Originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald on May 16, 2008

Australia’s love affair with easy credit has turned on itself. The price of credit has reached its highest point in 14 years, and home buyers are feeling the economic pain associated with higher interest rates. The corporate sector has tended to blame individuals for taking on more debt than they can handle, drawing on the doctrine of “personal responsibility” to absolve itself of any culpability. One way to redress the “information asymmetry” between consumers and corporations is to introduce new rules covering what information needs to be displayed prominently on monthly credit card statements. At a time when our debt is catching up with us, this would at least help some people think through the consequences of their next credit card purchase.

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