I read the letter three times and still didn't see them. Where were the words "Stick 'em up!?"
I suspect Citibank intentionally left them off, writing instead:
Dear Monroe Anderson III,
We are making changes to your account terms.
To continue to provide our customers with access to credit, we have had to adjust our pricing. The terms of your account will be changing. These changes include increases in the variable APR for purchases to 23.99 per and will take effect December 29, 2009.
That .01 percent that Citibank isn't charging me on my credit card is what it gives me on my interest-bearing savings account. Citibank's generosity is awe-inspiring.
My tax money--and yours--mercifully bailed out the financial corporation and its incompetent top management. Citigroup was kept from going under by our TARP funds. So Citigroup shows its gratitude by doubling my interest rates, giving an AVERAGE of $6.2 million last year to each of its failing top executives.
Nice work if you can get it.
Something doesn't add up here. Usury laws in Illinois have a nine percent limit. In Sarah Palin country, the Alaska state legislature "has established the general usury limit on personal loans at a maximum rate which is no more than five percent above the Federal Reserve interest rate on the date that the personal loan in question was made," according to Usurylaw.com. Maybe Citigroup came up with its gold standard in Soprano-land, New Jersey, where the usury limit is a back-breaking 30 percent.
I don't know. All I know is that the Credit Card Act of 2009, which kicks in next month and is supposed to protect us from loan sharking banks, seems to be a day late and a few hundreds of millions of dollars short. In anticipation of the so-called credit card protection law, Citibank raised my APR rate from 11.24 percent to the Willie Sutton-like 23.99 percent.
Fortunately, I am able to take matters into my own hands against the notorious Wall Street Gang. Since Citibank seems hell-bent on emptying my pockets, I'll going to retaliate by emptying my Citigroup bank and equity accounts.
And while I'm at it, I'm going to cut up my Citigold card, wrap it in newspaper and mail it back to them. They made me an offer I could refuse.
May their business soon be sleeping with the fishes.
Cyber Columnist Monroe Anderson is an award-winning journalist who penned op-ed columns for both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. You can read his blog at http://www.monroeanderson.typepad.com/