nation of constant debtors,
                 the average credit card balance is $7000, people are buying
                 overpriced homes with 30 year APRs. The whole thing is
                 out of hand, and personal savings is at a near all-time low.
                 We didn't have this problem a generation or two ago. It was
                 because people back then had this concept of not living
                 beyond your means, of not incurring more debt than assets.
                 Other countries, most notably Japan, have exceedingly high
                 savings rates. In most asian cultures it is deemed a great
                 shame to go into bankruptcy, which is why Asians are some
                 of the best savers around. People are living longer these
                 days, they earn more, and enjoy a higher standard of living
                 than ever before. They should learn to plan financially as
                 a result, and begin taking responsibility for their assets.
                 Why you got into debt actually should be somewhat immaterial.
                 Are lenders supposed to lose their shirts because of
                 unfortunate circumstances? Well, then, human nature will
                 dictate that EVERYONE will claim unfortunate circumstances.
                 Aruing about a bill that makes it more difficult for people
                 to avoid paying back their debt isn't the real issue. The
                 real isssue is getting consumers to honor their committments
                 and avoid debt in the first place. I bet you've never been
                 owed money. Well I have, and it's not fun to go after people.
                 It's even less fun when deadbeats get away without paying
                 you back for resources they've consumed.  Dead beats will
                 give you every excuse under the sun to get out of debt,
                 like their grandparents died, their cat died, etc.
                 To hell with the system of excuses, I say, and let's
                 make people responsible for debts they incur.
        \_ There were big articles in the LA Times, Post, and maybe the NY
           Times.  Is it really passing?
           \_ Check your cspan
              \_ Yeah, I did.  Closer to passage in the Senate, after
                 votes to limit debate and to remove a poison pill amendment
                 on abortion (that killed the bill the last time, when
                 the Dems had 4 more Senators, and yes, the margin this
                 time was within 4 x 2 = 8 votes).
                 I guess people will be voting party line?
                 \_ Likely.  Shame on the dems who voted for cloture
        \_ Do you think the Dems are going to counterattack?  I think Dubya
           will say it allows rich people to declare bankruptcy, cheating the
           system, but I think the Dem attack wins ("... a bill written and
           funded by credit card companies ...").
           IMO, this is fish in a barrel.  They're probably wondering whether
           it's a set-up, and now I am, too.
           \_ I'm trying to figure out just what they're trying to save their
              non-existent political capital for.  This is one they should have
              filibustered.  This was bad.
              \_ Not to disagree with you, but perhaps they think it's a red
                 herring which would distract from the social security debate.
2005/3/2-3 [Finance/CC, Industry/Jobs] UID:36487 Activity:nil
3/2     I signed up for a credit card with a retail chain. There is an
        arbitration provision in the agreement and I can reject that provision
        alone by writing them a rejection. I am not planning to sue them
        unless they tries to screw me. Supposedly accepting arbitration makes
        me vulnerable, but would they mark me as a bad customer if I reject it?
        \_ If I were them I'd just reject your application.
           It's not like they're hiring you as a software engineer and
           you're disputing the anti-compete clauses.
           \_ Well, it was an online application and I already got the card.
              \_ Do they really allow you to reject a clause just by writing
                 them?  The usual practice is, if you don't like the terms,
                 then don't sign up (or renew) - take it or leave it.
                 Do they have to accept your rejection?
2005/1/5-6 [Finance/CC] UID:35561 Activity:nil
1/5     Is this site for real?
        They say they'll help you opt-out of receiving pre-approved credit card
        junk mail, but they were registered in August 2004 through GoDaddy.
        (Not that there's anything wrong with GoDaddy, but it seems weird to
        give your name and ssn to a site registered through them.)
        \_ It looks real to me, but if you're not sure, you can always do
           it by phone.  The number 1-888-5-OPTOUT is definitely real (see
2005/1/4-5 [Finance/CC] UID:35537 Activity:high
1/4     Forget porn for a moment: if I want to buy something for my wife
        without her knowing about it, and it's too late to establish separate
        credit cards/bank accounts, will most online vendors (including PayPal)
        accept a Gift Debit Card? Are there other solutions?
        \_ I think the question of how to spend money on the credit card
           system without using a tracable credit card is a useful one for
           everyone regardless of this whole hiding from the wife thing.
           It seems to me that the main application for this would be to
           use a card with a vendor you don't trust.
           \_ Trust to do what? What are you afraid might happen?
              \_ Steal my money.  Also, I don't want the feds and the
                 corporations to be able to track me.  I'm not the op, btw.
                 My wife is just about the *only* person in the world I trust
                 with my financial information.
                 \_ If they steal your money then you complain to the CC
                    company. If you don't want to be tracked then use cash.
                    \_ If you have no answer then don't bother posting.
                       \_ That is the answer. No one can steal your money
                          and if you do not want to be tracked then you
                          must use cash.
                          \_ Cash will not be around forever.  There are
                             exactly two possibilities for the future of
                             currency: anonymous digital currency and slavery.
                             \_ uh, right.
        \_ Have a friend buy it for you and pay him/her back with cash?  What
           in the world are you buying???
        \_ Buy it on the credit card and give it to her soon after. Most
           people do not check their statements daily.
           \_ You could also time the purchase just after they send a credit
              card bill.  Unless she checks online, that should buy you a month
        \_ Set up a checking account at a different bank under your name only
           and have the statements mailed to a PO box.  Then get a check/debit
           card on that account.
        \_ Forget porn ... forget porn ... OH FUCK! I'VE FORGOTTEN ALL MY
           PORN, THANKS A LOT!
2005/1/3-4 [Finance/CC] UID:35530 Activity:nil
1/3     Do most sites that require credit cards accept anonymous debit cards?
        \_ How can debit/credit cards be anonymous?
           \_ MasterCard:
              \_ so gift card == anonymous debit card?  Is ther any fee
                 associated with it?
                 \_ yes, there's an activation fee.  it's not terribly cost-
                    effective (unless you buy in quantity), but you can buy a
                    card with cash and it's about as anonymous as you can get.
2004/12/22 [Finance/CC] UID:35400 Activity:nil
12/22   I just used my free $30 credit from opening up an Amazon credit card.
        Is there any reason to keep it?    -person who hates opening CCs
        \_ well, if you buy from amazon fairly frequently, when you end up
           with $600 in amazon purchases, you get a $25 amazon gc.
           \- if you get an REI VISA, you can get a check instead of REI
              credit. --psb
2004/12/12-13 [Finance/CC] UID:35253 Activity:high
12/12   Speaking of amazon, I'm thinking of signing up for their visa
        card. Is there any harm in having several credit cards (this
        would be my third; I have a moderate balance on my first one, and
        I don't use my second one at all.) BTW I'm signing up to get the
        $30 off my purchase. Thanks.
        \_ Your credit score declines when you apply for credit (not
           so much but just don't do it too often) or when you cancel
           old cards. Having about 2-3 cards helps your credit score
           but you should make sure there's some activity on those cards.
           Having more than 3 might not be such a good thing.
        \_ I went crazy and got about 10 credit cards at one point. I
           just kept applying for them until they started refusing me.
           I never used 3/4 of them. When I went to buy a house 5 years
           later, it lowered my credit score. Not too much, probably
           50 points or so, but if I had been a marginal case, it would
           have been the difference. I closed most of the accounts and
           two years later my score is back up to the high 700s.
                \_ Does it harm your credit when you cancel/close a card?
                   \_ For a while. But a few years later your score
                      is higher, assuming you had "too much" available
           \_ This is where ia m right now. shit i didnt know that
                cancelling fucks w/ your score!
              \_ Cancelling might shorten your credit history.  That might
                 hurt.  Get rid of newer, smaller-credit-line cards.
                 Second, your "debt ratio" counts:  how much debt you have
                 vs. how much credit you have.  If you have no balances at
                 all, then your "debt ratio" won't be hurt.  --PeterM
                 \_ Debt ratio and total overall debt are the most
                    important things. Do not roll over a balance
                    on your credit cards if you want a high score.
                    \_ This makes no sense. Do you mean 'carry a balance'?
                       \_ Yes, they mean the same thing, really. You are
                          rolling the loan over every month. Sorry, I
                          guess I have been reading The Economist too
                          much lately. I forgot what normal people
                          call it.
           \_ I have a low 800s credit rating score?  Is that low or high?
              \_ That's really good, since the max score is 850. Check out
                 this article from
                 \_ In fact, my mom has worked at banks (credit card
                    industry, branches, you name it) for 40+ years and says
                    that she didn't come across many 800+s in that whole
                    time. 'Excellent credit' (where you will be offered
                    the best-available rate) is around 760-780. That 11%
                    number (800+ people) seems high, but that's probably
                    because those people also apply for credit less often.
                    \_ You can get home loans at the best rate with a
                       credit score of 700 or so. Perhaps there are
                       other kinds of loans that you can get with a higher
                       score, I dunno.
                       \_ Home loans are rather easy to get, being secured
                          by an asset that tends to appreciate. However,
                          I will say that if you want a 'no doc' loan then
                          700 won't get it done with the best rate.
                          \_ Okay, I can believe that. What kind of
                             score do you need to get a no doc home
                             loan at the highest rate? I also see that
                             \_ 760-780, depending on the lender. Another
                                feature with a high score is that you can
                                often borrow more than you can 'afford'.
                                Back when I could only afford a $300K
                                house they let me borrow up to $500K 'no
                                questions asked'. This is similar to 'no
                                doc' in that they are trusting you.
                             the FICO site says you need a 720 to get
                             the best interest rates. That was not my
                             experience when I bought a home, but that
                             is close enough.
        \_ OT: You can check your Credit Report at
           for free, but they charge you $7 to see your actual score.  That
           sounds awfully dodgy.
           \_ The only reason they provide anything for free is because (as
              of December 1st) the FTC requires them to.  They don't have to
              tell you your score for free, and the different credit bureaus
              charge different amounts for that.
              Their site is so damn broken.  Failed to serve up the report,
              then wouldn't re-serve.  Has NO email address contact for
              \_ I use the actual FICO site, which costs more but isn't
           \_ doesnt checking your credit affect your credit? anyone know
              by how much?
              \_ checking your own credit does not affect your score according
                 to the many articles that have been written about this in the
                 last couple of years. if you have not done this, do it now.
                 *every* person I know who has checked their score found
                 errors - probably because the credit checking companies have
                 almost no incentive to keep things correct. I'm kind of
                 waiting for this to become a court case since it places
                 proving "innocence" as the burden of the "accused" and credit
                 affects just aobut everybody sooner or later.
                 \_ Well, I checked my credit and found no errors so
                    there's an exception.
                    \_ Be a little grateful, then. It took me a couple of years
                       to completely iron out the three credit cards they said
                       I still had open - including one that I had closed seven
                       years previous and that one required a letter from the
                       issuer. Fair disclusure is that these probably had no
                       more than 10 points effect on my score. The real fun
                       was a parking ticket that went to collection that I
                       never knew existed until it had eaten a hole in my score
                       for two years. The collection agency never tried to
                       contact me because they knew I would have to come to
                       them as soon as I pulled my first report on myself.
                \_ I used to have an Amazon card by Nextbank.  Then the
                   bank went bankrupt and never bothered to forward the
                   last batch of information to the credit agencies,
                   so I was stuck with a $4000 balance on my credit reports
                   even though I had paid that off immediately like all my
                   credit card charges.  I was a lazy fuck, so I never
                   bothered to go correct it.  After a few years, the
                   credit agencies finally figured it out and things are ok
2004/11/22 [Reference/Tax, Finance/CC] UID:35011 Activity:high
11/22   So in a recent article I've read that relatively poor people
        who win state lotteries tend to lose all of their money and then
        some within a couple of years, especially those who opt to collect
        all of their funds up front. In other words, it's useless to give
        poor money if they haven't actually earned it since they'll just
        lose it. Something to be said about our tax system.
