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BUSINESS HISTORY - Economics - Consumption - Credit
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February 1950 - Frank McNamara and his partner (lawyer) Ralph Schneider created Diners Club; presented small, cardboard card at Major's Cabin Grill, New York City restaurant; signed for the purchase; known as the "First Supper"; May 13, 1950 - Diner's Club issued first credit cards to 200 people, most of whom are personal friends and acquaintances; 14 New York restaurants agree to accept the card; 1949 - had had dinner, left wallet in another suit; wife paid, resolved never to be embarrassed again.

1951 - Donald McCullough launched Finders Services, first credit card service in Britain; 1962 - merged Credit Card Services to become Diners' Club.

October 1, 1958 - American express introduced travel-and-entertainment charge card (paper printed with purple ink to resemble Travelers Cheques; 1959 - introduced plastic cards; 1966 - launched Gold Card.

1966 - Yasuo Takei founded Takefufi Corporation, consumer credit company. June 2006 - ranked Takei second richest man in Japan, worht $5.6 billion (behind Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank, worth $7 billion).

September 12, 1997 - A Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) report announced that the country's annualized losses on bank credit cards had ballooned to its highest level in 14 years. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), which issued the findings, the losses accounted for 5.22% of every $100 charged to the nation's credit cards; bankruptcy amounted to roughly half of "bank credit card charge-offs."

January 14, 2008 - Evidence that consumer spending has begun to slow sharply (personal consumption accounts for 70% of U. S. economy); growth in rate of spending by 52 million American Express cardholders fell 3% in December 2007 (13% to 10%), first slowdown since 2001 recession; since 1980, consumers have cut spending in only five quarters (total of 15 months), most of them in depths of recession (2001 recession - no cutback in consumer spending); once before, in 1980, consumer spending fell during  presidential election year.

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September 2008 - Credit card solicitations have slowed (biggest mailer of card offers - Chase, followed by American Express, Bank of America).


October 29, 2008 - Lenders wrote off $21 billion in bad credit card loans in first half 2008, 5.5% of credit card debt outstanding (2001 - reached 7.9%)


December 7, 2008 - Bank of America launched BankAmericard in Fresno, CA in 1958 (bank had unusually high market share there); first nationally accepted bank credit card, card for the common person; introduced innovative "revolving credit" feature - pay the bill in full or carry a balance over several months (vs. pay in full each month); estimated 65,000 Fresnans had card by late 1958, 3,400 called the bank wanting it; 1976 - renamed VISA; 2008 - went public; 2007 - Americans used debit cards in sbout 21% of all transactions (about 19% for credit cards; source The Nilson Report).


Hugh Barty-King with a foreword by Sir Gordon Borrie (1991). The Worst Poverty: A History of Debt and Debtors. (Wolfeboro, NH: A. Sutton Pub., 214 p.). Consumer credit--Great Britain--History; Debt--Great Britain--History.

Lendol Calder (1999). Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 377 p.). Consumer credit--United States--History; Consumption (Economics)--United States--History; Consumers--United States--History.

Jack Cashill (2010). Popes & Bankers: A Cultural History of Credit and Debit from Aristotle to AIG. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 259 p.). Banks and banking -- History; Credit -- History; Usury -- History. Creative tension between "pious restraint", "economic ambition" through annals of human history; from Plato to payday loans, from Council of Nicea to Al Qaeda Reader, from Shylock to Hitler's Mein Kampf, from Aristotle to AIG, from Shakespeare to Salomon Brothers, from Medici to Bernie Madoff - story of credit and debt, usury and "the sordid love of gain."

Laurie Essig (2010). American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and the Quest for Perfection. (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 240 p.). Assistant Professor of Sociology (Middlebury College). Credit cards --United States; Credit --United States; Surgery, Plastic --Social aspects; Surgery, Plastic --Moral and ethical aspects. Culture, economics, cosmetic surgery industry; how plastic surgery has become “the answer” for many Americans; how access to credit, medical advances, pressures from image, youth-obsessed culture have led to unprecedented desire to “fix” ourselves; 465% increase in cosmetic work over last decade, $12 billion spent annually on procedures (liposuction, face-lifts, tummy tucks, boob jobs); estimated that 30% of plastic surgery patients earn less than $30,000 a year; another 41% earn less than $60,000; 85% of patients assume debt to get work done (average cost of cosmetic work is $8,000).

