Friday, June 08, 2007

Jim Cramer on MasterCard® (Commentary,

Earlier this week on TV, Jim Cramer, the television personality and host of CNBC's Mad Money, might not have realized that his comments actually are in support of retailers and consumers, rather than just more bushish banter for the second largest credit card association.

The merchant-discount antitrust litigation relates to illegal price-fixing. In our opinion, Mr. Cramer effectively supports this allegation by explaining that MasterCard® can raise fees and regularly raises fees, rather than cutting it. Hear it in his own words - click here. And, that is the point, as explained by Mr. Cramer, that MasterCard can raise fees and always raises fees. When you have a growing market and market power, you have the ability to raise fees and can raise fees. Wall Street and MasterCard certainly likes this model, but its customers (cardholders and retailers) are dismayed.

What other cartel do you know which regularly raises fees? Hint: when you use your payment card at the gas station, with every tank fill-up, the windfall profiteering by the merchant interchange fees can be upwards of $2.00 or more.