        \_ are you equating lower tax brackets and welfare to the lottery?
        \_ No, this says something about systems that give money without
           education or expectation.
        \_ TROLL HARDER!
        \_ Did you see what happened to the homeless guy that Howard Stern gave
           money to? He was one of those street drummers. He blew the
           money on liquor and whores. He bought a very expensive leather
           jacket that was then stolen from him. He bought himself some
           nice drums which were also stolen. The idea was that he was
           going to rent an apartment. I think Howard gave him $10K, which
           was a year of rent. He was supposed to report back in with his
           progress and never did. The station finally hunted him down. I
           agree that education is the key, but entitlement programs often
           don't include such components.
           \_ Entitlement program != HUGE CASH PRIZES!
              \_ Entitlement program == small cash prizes
                 \_ No.  A prize is a one time bonus, while a low tax bracket
                    or government service is a regular income source.  If your
                    job gave you a bonus, wouldn't you spend some of it on
                    impulse buys?
                    \_ Not if I was HOMELESS!!!
                    \_ Would you point me a research that says the entitlement
                       class tends to spend smaller regular payments more
                       responsibly than they do larger lump sum payments?
                       Or, to continue the above Howard Stern example, would
                       the recipient of the largess not just buy the drums
                       one month and the leather jacket the next?
                       \_ Would you point me to research that says the poor are
                          more wasteful of their money than, say upper-middle
                          class people with too much disposable income.  Who
                          buys the Hummers and Luis Vuitton bags?  It's not the
                          working poor.
                          \- i'm not sure it's much dumber of a homeless
                             person to blow $10k boon than for a berkeley phd
                             making $150k+ to be amassing credit card debt
                             [i know such a person]
           \_ Buying expensive leather jacket and drums is good.  This
              will help stimulate the economy.
2004/7/25-26 [Finance/CC, Consumer/CellPhone, Politics/Domestic] UID:32474 Activity:very high
7/25    I've been on the National DoNotCall Registry for over a
        year.  I get a telemarketing call from T-Mobile, which I
        have no relation with.  As I understand it, they could be
        fined $11,000 for that call.  So why would they be calling
        me?  What are they thinking?  Presumably, I'm not the only
        one on the donotcall list that they are calling and there
        will be numerous complaints.
        \_ Because they bought your phone number from someone like a
           credit card company who sold them your name and number as
           a "bussiness contact" that you missed the little check box
           to check to opt out of.
          \_ Supposing that's the case, how would I determine which
             credit card it is?  In any case, I don't think this is the
             case, because the woman who called didn't even know who she
             was calling for.  She only knew the number she was calling.
             \_ I have tried to track the down my contact info several times
                and gave up because most telemarketers either don't keep
                that information or are not willing to give it to you.
                I assume, this is because there are no laws that require
                them to disclose this information. Maybe it is time to start
                writing letters to your representatives about it. BTW, once
                I have added myself to the do not call registry, I have stopped
                being harassed by phone, but there still lots spam coming by
                snail mail.
                \_ Pansy liberal, always trying to get big government involved
                   in your problems.
             \_ The woman who called you is some minimum wage slave who
                knows nothing, and if she did know anything is probably
                under orders to be as unhelpful as possible when it comes
                to finding this shit out.   Good luck figuring it out.  I
                bet it you wrote a threatening letter to the right people
                you'd get an answer, the trick is figuring out who the
                right people are.
        \_ Somewhere in here there must be room to say the do-not-call
           list has something to do with the US being a totalitarian state.
           I can't figure out how but I know it can be done.
        \_ Go to the donotcall web page and file a report. I don't think
           they'll go after individual violations, but rather they will go
           after a company that gets enough complaints against.
                \_ Yeah, I already filed a complaint with them before I
                   even posted anything on here.  -op
2004/6/29-30 [Finance/CC] UID:31062 Activity:moderate
6/29    Say that I, like Justice Ginsburg, want to be able to view an
        adult site that requires a credit card, but I don't want to use
        a credit card that can be traced back to me.  Are there credible
        anonymous credit cards out there?  Something along the lines of
        an escrow service that allows me to purchase $x in credit that I
        can then apply to an Internet purchase?
        \_ Beware of subscribing to any Internet porn site.  Some of them
           support psuedo-anonymous ecash style transactions, but since
           they have to send you your login information they still require
           an email address.  They _will_ sell that email address to every
           spammer on the planet.
           \_ Why give a real email address to porn site operators?
        \_ I seem to remember hearing about a service that would
           generate credit card numbers for one-time use. They were for
           the purposes of purchasing stuff over an insecure channel
           so that if the number was stolen your credit card company
           would never authorize it again anyway. I think citibank
           provided this service. But I guess these were still linked
           back to your account and thus not anonymous.
           I wonder if it be hard to set-up some service that did something
           like this.
           \_ Something tells me the Department of Homeland Security wouldn't
              be very amused by that.
        \_ check out
           \_ A good start, but requires a credit card to purchase. Still
              \_ no it doesn't. The whole point of webcertificate is that
                 someone else can give you one of these temporary credit
                 cards as a gift. The person who put the funds into the
                 account is not necessarily the same person making the
                 purchases on the account.
        \_ Why would you want to pay for internet porn?
        \_ Wouldn't a Visa gift card work for this purpose? AFAIK, there
           is no way to track who is using the card as long as you use
           it w/ the pin number. You can also buy them using cash at most
           banks so its not traceable.
2004/6/17-18 [Finance/CC, Finance/Investment] UID:30875 Activity:very high
6/17    What's the catch with balance transfer offers? I got one that sounds
        really good, 1.99% for the life of the balance with no transfer fee.
        Is there any reason not to do this?
        \_ Ok, no, all this stuff below is wrong.  I checked and the way most
           of these work is they require you to a) take out more money that
           card every month (some minimum which will vary), and b) any money
           you pay off goes towards the lower interest rate money first, the
           higher rate you're paying on money from (a) is going to be at
           22% or something like that.  So, over time you are quickly moving
           your money from 1.9% to 22% and paying on a larger 22% base every
           month until eventually you have nothing at the lower rate and
           everything at the 22% rate.  READ and UNDERSTAND the contract
           before you do anything.  I've yet to see one where you can win.  If
           you want to do the math, you can get ahead for a short period of
           time and then pay off the whole thing when the scales tip against
           you but you'll have to get the math right and be really anal about
           dealing with this account.
           \_ Look, you are just wrong. I am doing this right now with
              my AmEx Blue Card and have been doing it for almost a year.
              I am pretty sure that the only "good" offers are made to
              current customers with good credit ratings, though. -bb
              \_ Ok, so what are the terms of your deal?  They don't require
                 a minimum transaction per time period and they let you pay
                 off the higher rate first?
                 \_ I just have to pay off the "minimum balance" every
                    month. I guess that is not defined, so they could
                    bump that up if they get sick of me having cheap
                    money. There is no requirement to use the card,
                    so I don't.
        \_ They're usually coupled with a clause where the low rate goes
           away if you ever miss or are late with a payment.  And of course
           they still get to ream you on fees if you ever are late too.
           \_ Yes. However, if you are never late then this is not an
              issue. Go ahead and do it. Your current agreement has the
              same clauses, anyway.
        \_ Also, if you make any new charges, I imagine payments will be
           credited toward the transferred balance first; so you get nailed
           for the full 10-22% APR on new charges until you pay off the
        \_ No catch, really. I am doing this on a $10k balance. I actually
           got six months interest free to start out. Just make sure you
           don't miss any payments or use the card for anything else.

[ non-compliant motd entry deleted ]
|_ why do you hate america?
\_ Why do you hate tabs?
        \_ They are depending on the laziness and stupidity of the masses.
           If you're smart and anal about it, you won't get screwed.  READ and
           UNDERSTAND the fine print.
           \_ if people were smart, they wouldn't have credit card debt in the
              first place.
              \_ this is not a failure of intelligence. --psb
                 \_ right. if you're smart (and have luck in the market)
                    you can make money using cash advances from credit cards.
                    the above low rate balance xfers make this possible.
                              \_ what i meant by "this is not a failure of
                                 intelligence" is not that you should use
                                 the money smartly but that everyone knows
                                 paying cc interest rates is insane ... but
                                 some people are undisciplined. it's like
                                 saying "smoking is dumb". --psb
                    \_ I knew a guy who did that during the boom.  He got
                       completely wiped out.  I guess he wasn't smart enough.
                       I know another guy from many years earlier when every
                       knucklehead was investing in gold and silver.  He
                       bought silver at around $28 or so.  It has never been
                       that high since.  He didn't do it on his credit cards.
                       I met another guy last year who came in to do vendor
                       tech support.  He was once at a company that went public
                       and his options were worth about $5m.  Someone at the
                       company told him he wasn't allowed to sell them unless
                       the company wanted them.  He didn't check with anyone
                       else outside the company and lost his entire $5m of
                       options (which is why he was doing onsite tech support).
                       I've never done any of those things but there sure are a
                       lot of stupid people out there....
                       \_Yes, Virginia, there really are stupid people...
                       \_ Borrow $10k at guaranteed lifetime 1.9%. Invest
                          in 10 yr (or 5 yr) government bonds paying 4.7%.
                          Make $280/yr on the arbitrage. Why is this stupid? -bb
                          \_ That won't work.  The bonds don't pay out on a
                             monthly basis, and your CC company will want
                             monthly payments.
                             \_ Sure it works, you think of it as buying a
                                $10k 10 yr bond with $100/mo payments. But
                                the interest from the bond makes a couple
                                of payments a year for you. You have to have
                                the spare cash lying around to be able to make
                                the montly payment until the interest from
                                the bond pays, admittedly. -bondboy
                             \_ Put $10,000 into bonds of $100.  Every 6 months
                                cash out 1 bond and use that money to pay the
                                interest for the next 6 months.  Bonds only
                                accrue interest every 6 months which is why
                                you want a bond-size that covers 6 months of
                                your interest.
                                \_ Wow, you are even crazier than me! Did
                                   you actually buy 100 bonds, or is this
                                   just theoretical? -bondboy
                                   \_ Theoretical, but what's wrong with 100
                                      \_ Transaction costs and just the
                                         sheer hassle of buying and keeping
                                         track of 100 bonds. If there was
                                         enough money involved, it would
                                         be worth it, but not for $100 bonds,
                                         imnsho. -bondboy
                                         \_ Bonds are all written down at the
                                            same time and placed in a
                                            safe-deposit box.  Every 6 months
                                            you go to your bank to get and cash
                                            out a bond.  Every month you write
                                            a check to the CC company.
                                            \- you know when you figure out
                                               how much you are making per
                                               hour of work, you have to
                                               take off the tax on the extra
                                               income. --psb
There are no taxes on gov't bonds. Well no, Fed _/
taxes, at least. I see the appeal of not having
to "float" the credit card payment, though. If
I get bored enough at work today, I will try
to work out the difference. I guess if you
buy the bonds directly from the Treasury,
this might work. It still ends up being
a lot of work. Just doing it all online,
buying the bonds via E*Trade, etc, is
pretty simple. -bb
\_ how can i learn to be a finance nerd like you guys?
      -moron with all assets in checking account
   \_ Is this a serious question? My g/f thinks I
      should go back and get a CPA, since I
      obviously enjoy this stuff more than my
      job as a sysadmin. -bb
      \_ yes, it's a serious question.