David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee (2005). Paying with Plastic: The Digital Revolution in Buying and Borrowing. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 367 p. [2nd ed.]). Vice Chairman of LECG Europe; John C. Head III Dean and Professor of Management and Economics at the Sloan School of Management (MIT). Credit cards--United States; Bank credit cards--United States; Electronic funds transfers--United States; Electronic commerce--United States; Consumer credit--United States. 

Margot C. Finn (2003). The Character of Credit: Personal Debt in English Culture, 1740-1914. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 362 p.). English prose literature--History and criticism; Economics and literature--Great Britain--History; Consumption (Economics)--Great Britain--History; Finance, Personal--Great Britain--History; Consumption (Economics) in literature; Credit--Great Britain--History; Debt--Great Britain--History; Economics in literature; Debt in literature; Great Britain--Economic conditions. Ability to get credit depended on social status.

Garet Garrett (2008). A Bubble that Broke the World. (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 178 p. [orig. pub. 1932]). Credit; Debts, Public; Economic history --1918-1945; United States --Economic conditions --1918-1945.

Charles Geisst (2009). Collateral Damaged: The Marketing of Consumer Debt to America. (New York, NY: Bloomberg, 288 p.). Professor of Economics (Manhattan College). Consumer credit --United States --History; Saving and investment --United States --History. How America turned from nation of savers into nation of consumers addicted to debt; used by Wall Street to create "toxic securities" that threaten to bring about collapse of global economy; how America can get fiscal house in order.

Louis Hyman (2011). Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 378 p.). Consumer credit -- United States -- History -- 20th century; Debt -- United States -- History -- 20th century; Loans, Personal -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Economic conditions -- 20th century; United States -- Economic policy -- 20th century. History of personal debt, consumer credit practices in modern America; how little loans became big business; evolution of debt over 20th century, from fringe to mainstream (federal policy, financial innovation, retail competition); origins of car financing to creation of subprime lending; lending money to facilitate consumption became more profitable than lending to invest in expanded production.

Lloyd Klein (1999). It's in the Cards: Consumer Credit and the American Experience. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 155 p.). Consumer credit--Social aspects--United States; Consumer credit--United States; Credit cards--United States.

Scott B. MacDonald, Albert L. Gastmann (2001). A History of Credit and Power in the Western World. (Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 314 p.). Credit--History; Finance--History; Finance, Public--History; Power (Social sciences)--History; Political science--Economic aspects--History; Economic history; World history.

Lewis Mandell (1990). The Credit Card Industry: A History. (Boston, MA: Twayne Publishers, 176 p.). Credit cards--United States--History; Consumer credit--United States--History.

Robert D. Manning (2000). Credit Card Nation: The Consequences of America's Addiction to Credit. (New York, NY: Basic Books, 406 p.). Credit cards--United States; Consumer credit--United States.

Donncha Marron (2009). Consumer Credit in the United States: A Sociological Perspective from the 19th Century to the Present. (New York, NY, Palgrave Macmillan, 272 p.). Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Applied Social Studies (The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK). Consumer credit -- Social aspects -- United States; Consumer credit -- United States. How emergence, growth of consumer credit in United States have always been subject to shifting regimes of control, regulation (from early antecedents in 19nth century salary lending and installment selling).

Sean O'Connell (2009). Credit and Community: Working-Class Debt in the UK since 1880. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 305 p.). Consumer credit -- Great Britain -- History; Debt -- Great Britain -- History; Working class -- Great Britain -- History. History of consumer credit, debt in working class communities; how community-based arrangements declined as more impersonal forms of borrowing emerged during 20th century.

Martha L. Olney (1991). Buy Now, Pay Later: Advertising, Credit, and Consumer Durables in the 1920s. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 424 p.). Durable goods, Consumer--Purchasing--United States--History; Advertising--United States--History; Consumer credit--United States--History. 

Jesse Rainsford Sprague (1943). The Romance of Credit. (New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 253 p.). Credit.

James D. Scurlock (2007). Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit, and the Era of Predatory Lenders. (New York, NY: Scribner, 248 p.). Consumer credit--United States; Debt--United States. Enormity of consumer debt in society,  its consequences; Americans' use, misuse of credit; very real, potentially disastrous systems, policies that are consuming millions of Americans.

Ceri Sullivan (2002). The Rhetoric of Credit: Merchants in Early Modern Writing. (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 217 p.). Credit--History; Merchants--History; Rhetoric--History.




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