SMNR: Credit Cards in Transition

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE 3:55 - 5:45 pm TNH 3.127

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


For most of their history, credit cards have been largely unregulated. That changed in 2009 with the passage of the CARD Act, which directly regulated their substantive terms for the first time. Credit cards are receiving even more scrutiny from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In this seminar, we will examine how these changes have affected the credit industry and the consumers who borrow from it. Questions to be considered include: Has regulation decreased the supply or increased the price of credit? Have the new laws helped consumers, or have they negatively restricted consumer choice? What provisions have been most and least effective? What lessons can we apply to other consumer credit relationships? And perhaps most importantly, are these laws an aberration in the history of a free-market product, or is regulation the future of credit cards? We will also briefly touch on credit card fraud and the conflicts between credit card issuers and merchants. We will read a variety of materials, including CFPB publications about the agency's latest enforcement actions. Grades will be apportioned as follows: 50%, final papers; 25%, students' first draft of their papers; and 25%, class paritipcation.