         \_ Read The Economist, Smartmoney and
            The WSJ. Smartmoney U (from their
            front door) is a great way to get
            started on learning things like
            what bond curves mean. -bb
            Start here:
\_ Bonds are the safe option, but there are better investments to make.
   Anyway, it is easy to carry a CC balance and a 1.x% is makes sense to
   do so. Buy a car with it instead of an auto loan. Do home repairs
   instead of an equity loan. You may wonder why anyone would carry
   a CC balance, but the reality is that most people will never be debt-free.
   The key is cash flow. I'd gladly put millions of $$$ on my CC if I had
   that kind of limit and start a business, buy real estate, or whatever.
   The "debt is bad" mantra is for foolish Midwestern housewives who read
   Motley Fool and who spend 12 hours clipping coupons to save $5. Take
   whatever the bank will give you, because most of us will not save that
   kind of money (hundreds of thousands of $$$) easily and it can lead to
   opportunity. Obviously using the CC money for vacations and stereo
   equipment is stupid, but having a balance in itself is not. I know lots
   of people who started businesses on their CC. Think bigger than *bonds*
   Jesus! Those Midwestern wives would be excited about $280/year, though.
   \_ Yeah, maybe someday I will be in a position to start my own business
      or do something like that. But in the meantime, I am having fun and
      making money, while learning how to make this stuff work. -bb
      \_ At least you realized that assets - liabilities is more important
         than being debt-free. I don't care if I have $10 billion in debt
         if I have $100 billion in assets. Debt-free is just as idiotic
         as debt-laden.
2004/6/9 [Finance/CC, Reference/Law/Court] UID:30692 Activity:very high
        The popeye pic about halfway down had me in tears.  The site is mostly
        work safe but it might draw someone's eye so be careful out there.
        \_ The only things more retarded than the Keith guy are the person
           egging him on and the people who enjoy reading it.
2004/5/30-31 [Finance/CC] UID:30499 Activity:insanely high
5/30    Does anyone know how to find out for an arbitrary credit card
        prefix which bank issued that card? Thanks.
        \_ gives you 25 queries for free.
        \_ it's the first two numbers
           \_ Yes, I know it's a certain part of the prefix, but the
              question is how to correlate that to a bank...
        \_ why don't we start a list here. I'll start.
        3715: American Express Platinum
        5369: Chase Freedom
        6011: Discover
        4773: Etrade
        4254: Washington Mutual
        5262: Citibank
        424602: Cal State 9
        447182: Kaiser Lakeside Credit Union
        \_ Please list the first six digits (see the article below, or the
           database above.)
        \_ This article might be interesting:
        \_ You've got 6 cards?  How much debt do you carry?
            \_ I have well over 6 and carry no debt
2004/4/30-5/1 [Finance/CC, Science] UID:13513 Activity:kinda low
4/30    Given that the Fed now has huge databases about us (like the info.
        all the arilines provided after 9/11 which contains address and credit
        card #), would it be long before some rogue employee share it with
        google, spammers, mafias, terrorists, or rogue states?  And the
        spammers probably have better data technology than FBI.
        \_ You think the feds didn't already have your address?  Uhm, duh, have
           you ever paid taxes?  Kids today....
           \_ not me, pal.  I happen to own a *large* black magic marker,
              and have removed my name from all the phone books I can get
              my hands on!
           \_ The IRS does not have my c.c. #.
2004/4/26 [Finance/CC] UID:13392 Activity:nil
        \_ Unclear on what a Devian is.  I know what a Tart is, though.
2004/4/2-3 [Finance/CC] UID:12988 Activity:nil
4/2     What is your favorite rewards credit card?
        \_ the debt-free fuck-the-evil-credit-card-company card.
        \_ Rewards?  Fuck that.  The best cards don't charge *any* fees for
           normal usage so you can pay off the whole thing every month and use
           the card forever without paying the bastards a penny.
           \_ there are rewards cards which don't charge fees.  I like MBNA
              World Points, which has a 1% cash-back option.
              \_ there are quite a few rewards cards out there that don't
                 have annual fees. it's not like giving you 1% back is a big
                 deal when they make ~3% + ~30 cents per transaction, plus
                 exorbitant interest charges.
                 \_ If they're going to charge the merchant a fee per
                    transaction anyway (regardless of what card you have)
                    then this shouldn't matter. Interest charges only
                    apply if you don't pay your full balance.
                 \_ my local kinko's copy now lets you put small numbers of
                    copies on your credit card (as few as one copy, 10 cents).
                    Anyone know how they're able to dodge the above fees?
        \_ I like Shell Citibank card.  %5 discount on Shell gasoline purchase.
           \_ Ha!  I get 5% discount on _any_ gasoline purchase with
              my Chase Freedom card + upto %1 back on the non-gasoline
              \_ yay, let's all buy more gas and increase our dependence on
                 the middle east.
                 \_ you have to buy the gas you have to buy.  i doubt he's
                    driving 5% more because it's 5% cheaper.
        \_ Amazon Card (Bank One) 1% "cash" back in the form of Amazon
           gift certificates.  3% back for purchases from Amazon.  Used to
           be 2% and 6% respectively, but Next Bank went bankrupt and
           Amazon then selected Bank One.  They automatically mail me a
           $25 Amazon gift certificate everytime I spent $2500, pretty
           hassle free.
        \_ My Platinum card from Patelco that returns 1% cash on purchases.
           Cash it the best "reward."
        \_ My BofA Visa has 1% cash back on all purchases. The cash is
           deposited into my checking acct. There isn't any annual fee
           or membership fee or anything, though I think you have to have
           a BofA checking account with a min balance of $1K.
           \_ does this card have a specific name?
                \_ mine is called the banking benefits visa.
           \_ credit card or debit card?
                \_ credit card (I have a debit card, but that one doesn't
                   get 1% cash back. I only use it at atms).
           \_ if you're talking about the banking benefits card, that card
              is kind of a ripoff. they give you one point per hundred
              dollars, but they always round down. also, if you receive a
              credit to your card, they round up when they deduct points
              from your card. this card is only good if you're one of those
              people who apparently gets double points for some reason.
                \_ I agree that it would be better if they gave you 1%
                   for ever $ instead of for ever $100, but I haven't
                   found any visa/mc that offers this w/o a membership
                   fee or annual fee. The nice thing about the BofA
                   card is that getting your cash back is easy (compared
                   with some of the other cards I used to have) and
                   all of your transaction information shows up in
                   BofA's online banking site.
                   I have a couple of other cards other than this one.
                   I use a Chase Freedom card for all my gasoline and
                   I used to use a Amex Blue card for all my online
                   txn (until they screwed up their website making it
                   impossible to find the one use cc number form). Blue
                   was a decent card (1% cash back, no membership fee,
                   no annual fee, &c.) but the problem is that lots of
                   places (esp. overseas) don't take Amex so you have
                   to have a backup Visa/MC.
2004/2/26-27 [Finance/CC, Recreation/Shopping] UID:12426 Activity:nil
2/26    I couldn't find this in the motd archive. Google search for credit card
        processing / ecommerce hosting companies is worthless. What's a good
        place to go with? Low volume, Ease of use preferred over price... I
        know that I can go with Verisign, but I'm guessing that they suck
        (I know that they suck as a registrar). My domains are with godaddy,
        which does ecommerce, but says you need a shopping cart... is there
        a good text FAQ that explains the whole process? I'm only selling one
        (maybe two) items, so I don't need a shopping cart. I don't want to
        deal with Paypal.
        \_ Verisign Internet Merchant Account + PayFlow Link.
2004/1/6-8 [Finance/CC] UID:11684 Activity:high
1/6     I was paying my credit card bill the other day and the guy behind the
        counter commented on the fact that I've never carried a balance.
        I've always paid my bills, in full, on time.  Would there be a credit
        rating advantage to carrying a small ($20) occasionally, or would I
        just be wasting small change on interest?
        \_ You don't need an 800 rating to get all the credit in the world.
           I've got a 730 or so and I'm good for $100k credit line just for
           \_ where do I check my rating?
              \_ for example.  There's a fee.
              \_ In CA you're entitled to a free credit check each year.  Or
                 did congress fuck that up for us?
                 \_ Don't credit checks adversely affect your credit rating?
                    \_ Not the ones you order for yourself.
                 \_ Has anyone on the motd in CA ever done this?  Hadn't
                    heard of this option... (have always had to pay, is it a
                    recent change?)
                    \_ It's not free. You do have to pay. If you have been
                       refused a credit card, THEN you can et a freebie. FICO
                       always costs.
                       \_ you mean even if you get refused a credit card, and
                          you request the freebie, you still can't get your
                          credit rating(FICO?) unless you pay?
                                \_ exactly. you get your report w/o the score
                                        \_ what is FICO exactly?
                                           \_ Fair Isaac Credit Org.  It
                                              is basically your credit
                                              rating.  Affects your
                                              ability to get credit
                                              related financial
                                              transactions (such as CC,
                                              mortgage rate, even
                                              insurance rate!).
2003/12/25-27 [Finance/CC] UID:11586 Activity:nil
12/24   If anyone is looking for a good deal on a credit card, check here:
        It's from a motley fool newsletter. Apply by 12/31, get $50 credit
        on your statement. No annual fee, 1% straight cash rebate, paid
        yearly, visa platinum benefits. Fairly low APR, but you're a little
        dumb if you keep a balance on a credit card anyway.
        \_ Who offers that credit card? Who gets paid for clicks on that link?
           \_ MBNA and motley fool. presumably motley fool gets paid,
              since it's from their newsletter. certainly not me, anyway. -op
              \_ The deal notwithstanding, I'd never acknowledge interest in
                 an MBNA product. They're vultures. I've been trying to
                 untangle my credit score from the mess they made for a couple
                 years now. Just be careful and know that, once they have you,
                 they won't ever let you go. This is, BTW, on a card I never
                 carried a balance on. -- ulysses
                 \_ could you please elaborate?
                   \_ Briefly, my alumni assoc offered a card through MBNA. I
                      took it. I canceled after two years of near non-use. They
                      never cancelled the card. I found out and determined the
                      undead card was affecting my credit score (check it, this
                      is true) and found out they hadn't canceled it despite
                      my request on their records. I asked for cancellation
                      again, and a letter. I got the letter but they never told
                      Equifax and the rest. Three months ago I figured out the
                      card is still there on my credit record as account open.
                      Meanwhile, MBNA has been pinging my credit record with
                      credit checks about every three months. This is harmless,
                      I am told. The last is my request to Equifax that they
                      correct their records (Everyone should go to
                      and order a free report by mail, btw. There were
                      numerous errors and they have no incentive to correct.)
                      As far as I know, it's now all fixed.
                      This is aside from the dangerous credit card checks they
                      mail to all their customers, even after repeatedly
                      telling them not to. On that issue, I eventually got an
                      operator willing to tell me the truth - that they have no
                      policy except to always send those checks out.
                      \_ WHAT IS THE LINK FOR THE FREE REPORT?   I just see
                         reports for sale.
                      \_ just because you've had a bad experience doesn't
                         mean everyone else will. the post below me probably
                         contains more truth than the poster thinks. i've
                         heard bank one horror stories, but i've had two cards
                         with them for a few years, and everything's gone quite
                         fine. i don't doubt both of them being platinum cards
                         has at least a small bit to do with it.
                         \_ I'll accept his bad experience over yours because
                            if they treat one person that way they can treat
                            me that way too.  For example just because my
                            friend hasn't yet been screwed by PayPal doesn't
                            mean it's safe to use PayPal.
                      \_ i requested mbna to stop sending me those and they
                         did indeed stop...   maybe they only play nice with
                         "platinum plus" customers.
                         \_ Mine was a standard card at the time so perhaps.
                            -- ulysses
                      \_ I thought you could get 1 free report per year.  Does
                         equifax do this?
                         \_ Are you in CA?  I've only see them charge, never
                 \_ thank you for posting the one non-useless/idiotic post
                    on this thread.
        \_ Not dumb to keep a balance if you get 0% or 2.9% interest rate
           on balance transfers. I will borrow all the money I can at
           those rates.
           \_ you'll pay finance charges too, and whatever other fees they
              can manage for you. also, maxing out your credit line does
              not look good on your credit report.
           \_ You get the 2.9% or they get the 2.9%?  At 0%, sure that's fine,
              but read the fine print to make sure there's no end of the year
              gotcha or other penalty.  They have to zing you somehow to make
              their money.
              \_ They're betting you'll forget a month's payment  somewhere
                 along the line.  AT this point they cancel the 0%, and
                 charge you $35 late fee.  And most of those balance transfer
                 deals come with a 3% balance-transfer fee.  Occasionally they
                 do wave the transfer fee, so watch carefully.
                 \_ why bother?  why not just live within your means?
                    \_ Leverage. If you try to pay cash for everything
                       you will ever buy (house, car, tuition) you are
                       burning capital. Use your capital where you need it
                       most. Many companies, for example, buy items on
                       credit even when they have lots of $$$ in the bank.
                       Why pay today when you can pay later?
                       \_ What he said. Plus, if you can borrow money at
                          2.9% and use it to buy bonds paying 4.5%, you
                          get free money. Will you lend me $1M at 2.9%
                          interest rate? Pretty please?
                          \_ what kind of bonds?  some bonds are pretty
                             risky these days.
                             \_ he's talking about the return on his investment
                                in the bondage video industry.
                             \_ 10 year US Government treasury bonds.
                                \_ According to Mr. Inflation on the other
                                   thread up top, we're all doomed if we
                                   invest in America.
                                   \_ i think if you invest in the bondage
                                      video industry as i suggest, you will
                                      not be doomed.  besides, the Yen
                                      is doing just fine.
                                      \_ The Indian and Chinese porn industries
                                         are putting them out of business with
                                         all that off shore porning.
                                   \_ there are still some reasonable
                                      investments in the US (carefully
                                      picked stocks for instance), but
                                      don't "invest in America", invest
                                      for your own gain.  That's not only
                                      in accordance to the market principle,
                                      it's also in the best interest of
                                      America (use foreigners to earn money
                                      for us).
                                      \_ Uhm duh?  There isn't an "invest in
                                         America" option.  No one is going to
                                         blindly "invest in America".  They're
                                         going to put their money on something
                                         they believe will increase their net
                                         worth or short term income.
                                \_ which may fall like a rock once interest
                                   rates rise?
        \_ How is this better than Discover?
2003/9/26-27 [Finance/CC] UID:10336 Activity:nil
9/25    What's the least expensive way to process small amounts of credit
        card payments?
        \_ yermom knows - ask her
        \_ how/where/what format?  small business?  online transactions?
           need more detail
           \_ small business. accepting credit card numbers for payment.
              Not physically, and I don't need to process them on -my-
              website, but would like the credit card service to have a
              web-based interface. sorry, I should have included this all
              from the beginning. I love PayPal, but I don't want to require
              my customers to join PalPal.
2003/9/23 [Finance/CC, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Others] UID:10289 Activity:nil
9/22    I've had 2 Vietnamese roomates so far and I think they're AWFUL.
        They are dirty, lie about bills, and one of them is a thief (stole
        my credit card number and used them to order stuff sent to their
        homes in San Diego). I think of all the Asians out there, the
        Vietnamese people are amongst them one of the nastiest out there.
        I'm not saying ALL VCs are bad, just that in my personal experience
        many of them are. Also, I'm not saying that they're genetically
        inferior-- their behaviour is mostly defined by their background,
        and their refugee background is most likely what makes them what
        they are. Roomates, beware, and good luck to you all.
        \_ watch out for philipinos too
2003/8/23-24 [Finance/CC] UID:29450 Activity:moderate
8/23    I want to add credit card processing to my site. Any recommendations?
        Typing "credit card processing" in google returns a billion sites,
        but I'm looking for a few reputable places that are easy to set up
        and affordable. Thanks.
        \_ paypal!
           \_ this is not credit card processing... its payments to anyone
              with an email and requires the buyer to go through a lengthy
              account set-up process. I recently set something like this
              up using LinkPoint (parent company called "Card Services
              Internationl," I think). This is the company that Earthlink
              uses for its ecommerce stores. Its relatively cheap for a
              merchant account with them, and they have many simple API's
              to basic credit card transactions. I used their perl api.
              easy, good documentation.                 - rory
                \) thanks.
                   \_ ps - it probably would have been more helpful to
                      google for "merchant account" since this is really
                      what the companies are offering (with some
                      programmatic api, hopefully). if you google this,
             is the 8th result. good luck
        \_ From what I found, it seems like the basic cost of this is $20/mo.
           Does that sound right? If that's the case, I think I'm just better
           off getting webspace through a third party. I'll keep looking. tnx.
2003/8/18-19 [Finance/CC] UID:29382 Activity:insanely high
8/18    Do the current berkeley undergrad student ids have that sticker that
        says Fall <year>?  Or have the system been upgraded to use magnetic
        strip like credit cards?  I'm asking because I've been using my
        old ID to get student discounts.  This works in places far away from
        berkeley (and I look young I must add :-).  I'm wondering if I try
        try my luck at stores near berkeley.  - alumni '93
        \_ general rule: no sticker is better than expired sticker.
        \_ Didn't they change the look of the ID cards at the end of '99?
           So Berkeley area places might notice a difference...
        \_ It'll probably still work; since nobody gets a student ID every
           year there are probably still grad students who are proud of
           the retro look.
           \_ Very true. I've been using my ID card from '95 without a single
              incident.  Not even a look or a question.  But if they ask,
              just say you're a grad student or just taking your sweet time.
              \_ Grad cards look different, both old and new. You're right
                 that retailers probably won't know the diff, though.
        \_ if you were really rich, would you still try to get student
           \_ personally, i'm not rich and i don't use my student id any
              more (graduated '00). i have a good paying job and it seemed
              kinda petty to keep on busting it out for the $2 at movies i
              would save. besides, it's just the whole principal of it for
              \_ Isn't the difference like $4 nowadays? - id-less observer
              \_ principle
              \_ I am rich and have a high paying job, but I am still taking
                 classes part time and has a student ID card for that.  Can
                 I use my studnet ID card for movie discount, in principle?
                 \_ um, yeah, i use my stud net ID card for discounts on
                    lots of other things too, like lapdances and porn videos.
                 \_ what kind of classes? not english classes, i assume.
                    \_ never!  i hate english, it's an ugly language
           \_ Why not?  You think the rich got and stay rich by throwing their
              money away and paying more for the same thing when all they have
              to do is flash a card they're required to carry anyway?  "The
              rich" are human beings the same as anyone.
              \_ What the fuck are you saying?  That rich people got rich
                 by scamming with their expired University id's?  Try staying
                 on topic here rather than making idiotic and irrelevant
                 extrapolations to prove your 'point'.
                 \_ on topic? on topic? lol.  dude, the op just wanted to know
                    \_ Uhm, none of it.  That's why I'm posting to the head,
                    if they can get away with using their old id card to
                    get discounts.  the answer would appear to be
                    "probably."  that's a one word anwser.  what component
                    of the flame war below is "on topic" excactly?
                    \_ Uhm, none of it.  That's why I'm flaming the post that
                       started it, fool.
                       \_ if you're going to be persinckety, it was the post
                          one level up from that, "if you were really rich..."
                          that started the whole thing. turd burglar.
                          \_ Well, I chose to flame you, doofus boy.  Now
                             take it like a man and admit you're wrong.
                             \_ you've just proved yourself to be an
                                illiterate so that makes your 'victim' wrong?
                                what planet are you living on where being a
                                proven idiot makes you the 'winner'?  sober
              \_ Yep, the rich got and stay rich through theft and fraud.
                 \_ Cry me a river, poorboy.  I worked my ass off for years
                    for my money (like the majority of wealthy people) while
                    you bitched and moaned and did nothing for yourself.  I'll
                    bet you got laid and partied more than I did.  You have
                    that going for you.  It's worth something, right?
                    \_ It does take effort to restrain yourself to your trust
                       fund money while waiting for Grandpa to kick the bucket.
                       I admire your inner strength.
                       \_ awww, leave the poor bastard alone.  he probably
                          wasted his youth working 90 hour weeks as a sysadmin
                          keeping the machines running for someone else's
                          startup and now he just hates everyone.
                          \_ no, I started and later sold my own business while
                             you were drinking and getting stoned.  no trust
                             funds here, kids.  hard *work*.  something you're
                             unfamiliar with.  try
                             \_ this sucks. why should I pay to look up a word
                                definition when I can just use the merriam-
                                webster online dictionary for free?
                                \_ what the hell are you talking about?
                          is free. i just tried it.
                                   \_ See, we're back to not throwing money
                                      away. The circular argument is complete.
                                      GOTO: Why not?
                 \_ To all those arguing about the ethical ramifications
                    of continuing to use your old student id, look at
                    this way: did you *ever* get a single fucking discount
                    from the foul-smelling excuses for movie theatres
                    while actually a student?  Or did you pay full price,
                    and then sit through 15 minutes of 10-10-321
                    commercials in an uncomfortable, sticky seat?
                    \_ I don't think CRAZY HORSE gives student
                       discounts. - danh
        \_ it doesn't work for me anymore at AMC Marcardo.  They seem to
           recognize the old ID.
                \_ LAME LAME LAME. Just xerox someone else's ID, like one
                   from UC Davis or UCLA, then modify it on photoshop, then
                   print it nicely on Kinko's color laser. No one ever knows
                   what UCI/UCR/UCSD/UCX cards look like anyways.
                   \_ or do what i do, go to school forever (you can never
                      have too many advanced degrees).
           \_ i tried it successfully at Century Theatres recently.
        \_ Two suggestions for you tightwads:
           1) If you are still a student (ugrad or grad), get a new ID for $10
              a few months before you graduate.
           2) If anyone ever calls you on your IDs date, just say that you were
              an undergrad and now are a grad student. you dont get a new id if
              you are a grad student (do you? even if you do, who knows this?)
              -- 00 grad, cheap, forgot to do #1.
2003/7/7 [Finance/CC] UID:28946 Activity:very high
7/7     re: lonely geek thread a couple of weeks back.  If people think that
        money doesn't matter in a relationship, you're in fantasy land.  A
        friend recently broke up with a guy because she discovered that he had
        several thousands in credit card debt.  He's a native and she's not.
        It's not like he's unemployed.  He makes a decent living, but just
        can't save any money.  That's completely unacceptable to her (to me as
        well).  I think most people agree that "marrying for money" is bad.
        But I'd rank compatible financial goals as #2 on marriage
        criteria.  -happily married guy
        \_ You are out of your forking mind. "Several thousands in credit
           card debt" is a refrigerator or television these days. Forget
           about a car, huh? Lots of debt isn't good, but "several
           thousands"? Your friend is in for some trouble. I'm glad for
           the guy, though.
           \_ My TV cost 300 dollars.  My car wasn't financed at 18.6%
              intrest.  I haven't bought a fridge so I can't comment there.
              \_ If you're paying 18.6% interest on anything then you've
                 got issues. My CC is 3.9% right now. Sorry you have such
                 a shitty TV.
                 \_ I bet your 3.9 CC has a gotcha you don't think about.
                    Oh and I spent that money I saved on a tv on things
                    that matter.  I'm sorry you think a tv is that important.
                 \_ how did you get 3.9%?  Is it a temporary rate?
                    \_ No. 3.9% fixed. I was offered it so I took it.
              \_ I bought a refrigerator recently: $750.
                 \_ Sorry you have such a shitty refrigerator.
        \_ Ever thought that she left him because of his lack of financial
           savviness (i.e., cannot save any money) rather than the simple
           fact that he is currently in debt?  Being temporarily in debt
           is OK but he should have a solid plan to get out of it.  Most
           girls would have been OK with that.
        \_ I don't think anyone said that money doesn't matter. I know
           that I said that no one, or almost no one, marries for money
           only. I said, and still believe, that money is only part
           of the package. If you don't think that tall, handsome,
           smart, well-spoken, poor men can't find love, I'd like
           to know what planet you are from.
           \_ You say that. Jay-Z sez "Money Cash Hos". He has more of all
              three than you so he wins as far as I'm concerned.
        \_ isn't mortgage a loan? And if I have a big house, I have a big
           debt hence no gals would like me? Your logic fails.
           \_ There's good debt and bad debt. CC = bad, house = OK. Compare
              how much a house appreciates in value over time compared to
              your car, refrigerator, tv, etc.
              \_ Yeah. Look at margin accounts. Good debt. Appreciates
                 over time... uh oh.
2003/5/14-15 [Politics/Domestic/California, Finance/CC] UID:28434 Activity:moderate
5/13    I am just being a lazy ass, so, I'll just ask my question here.  In
        California, does a divorcing couple split up all of the debts owed by
        either or both of them just as they do with their wealths?  Such as
        student loans, home equity line, credit cards, etc.
        \_ Yes. Wait, no. Maybe.
        \_ I eagerly await BDG's answer.
        \_ Stuff earned during marriage is split.  Stuff not earned during
           marriage which was kept apart such as student loans is not.
           \_ After 10 years, I think everything is split.
              \_ So she'll make sure to rack up a lot of debt before she
                 dumps you, since 50% of it won't be her problem and the
                 alimony will cover the other half. Her bf will keep her
                 living large and you'll share a studio with your divorced
                 college buddy.
                 \_ california hasn't had alimony for eons
                    \_ "Spousal support"
2003/5/1-2 [Politics/Domestic, Finance/CC] UID:28289 Activity:kinda low
5/1     Do all credit cards get spammed with solicitations for budget saver
        programs, life insurance, credit protection fees, etc, or did I just
        happen to get a card that does?
        \_ Congratulations.  Now that you have their card, you now have
           an existing relationship with all of their affiliates, which
           means that the junk mail and telemarketing phone calls you're
           getting are yours legitimately.  Good luck opting out.
           \_ *sigh* yup.  I usually toss all the junk mail, but somehow I
              still got signed up for some budget saver crap, and I was
              charged on my account. argh. And a prior incident, it took
              several phone calls to get them to seize their life insurance
              several phone calls to get them to cease their life insurance
        \_ yes I do get spammed.  They did send out Privacy Letters so you
           can opt out.  Also, some of the spam mail is useful -- great
           credit card rates/deals.
2003/4/24-25 [Finance/CC, Health] UID:28216 Activity:high
4/24    I don't see what is so unethical or special about Netflix's queueing
        system. VISA/mastercard phone support queue is based on how good
        a customer you are (platinum vs. regular). My company's support
        depends on whether the customer is a gold member or not. This
        stuff has been going on for eons.
        \_ there's a difference between giving preferential treatement to
           good customers, and degrading treatment to good customers.  -tom
                \_ no. we give preferential treatment to potentially good
                   customers while still giving good treatment to existing
                   good customers.                      -netflix employee
                   \_ aka "bait and switch"
                \_ so netflix has left you feeling degraded and oppressed?
                   get over it.  they'll be gone in a year or two or sold to
                   MS or something and it won't matter.
                   \_ I'm not a customer, but I still think it stinks.  -tom
                      \_ Normally I find myself in disagreement with tom,
                         but I second his opinion on this one.
                      \_ It's like complaining about how your Edsel or your
                         Pinto doesn't get the mileage they said it would.
        \_ offers DVD rentals ala Netflix.  You have a choice now.
2003/4/10 [Finance/CC, Politics/Domestic/Abortion] UID:28071 Activity:moderate
4/11    Barefoot and pregnant: the results of clean living in UT:
        \_ Sigh.  Not the result of clean living.  Interestingly, the LDS church
           actually teaches the importance of living within your means,
           avoiding debt unless absolutely necessary, and to consider bankruptcy
           only as a last option. -emarkp
2003/2/19 [Finance/CC] UID:27459 Activity:nil
2003/1/16 [Finance/Banking, Finance/CC] UID:27118 Activity:kinda low
1/15    What rates are you getting on credit cards?  Student loans?
        \_ student loan 0% interest.  -gradstudent
        \_ Rates?  I only use no fee cards and pay off every month.  No idea
           what my rates are.  Total consumer debt?  Zippo.
           \_ at some point, mom is going to kick you out of the house.
              \_ I haven't taken any money from my parents in 15 years, but
                 I'm glad to see you're so concerned about my housing
                 situation.  Consumer debt is completely optional, kiddo.
                 You don't *need* a new DVD player.  There's absolutely no
                 reason to carry consumer debt from one month to the next.
2002/12/18 [Finance/CC] UID:26845 Activity:high
12/17   Question for the "conservative" sodans: Did you max out all of
        your credit cards like good corporate sheep or did the terrorists
        already win?
        \_ I pay off my balances every month before and after 9/11.
        \_ Hi troll!  Like the above, I also *never* kept a balance.
2002/12/8-10 [Finance/CC] UID:26750 Activity:moderate
12/8    No money but at least you can say you're working while looking for a
        paying job:
        \_ Are the rest of the people working for nothing too?  You often
           get what you pay for, esp when you offer only a possibility of
           a real job.
           \_ Usually yes because there isn't any money.  Everything is
              running off the founders' credit cards.
              running off the founders' credit cards. [do not edit other
              people's posts.  add your own comment if you have something
              to add]
              \_ Aren't credit cards a really bad way to finance a company?
                 or is the interest reflective of what the risk is?
                 \_ One would think so but I've seen it a few times.  Then
                    again, how many people were day trading 3 years ago?
2002/9/18-19 [Transportation/Car, Finance/CC] UID:25924 Activity:moderate
9/18    Where is a good reverse phone lookup site? can't find
        most of the numbers I'm looking for.  Thanks.
        \_ anywho
           \_ shit there's so much information in there. How do I remove
              my information, or leave just the city and not the address?
              also, how to remove people information in "basic search"?
        \_ pacbell has one online too
2002/9/9-10 [Finance/CC] UID:25823 Activity:very high
9/9     I got a 0% APR offer from a credit card that I haven't used in years.
        It's 0% for all purchases and cash advances till 2/03.  If I write
        a $36000 check (my credit limit is $37000) to pay the principle of
        my mortgage now, and then pay $36000 to my credit card on 2/03, would
        it look bad on my credit history?  I'm trying to save a few hundred
        dollars on mortgage interest.  Thanks.
        \_ Yes.  Don't fuck around if you care about your credit history.
           You should also read the very fine print.  There are probably other
           fees in there.  I shred these things.  I get them all the time.
        \_ Where do you plan to get the $36000 on 2/03?  They are hoping
           that you won't come up with it and will have to pay their 20%
           interest rate from 2/03 until you come up with the money.
           \_ Some of it will come from saving up from my paychecks during
              these few months.  The rest will be from my mutual fund and money
              market accounts.
        \_ Your overall amount of credit will go up, which will lower your
           credit rating marginally, but if you already own a home, it doesn't
           matter as much. Make sure there are not cash advance fees.
        \_ Your credit rating will drop.  My friend moved all her car loan
           (14+% APR and all) to 0% credit card, you'd think that it's a
           good move and all.  Much to her surprise, her credit rating dropped
           like a rock (50 points I think).  If you dont care about your
           credit history until you pay the loan off, then it does not matter.
           \- From most fo the credit card 0APR offers I have seen, the fine
              print puts on enough restrictions to make this not really viable.
              The cash advance fees will kill you. A fee is paid immediately
              rather than over time. So if the length of the loan is really
              6mos, then a 5% fee = 10% annual rate at 0APR interest rate.
              \_ Fee usually has a cap of something like $50. --dim
                 \_ Like I said above, read the fine print.  Understand it.
2002/8/31 [Finance/CC] UID:25744 Activity:nil
8/30    Is there a reason half the stores / restaurants still put your
        entire credit card number on the receipt instead of the last four
        \_ It amuses me when people spout off about how it's crazy to
           use your credit card on the net because of bad security.
           to exploit the "bad security" on the web, you have to have a
           level of knowledge of computers that at least can get you a pretty
           decent job(unless you're a 12 year old sociopath).
           to steal a cc# from a trash can at a gas station, you need
           no special skills, and take no real risk.  never mind also
           that many of the waiters that tak your cc at a restraunt
           are working under the table and could jack you number with
           no one being the wiser also.  the whole system only works because
           most people are honest, and anyone who thinks otherwise is lying
           to themselves.
           \_ having your cc and exp date and that stuff isn't really helpful
              for most purposes. unless you have the resources to actually
              produce counterfeit credit cards, online stores usually require
              and validate your address, which does not show up on receipts.
              \_ lot's of places dont verify anything that can't be easily
                 found.  i know someone who used to be a sociopathic
                 12 year old, who got busted for this.
        \_ Because you sent this comment to the motd instead of to them?
           \- i think the WEEB concern is the ability to get say 10,000
              credit cards in a day. and then to have them sold en masse.
              part of this works because of honesty and part of it works
              because of marginal and average effort per #cc is high. ok tnx.
2002/7/13 [Finance/CC] UID:25346 Activity:low
7/12    Woohoo!  I am getting my $250 back!  Can buy new toy now!
        As you may have learned, NextCard has closed credit card accounts for
        many of its customers, including cardholders who may have accrued Rewards credits. Rest assured that has every
        intention of honoring Rewards points you have accrued with your NextCard Visa card.  We will announce a redemption program
        for outstanding Rewards points in the coming weeks.
2002/7/9-11 [Finance/CC] UID:25316 Activity:very high
7/10    My credit card company which gave Amazon rewards just went bankrupt.
        What's a good Visa/MC rewards card out there? And no, I don't intend
        on buying a GM car.
        \_ (MBNA linuxfund). no it's not just for linux it's for all open src
           but opensrcfund doesn't sound as sexy.  It's by MBNA and has one
           time credit card number generation.
           shitty Discover or American Exp. oh yeah no fee.
           \_ And these certificates are good why? They're basically virtual
              credit card numbers. How many sites let you use multiple credit
              card numbers on a single transaction?
        \_ I think I'm going with this card to replace my Amazon card:
           It gives 1% (not up to) back on "certificates" supposedly good
           anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Also it's mastercard and not
           shitty Discover or American Exp. oh yeah no fee. actually it sux nm.
           Anyone heard of "stockback" card? 1% back as cash in an account...
        \_ AmEx black.  ~$2k/year, but rewards = assassinate a third world
            \_ Darn!  What happens to the $200 worth of rewards I have
               \_ Fuck, me too.

You didn't get this e-mail?

Dear NextCard  Cardholder:

This email contains IMPORTANT information about the status of your
NextCard credit card account with NextBank , N.A. ("NextBank").


You are receiving this letter because you have a credit card issued
by NextBank with a NextCard logo on the front.  NextBank was closed
by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on February 7,
2002.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") was
appointed Receiver and is responsible for administering the affairs
of the failed NextBank.

           despot of your choice every few million you spend.  -John
        \_ Yahoo visa.  No annual fee. Point good for books and merchandise.
        \_ i use citibank mc AA which gives american airlines miles.  they
           have an annual fee but i usually charge around $3,000/mo so
              $75 off any ticket with just 7500 dollar spent.  $39 annual
           so i get a free RT domestic ticket every year. -uctt
           \_ you should try orbitz's mastercard.  Cheaper annual fees
              and you can claim miles on all major airlines.  You get
              $75 off any ticket with just 7500 dollar spent.  $39 annual
           \_ There is a Citi Bronze AA World Mastercard with no annual fee
              available by solicitation only.  Miles are capped at 25K a year.
           \_ There's a citibank dividend card that gives 1% cash back, but you
              don't get a check until you reach $100. There's also a bank of
              america "banking benefits" card--you can use 10 points to get a
              certain increase in interest rate of cd's or whatever, or $10
              credit to your account.
           \_ There is a Citi Bronze AA World Mastercard with no annual fee
              available by solicitation only.  Miles are capped at 25K a year.
           \_ There's a citibank dividend card that gives 1% cash back, but you
              don't get a check until you reach $100. There's also a bank of
              america "banking benefits" card--you can use 10 points to get a
              certain increase in interest rate of cd's or whatever, or $10
              credit to your account.
        \_ TD Waterhouse investor's prime card.  You get 5% off from
           selected online vendors (e.g. Amazon), plus a free trade in
           your brokerage account for every $2000 spent.
        \_ Nextcard?  If so, I am also using it, but haven't heard
           anything about it becoming invalid.
           \_ Nextcard just went belly-up, which is probably why the person
            was asking.  I'm in the same boat, leaning towards the
            card.  I wish had a credit card like -eric
                \_ what about the yahoo card?  -tom
        \_ Shell MasterCard/Visa is good.  Also American Express Cash
           rebate is good if you want cash back.  BofA used to have a
           cash back Visa card but I heard they don't issue new cards
           anymore.  Call them and find out.  I still own a BofA cash
           back Visa card today.
        \_ REI Visa gives you 1% cash back (but many months later) if you
           are a member.
           \_ Isn't that only spendable at REI?  (I have one.)
              \_ You can ask for a cash dividend if you want. It doesn't
                 come until July, but it's cash.
        \_ Quicken Card (actually by Citibank / Traveler) ain't bad.
           Spend $8000 and get $100 towards purchase of airline ticket
           through their travel agency.  They pretty much give you
           the same ticket price as what you can find on the net.
           Card service was much better than NextCard.
        \_ I had a bunch of amazon credit card points I hadn't redeemed
           yet and yesterday when I tried to redeem them it said they
           were out of stock, but it seems to be working now so get your
           points out while you can!
           \_ thanks brothah
           \_ I think I am one step too late.  :(
2002/5/13-14 [Finance/CC, Politics/Domestic] UID:24808 Activity:moderate
5/13    What's a TN1 visa for?  Thanks.
        \_ Similar to H-1B for temporary foreign workers, TN-1 is created for
           workers from the NAFTA countries (Canada, for example). It has a bit
           less restrictions from the usual H-1B visa.
        \_ Another way for foreigners to steal our jobs.
          \_ it's not yours untill you own it.  If you don't have what it takes
             to own it I guess you can only whine about it. hahahah
2002/4/25 [Finance/CC] UID:24589 Activity:nil
4/24    Old people in desperate need of renewal through Carrousel:
2001/7/26 [Finance/CC] UID:21960 Activity:nil
7/26    The due date for my mortgage is on the 1st of every month, yet the bank
        says I can have till the 16th of every month to make a payment to
        avoid any late charge or bad credit.  Does that make sense?  I thought
        the due dates on credit card bills and phone bills for example are the
        last day to avoid late charge or bad credit.
        \_ It's a grace period, you putz. Don't try to use it. By the way,
           credit cards usually give you 30 days before reporting and the
           phone company won't report you at all as long as you pay
           eventually. --dim
2001/7/23 [Finance/CC] UID:21917 Activity:nil
7/23    I heard that there is somewhere that I can write to in order to reduce
        my junk snail mail like pre-approved credit cards and coupons and
        stuff.  Does anyone have any information?  Thanks.
        \_ read
           \_ For marketers that play by the rules, the DMA is where it's at.
2001/4/30-5/1 [Finance/CC] UID:21145 Activity:kinda low
4/30    If I go to to sign up for "Remove Junk Mail" which sends
        your info to MPS which stops companies from mailing you junk mail,
        will the amount of junk mail really decrease? Or will it increase?
        \_ Create a bogus email address which has never been submitted anywhere
           and send it in.  See if it gets email.  Let us know.
2000/12/31-2001/1/1 [Finance/CC] UID:20205 Activity:nil
        \_ Jesus was gay?
           \_ and did you know that shakespear was actually female?
              and that aliens have been living amoung us since incan times?
              read more in this week's News of the World
2000/11/18-19 [Finance/CC] UID:19834 Activity:kinda low
11/17   Let's say I'm a 95 year old guy with a lot of credit cards. I
        charge them to the max and then I die. What happens to the bills?
        \_ Funny how people around here are so smart, they can just make up
           the law and spew it over the motd with such an forthright sense
           of confidence and knowing.  Your heirs are not responsible.  You
           can't wrack up tons of debt and leave it to Bill Gates.  Sheesh.
           Hope none of you are wannabe law students.
        \_ Your heirs are responsible
           \_ Get overdraft/death protection on your cards.
           \_ not true.  it is no legal to make your heirs responsible
           for your debts.  but of course your creditors can get money
           out of the estate you leave when you die.  which means
           less money for the heirs.  if you don't have any
           estate to leave... ok maybe the above is a win!
         \_ can you refuse to be an hier?
            \_ No.
         \_ just make Bill Gates your heir.
            \_ Now that would be interesting.
                 \_ Just do it!
        \_ The debts are paid off from the estate and then the rest is paid
           out to the heirs, if any, according to the will or trust in place.
2000/9/6-7 [Finance/Banking, Finance/CC] UID:19188 Activity:insanely high
9/6     motd poll:  Would you continue a relationship with a SO after you
        find out that he/she has a lot of debt?  This is assuming that you
        have no debt.  Love might conquer all, but I'm curious how many people
        go for the more pragmatic approach to a relationship.
        \_ A pragmatic relationship isn't a relationship.  I think you're
           looking for a business partner or vc funding.  I suggest removing
           yourself from the race so you stop ruining perfectly good people
           the rest of us might find attractive before you leave them bitter
           and angry and hating everyone.
                Debt is not a permanent condition, unlike your shallowness and
        \_ how much debt?
                \- it depends what tthe debt says about the person.
                \- it depends what the debt says about the person.
                student debt != crack ho. --psb
        \_ I was ~$30k in debt when I graduated (stupid out of state tuition)
           and now have paid off & $30k in savings after 2 years of working.
           debt is not a permanent condition, unlike your shallowness and
           \_ once in debt, always in debt. Economic awareness != shallowness.
              People come and go $'s are forever.
        \_ I would pay for her/him if s/he is really a SO of mine.
        \_ Never sleep with anyone with more problems than you. - tpc
           \_ and that's why you haven't been getting any, eh?
        \_ All debt is bad. Ditch them and find someone who is economically
           sound immediately. (There are some undergrads and grad students
           that actually make money while going to cal. I doubled my net worth
           from ~ 30K to ~ 65K in the four years I was at cal. I paid my own
           tuition & expenses).
                \_ we can't all run meth labs, sky
                   \_ I earned my money via investing and working (during
                      breaks and part-time). I was also lucky to have been
                      in school during the bull 90's and to have worked for
                      a company that let me do ESPP as an intern. - ! sky
                \_ sky didn't come out much ahead while at school.  i
                   remember being drunk and broke a lot going to those
                   clubs with sky. -uctt
                        \- i dont see what these personal anecdotes mean.
                        debt is the wrong target. it isnt good or bad. if a
                        particular case of debt means "this person has little
                        self control and cannot live within his/her means"
                        it's hard to claim that is a positive. if the debt
                        means this person is self sufficient but not rich,
                        it means something totally different. if you reaction
                        to this is "i respect that" that is one thing, if your
                        reaction is "they wont bring much to the relationship
                        in a material sense" that is something else. --psb
                        \_ If they are in debt then it places a financial
                           burden on them as well as you when you are in a
                           relationship. No debt is good. Look for people who
                           know how to avoid debt (its not that hard and the
                           people who know how to do that are better for you
                           in the long run).
                        \_ DEBT is BAD! Any kind of long term DEBT! (A few
                           hundred (or thousand depending on your incoming)
                           per month on a credit card is okay provided you
                           pay it off at the end of the month and never carry
                           a balance.)
2000/8/16-17 [Finance/CC] UID:19011 Activity:kinda low
8/16    Can anyone recommend a good online credit-card accepting mechanism
        for a not-for-profit to use? --jnat
        \_ pay-pal?
        \_ Have a look on  I believe Philp Greenspun wrote an
           article (or a chapter in his book) detailing a web site he set up
           to accept credit-cards for a non-profit. -dans
2000/7/13-15 [Finance/CC] UID:18657 Activity:high
7/13    Anybody on soda using bill pay services like or  How do you like it?  I want to sign up, but I can't
        get past the trust issue.  The idea of somebody looking at my credit
        card or phone records spooks me.
        \_ Those companies are lame.  Yo can always get the same services
           like that from your own bank.  Most banks offer for free if
           you meet certain criteria such as minimum balance or auto-direct
           \_ most banks offer payments.. but not receiving the bills as
              well (only a couple).  i use paytrust and like it.  only diff
              i know between paymybills and paytrust is paytrust is primarily
              a NT shop and paymybills is mostly solaris.  both have a 3
              month free trial as well (it takes 1 1/2 for your first bills
              to start showing up b/c of change of address).  whatever  -shac
                \_ Just out curiosity, why would you want a third party to
                   receive your bills?  I doubt I would want anyone to see
                   my cellular phone bills or credit card bills.
                \_ And how do you know you like it when you're not even getting
                   your own bills?!  *NEVER* give _any_ third party company the
                   right to withdraw your funds at their whim.
                   \_ it takes a month or so for your bills to start going to
                      them.  you still hafta say "pay this bill from that acct
                      and this much.."  very useful if you travel alot and
                      still want to be able to review the bills in detail
                      before paying.  you can live paranoid forever.  if you
                      use direct deposit then you already gave a third party
                      the right to withdraw funds. who fucking cares? -shac
                        \_ DD is *not* a withdraw right.  It isn't about being
                           paranoid.  It's about control of your life and not
                           giving access to your money to some bunch of fools
                           who are lucky to have Hayward degrees in art and
                           the identity thieves they hire.  Best of luck to
                           you.  I'll keep my own identity, thanks.
                           \_ every DD enrollment form ive ever seen has a line
                              that says you authorize them to withdraw funds
                              as well.. so they can cover their ass if they
                              give you too much money. -shac
                                \_ Not mine.  Not my last one or the one before.
                                   I read that stuff carefully.  Anyway, DD is
                                   still not the same as some random .com
                                   having authority to pull funds to pay people
                                   you may not want paid or just in general
                                   having too much information about you in the
                                   hands of the random people they hired.  If
                                   you were an identity thief, at what sort of
                                   company would you try to get a job?
        \_ BillPay is cool. 3 month free. Give it a try.
        \_ I use as my bank, and I get my bills, and I use the
           webpage to have citibank cut checks and mail them to whomever.
           They do this for free.  Best deal I've found.  Total control by
           me, free, privacy equal to a normal bank.  Other benefits to citifi
           as a bank as well.
                \_ WellsFargo and BofA have this as well. Together with
          I haven't mailed a check in a while now...
2000/7/12-13 [Finance/CC] UID:18647 Activity:low
        \_ All their stuff is cheap, and the pre-rebate prices are totally
2000/7/10-11 [Finance/CC] UID:18628 Activity:low
7/9     When you guys buy mail order stuff, do you usually send it to
        your work place or at home?
        \_ I send it to the same address listed on the credit card account.
        \_ Work.  Even if buying with a private credit card.  I've had stuff
           damaged by being left in the rain or snow at home, while at work
           the mailroom will just put it in my office for me. - seidl
        \_ definitely work. If you're not home to pick up your shit, you
           get this yellow tag which says you need to pick the shit up during
           your work hour.
2000/7/8-9 [Finance/CC] UID:18619 Activity:high
7/7     Chicken and egg question: I want to apply for a credit card and
        never had one before.  I apply for one and get rejected because
        they said I don't have a credit history.  How are you supposed
        to have a credit history, required to obtain a credit card, when
        you've never had a credit card to develop that history?
        \_ This is why you apply for a student card before graduation.
        \_ Have a bank account? They will probably grant you a card.
           \_ That's how I got a credit card. I opened an account at
              Bank Of America, and after a month or so of maintaining
              the minimum balance, they offered me a visa card. I
              like BofA's visa since you can check its balance and your
              checking accounts balance online. ----ranga
        \_ Try harder!  Apply for a few more.  My ex is a foreign
           student from a third world dirt poor country, had no money
           and was 19 yrs old.  Even she was able to get a credit card
           after a few tries.
        \_ Idiot. if you're smart, you dont WANT a credit card. All
           you need is the ability to pay for this electronically,
           without costing you money. You get that by getting an
           account at almost any bank, that offers a "debit card",
           so any place that takes visa, you can pay for stuff.
           Do that for a year or three and you will be buried in
           offers for credit cards.
                \_ Idiot.  You can't buy anything bigger than a breadbox
                   without a good credit rating.  You WANT a credit card.
        \_ Idiot: ever try and buy a house/car, get a loan for said
           if you have no credit history? Any fool who uses a debit
           card to buy stuff online is BEGGING to have their money
           stolen. At least with a Credit Card they AREN'T STEALING
           YOUR MONEY, but some bank's. Provided you have a no annual
           fee card and you make all your monthly payments, it costs
           you nothing to have and use your card.
           \_ I have done transactions with a debit card, and a
              credit card. I have experienced fraud with both.
              The credit card made me fill out a form, mail it in,
              and wait a month. The debit card took my complaint over
              the phone, and gave me my money back IMMEDIATELY, no hassle.
              \_ i had debit card fraud and it took the bank about 3 weeks
                 to give me back my money, and I had to fil out forms,
                 call people back all the time etc.  During that time my
                 bank account was compeltely cleaned out and I couldn't
                 even pay my rent without borrowing money.  It sucked.
           \_ I would mostly agree with this, but if someone ever gets
              your account number with a debit card, they can clean out
              your account which could lead to bounced checks and other
              unpleasant things, but if this happens with a credit card,
              it should be a little easier to handle.
              \_ Just remember that you won't be liable for more than $50
                 if reported within one day or $500 if reported between
                 2-60 days. The bank would reverse the fees for you, and
                 so on. I agree it's more of a pain, but not impossible to
                 deal with. Also, most debit cards (and credit cards,
                 too!) have a daily maximum and maximum purchase limit
                 that the customer is not informed of without asking. --dim
                 \_ I thought it was $50 max, as long as your reported
                    it in a reasonable amt of time (30-60 days, or whenever
                    you get your bill).
           \_ With credit cards, you also delay paying your expenditures,
              and let your money earn more interest in the bank.  Real
              Men (tm) have self control over their spending.  They don't
              need no debit card to assist them.  But if you are not a
              Real Man (tm), don't pretend to be one, just get a debit
              \_ If !Real Man, shouldn't even get a debit card. Let
                 yer mom handle your money.
               \_ Obviously, with the rate of bankruptcy in america,
                  this is not the home of Real Men.
              \_ Geeze.  Just use cash then.
           \_ Another way to develop credit is to take a small loan
              with the bank you use. They can see your worthiness from
              your bank statement and job. Then, regularly make payments
              on the loan to develop a credit history. NOTE: dont
              pay it off too soon because it should take 6-12 months.
        \_ Some credit card companies have special "student" cards. My first
           two were discover and I think chase. Low credit limits, but just
           use them a bunch and pay them back in full. Then you're golden!
        \_ One thing you can do is get a "secured credit card".  With a
           secured card you give the card company X dollars and you get
           a credit card with a limit of X dollars.  It functions like
           a credit card but if you don't pay your bills the company can
           just keep your deposit.  The advantage of a secured card over
           a debit card is that you get the consumer protections of
           credit cards.  This means that if someone makes fradulent
           charges you can get your money back, which is not he case
           if you have a debit card.  Citibank used to offer a secured
           card back when I was a freshman at Berkeley.  -emin
        \_ Best is to get one of those free low-limit credit cards
           when you're still in college. It's easier for college student
           to get a cc than someone with a degree. After graduating,
           sign up for magazine, respond to junk mail, fill out those
           product-warranty cards (and write down a high salary), and then
           you'll be swimming in credit card applications (like the
           junk mail the other above poster has got). Do not do those
           "secured credit cards", unless you already have BAD credit.
           \_ Bah. Just get a "secured" card, which you are pretty much
              guaranteed to get. Then buy stuff with it and pay it off
              immediately.  In 6 months, they will be be begging you to
                 often give you automatical qualification. UCB employees
              take their regular card.
              \_ Well, suit yourself, but it just seems weird on some
                 level to be giving someone money ahead of time for
                 a credit card. I agree with the other poster who said
                 get it thru your bank. Also, use Credit Unions as they
                 often give you automatic qualification. UCB employees
                 doing you a "favor" by giving it back to, along
                 and most high-tech and defense-contractor companies
                 offer CU memberships. Check it out. They often give
                 better interest rates too. A place that still pays
                 you for the use of your money. Screw BofA and WF --
                 they hold your money and then act like they are
                 doing you a "favor" by giving it back to you, along
                 with charging you monthly fees and atm fees as
                 they continue to also make interest off your money.
                 \_ Just get a student card and be done with it.  I did it in
                    my senior year and have fantastic credit now.  My first
                    two cards had shitty limits but they had no annual fees
                    and I only wanted a credit rating anyway.
2000/7/8-9 [Finance/CC] UID:18617 Activity:high
7/8     question related to below:  does anyone know how to stop getting
        junk mail from the credit card companies?  I have exactly one
        debit card that has the mastercard logo on it, and dont ever want
        antoher card.  unlike other junk mail supliers, i cant find a [way]
        to call and complain, and each time its from a slightly different
        bank.  if i just throw this shit out without shredding, some
        jerk can fish it out and get a credit card in my name. how do you
        fight these bastards?  it's bad enought that they have to
        ruin the lives of people gullible enought to use their "services",
        they have to threaten my credit too?
        \_ call the credit agencies and they should be able to help you
        \_Buy a shredder too.  They're not expensive.
        \_ I just rip them in half, without opening them, and then toss
           in the garbage. Never got defrauded. The applications require
           some personal credit info too. If you are so worried, you should
           get a POBOX and also only put your outgoing mail at the main
           post-office, because anybody could steal your mail and get
           a lot more juicy info on you. Also, make sure you change
           your address every few weeks, otherwise someone could order
           a bunch of Good Housekeeping magazines or Columbia House
           music CDs in your name and not pay for them.
                \_ You just rip and toss?  Uhm, say, where do you live?
                   \_ Oakland.
2000/5/8-9 [Finance/Investment, Finance/CC] UID:18201 Activity:high
05/08   Costco no longer accepts Discover Card (only AmEx) is there any
        reason to keep the card now?
        \_ what's the deal with Amex Blue and their special "internet"
           chip, or something like that?  How does it work?
           \_ It's an advanced new technology known as marketing.  AmEx uses
              it to pitch cards with so-called "smart-chips" as the next big
              thing.  smart-chips are just small embedded processors in the
              card.  They don't do anything special.  They've been used in
              Europe for decades, but they never caught on here.  Grab a
              Streetspace card if you want to see one up close.  Otherwise,
              Blue is just a more traditional credit card issued by AmEx
              (pay over time instead of every month), with some decent anti-
              fraud measures in the legalese. -dans
              \_ I feel sorry for you if you ever have to depend on AmEx's
                 anti-fraud measures because you're going to be raked over
                 the coals; I especially like how they send replacemet cards
                 to people impersonating you at different addresses since
                 they have to claim to be so convenient for travelers
              \_ Is that smart-chip thing the same as what's called SIM card
                 in Europe, like the ones used in cell phones?  -- yuen
                 \_ Same idea, but different card and chip.  The main
                    advantage with smart chips is that you can store much more
                    data on the chip than you can on a magnetic stripe.  Of
                    course, there are also clever uses for the chip's
                    processing capagilities as well, but nothing THAT clever,
                    processing capabilities as well, but nothing THAT clever,
                    which is part of the reason they never really caught on.
                        \_ Dan is almost right.  Smart cards != regular
                           chip cards.  Smart card = microprocessor +
                           storage with external power source, chip card
                           is usually just storage (cash cards, etc.)  Smart
                           cards are generally used to store small
                           applications or authentication algorithms, and
                           they're in quite frequent use over here.  The
                           problem is that no single US credit card outfit
                           has seen fit to sponsor C-SET or a similar
                           chip-based security mechanism due to costs, over
                           the current SET (secure electronic exchange)
                           transaction "security".  Cf. French credit cards
                           which would be far more secure, except that
                           they use antiquated, crackable chip tech.  -John
                           \_ *And* they're _French_.  And we all know what
                              _that_ means!
        \_ I think Discover Card offers cash rebate.  (I don't have one.)
           -- yuen
        \_ Costco accepts AmEx now, right?
                \_ Yes, and ATM
2000/1/17-19 [Finance/CC] UID:17252 Activity:high
1/16    Comment on 1-800-US-SEARCH. I paid $39.95 to search for someone.
        They came back, and said "The person you requested could not be
        found. Thank you for using 1-800-US-SEARCH!". I got a $39.95 bill
        in my credit card the next month. One word of advice:
        don't use these fucking lame ass search services.
        \_ Duh.  Contest it.
        \_ Duh - they did the search, it didn't pan out.  Unless they
           guarantee success, what's your complaint, really?
           \_ The complaint is that he got taken for a $40 ride.
           \_ Not a valid reason to dispute charges with visa.
                \_ It's cheaper for the search company to refund the 40 dollars
                   than to mess with Visa.  Visa is big and brutish and likes
                   its customers.
                \_ Sure it is.  You can dispute anything.  In fact, in this
                   case he should since they didn't even both reporting what
                   form of search they used, how close they may have gotten,
                   etc.  I'll bet a complaint to Visa will turn up a much more
                   detailed report from the search company.
        \_ If they dont refund your money, then call up your credit card
           company and complain. At NO POINT pay the disputed portion of
           your credit card bill. By the way, you can find anyone, there
           is no such thing as "could not be found", unless you supply
           totally wrong information. And, if they are a berkeley alum,
           you can definitely find them. Who do you want to find? What
           information do you possess?
           \_ He was looking for the Easter bunny.
        \_ email "7 on your side" - the guy is an ass
1999/12/29-30 [Finance/CC] UID:17114 Activity:high
12/28   My credit card gives me 1% back on my purchases and 5% back on
        Shell gas stations. I always pay everything back each month. How
        the heck do credit card companies make money? Am I still considered
        a valued customer?
        \_ Where can I get such credit card? -akopps
                \_ Pick up an application at any Shell station.
        \_ For every person like you (and me) that pays everything off every
           month, there's a few dozen fools that work up a huge debt.  Don't
           worry about the CC companies.  They'll squeak by without you.
           \_ Credit card companies make more money on vendor fees than
              on finance charges.  Lets say you charge $500/month and the
              card is charging the vendor 1.75+%.  The money is tied up an
              average of about 25 days if you pay on time so they can cycle
              about 13 times a year (slightly less because of uneven spending
              patterns around the holidays).  That's 22+% on the money in
              play, with finance charges from rotating debt being gravy
              on top of it.  Subtract for clerical and collection
              overhead and they're still doing just fine. -mel
                \_ Mel, no.  The point was that most people _dont_ pay on time.
                   This means that the $500 someone charges in month 1 becomes
                   $525 (randomly chosen number for example) in month 2 and up
                   and up forever right to their $5k limit (randomly chosen).
                   Most people only pay the minimum each month on each card
                   \_ twink- min is 2-3%, more than interest.  -jor
                   which not only doesn't pay _any_ principal (sp?) it doesn't
                   even cover the total interest!  The lesson here is that most
                   people are too dumb for their own good and either end up
                   way over paying on their purchases or for quite a few folks,
                   end up declaring bankruptcy which screws up all sorts of
                   stuff for years and years.
                   \_ twink- min is 2-3%, more than interest.  -jor
                        \_ Survey says, "NNNNNN!"  Try again.
        \_ The vendors are paying transaction costs and for the (inflated)
           costs of things like terminals. Also, you're not considered as valued
           a customer as one who tends to carry at least some balance. --dim
                \_ They're legally not allowed to pass the cost along.
                \_ ^legally^contractually.
                   \_ I was pretty sure it was "legally".  Oh well.  Anyway,
                      a contract is 'legally' binding.  -feeling semantic
                   \_ Where did I say that they did? Of course, the costs
                      are hidden in the "operating expenses" anyhow and
                      the customers paying cash get to contribute too. --dim
        \_ Vendor pays 1.5-5% transaction fee, dependent on the volume.
                \- they are still making money on the gas purchase, they can
                sell you name and consumer info, and occasionally you might
                slip up on a payment. good point about making money from the
                vendors. --psb
                \_ Even if the credit card takes no profit, they still
                   have your cash flowing through their company, even
                   if you pay your bill on time. Anyone with billions
                   and billions of dollars flowing through their doors
                   on a constant basis will find a way to make money off
                   it. BTW: 5% on shell gas is usually more expensive
                   than other stations. Cheaper to go to yer local
                   Cheveron or Exxon with a lower price, get yer 1%
                   most of the time. Your milage may vary.
                   \_ Even cheaper to go to Thrifty station on Telegraph.
1999/11/23-26 [Finance/CC] UID:16945 Activity:high
11/23   Are there any online brokerages in the US that allow you to deposit
        cash from your credit card, rather than bank transfer/check/wire?
        \_ Jesus, you sure you want to do this?  I think margin rates are
           lower than most credit card rates.  And this is a way quick way
           to lose your shirt.
           \_ No you misunderstand;  I don't want to invest on credit (I
              always pay my full balance anyway.)  It's just that a credit card
              is a very easy way to transfer money from Switzerland to the
              US without going through difficult Swiss banks and stupid
              American banks.  Plus, the concept of a check doesn't really
              exist here (so outdated!)  -John
                \_ Finance charges accrue from day 1 on cash transfers.
                \_ So now you're funneling all those ill gotten Swiss bank held
                   gains into our God Fearing Peace Loving country?  Go home ya
                   Euro-Mafia criminal!  We don't want your blood money!
                   \_ Fear the day when I try to _avoid_ anything by moving
                      it to the US.  Maybe I'll just invest here.  -John
                        \_ In the blazing hot Swiss market?  A bastion of
                           competition and capitalism making millions for
                           all the little guys.
                           \_ Do I care if I make x% return in the US or
                              x% here?  Not really, plus my income &
                              capital gains taxes are way lower.  -John
                                \_ Your return in the US = Swiss Return +5000.
        \_ BTW, Visa charges 3% service charge for a credit card transaction.
           Depends on the amount,the service charge may be more or less.  Thus
           you lose 3% in the market already even if you can do a credit
           card transfer.  Besides, I don't know if your Swiss Visa card
           is US $ based.  You may be charged another round for currency
                \_ No, it's a Swiss Mastercard and I have never been charged
                   any fees except ATM withdrawal and my annual charge.  -John
                        \_ That's because the merchant actually pays
                           the credit card transaction fee.  I doubt
                           , however, that your Swiss bank will be willing
                           to pay the 3% or so.  (Ideally, the merchant
                           always pays the transaction fee, but people
                           have found ways to get around it.  That's way
                           you can get a cheaper price if you pay cash
                           instead of by credit for big purchases like
                \_ Is it a Eurocard? Most European "credit cards" are
                technically debit cards.                        -muchandr
                \_ there's no "conversion", it ain't cash.
                        \_ well, Visa charged me conversion fee when
                           I bought stuff in Tokyo.  And I wasn't paying
                           \_ Because the Yen is yucky.
           PIG-DOG FOOLS!  We own you!  UBS owns you!  ZOG owns you!  We will
           snap the whip of control over all you drones' backs from within
           our invincible mountain fortresses full of ill-gotten laundered
           colombian nazi drug money gold bars!  Bwahahaha!  -John ("Hans")
1999/8/12 [Finance/CC] UID:16298 Activity:moderate
8/12    If any more proof is needed that american consumerism is getting
        out of hand:  I just got junk mail for a "titanium" credit card.
        \_latinum card
1999/5/25 [Finance/CC] UID:15876 Activity:nil
5/25    A Silly Valley company has offered to give me their e-commerce
        account to sell a few jewelry items on their website, and as a
        newbie to this, I'm not sure what I quoted as a ballpark figure for
        total cost of setup was accurate.  I made up a range of $7K - $10K
        to enable one click credit card purchasing and shipping on the site,
        as an e-commerce solution.  Should I have asked for more?  Less???
        Help!  (I also told the CEO the turn-around time was 1.5 months
        until project completion.)
        \_ you're a moron.  Asking these questions on the motd just shows
           that you're not capable of being an e-commerce consultant.
           \_ yah, I feel kind of dirty just offering advice - i mean, it
              shouldn't be this easy, right? asking for pointers on the motd?
              but something tells me it is this easy
        \_ wow. what a steal. assuming you dont have to buy any hardware.
        \_ If you need to ask these sorts of questions in the motd, then
           six weeks will be difficult for you to deliver on.  Dealing
           with the credit card business people can be a pain, even if
           the technical part of the job isn't.
           \_ It's possible for 1-2 persons to do it in 5 days + waiting
              for domain names / credit card merchant account / site hosting
              / product info - ack now I feel more dirty
        \_ try for what services they offer, and also to check
           out the names of shopping cart engines
1999/3/3 [Finance/CC] UID:15527 Activity:high
3/3     Can anyone recommend a good credit card?  I like Discover because
        you get around  1% of what you charge back.  Unfortunatly most
        places have stopped taking Discover.  The Visa card which gives
        you frequent flier miles is good too, but you have to pay an
        annual fee.  Are there any other good cards out there?  By the
        way, I don't carry a balance so I'm not interested in APR.
        Thanks. -emin
        \_ i hadn't noticed that places had stopped taking discover...
           in fact, i'm using my discover card in more places than ever
           now.  who has stopped taking it?
           \_ I am on the east coast now, so we might shop at
              different places. -emin
        \_ I like the Citibank Visa card that gets you 2% or maybe it's 2.5%
           of your purchases back toward any car, new or used.  You will
           eventually buy a car most likely, and this is the greatest
           percentage reward I know you can earn.  Ford & GM used to have
           cards that would give you 5 %, but only good toward a new
           Ford or GM, respectively.  The Citibank card demands no loyalty.
           \_ Ride bikes save money save the planet live longer
                \_ Yeah whatever.  Shut up idiot.
                \_ Live in third world courntry and you save even more.
                   You can even survive with your $10 a week income, too.
        \_Try the credit card search service, which will
        identify the best card for your needs.
1999/1/2-4 [Finance/CC, Computer/Rants] UID:15166 Activity:high
 1/2    I got a $2000 credit on my MBNA credit card bill listed as
        "PMT From Bill Payer Service".  What is a bill payer service?
        \_ It might be a scam.  Maybe you should ask MBNA?
        \_ sounds like an EFT payment happened.. possibly by mistake.. -shac
                \_ What's an EFT payment?
           \_ yup.  Maybe you should spend it all and close the card.  :)
                \_ max out your credit cards and then visit Dr. Kevorkian
                   \_ then how will i pay the doctor's bill?
1998/6/22-23 [Finance/CC, Recreation/Dating] UID:14233 Activity:kinda low
6/22    These fuckers are going down. Help me do it:
        \_ Looking at online porn is nothing to be ashamed of.  Paying
           for it is.  Paying for it and getting screwed is even
           more embarrassing... :)   -John
           \_ And what did these people _think_ was going to happen when they
              unquestioningly gave their credit card number to some sleazy
              porn company over the net?  Like, duh.
          \_ Look now. I have given my credit card number to probably a dozen
             porn companies and none of them ripped me off. So your position
             is that if you buy porn, you deserve to be ripped off? Let me
             me guess, you're either a man-hating feminist or a religious
             freak, right?
             \_ Y3AH, D00D!!!1!  TH0S3 DYK3 F3M1NAZ1Z N" J3SUS FR33KS JUST
                D0N"T UND3RSTAND TH3 _N33DS_ UV _R3UL M3N_ LI3K U N" M3!!1!

             \_ Or more likely, an online porn consumer who was once
                ripped off.
1998/2/19 [Finance/CC] UID:13698 Activity:high
2/19    Should I get a Platinum Visa from First USA?  -- cm1ee
        \_ No.  1.) you'll never get the $500,000 limit, 2.) it's just
           like a gold card, 3.) that 4.9% APR is first year only.  This
           "platinum" card won't help your rating more than any gold card.
        \_ Checks that are charged to your card are useful.  Also, my
           platinum card has an APR of 10.9% (after the 4.9% expires).
1994/4/11 [Finance/CC, Reference/RealEstate] UID:31556 Activity:nil
4/11    For those insufficiently clueful, why has soda been down so much?
        The memory shortage, or moving equipment around the office, or....
        \_ It has nothing to do with the office, since soda isn't in there,
           but here's a quick run-down of how often it has been rebooting:

  reboot    ~                         Mon Apr 11 01:16
  reboot    ~                         Mon Apr 11 00:20
  reboot    ~                         Sun Apr 10 22:38
  reboot    ~                         Sun Apr 10 22:17
  reboot    ~                         Sat Apr  9 19:26
  reboot    ~                         Sat Apr  9 16:30
  reboot    ~                         Sat Apr  9 06:48
  reboot    ~                         Fri Apr  8 21:12
2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Finance:CC: