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17 September 2009
The debtors' revolt seems to be a failure
We gave some publicity almost a week ago to one woman's crusade to do over the American credit card companies over rates of interest that amounted to usury. Sadly, we have to report that the debtors' revolt seems to be a failure. Whether it can be resurrected in some form is debatable, but as it stands the revolt is probably going nowhere.

What Ann Minch, the organiser of this campaign probably did not realise is that the credit card companies can shovel their debt onto the federal government. Thus even if the campaign took off in a big way, the companies would not be hurt as Uncle Sam would pick up the tab.

Secondly, the campaign appears to have become rudderless, with sympathetic bloggers and journalists just not getting the information that we need to keep the campaign alive. Thus during the first two days of the debtor's revolt video's life between the 8th and 10th of this month, it attracted 60,000 hits largely because plenty of bloggers were posting about it. However, the hit-tally at the moment is just 177,000, which may sound a lot but isn't really. What is happening is that the video is still being watched, but not by the growing numbers that we would expect had it truly gone viral.

What went wrong? Basically Ann is not managing things properly. She does not reply to e-mails, and neither does she appear to be sending out news releases. It does not take a genius to search the blogs to find out who is posting on this theme and then get information out to them to keep the topic alive.

The failure to do this means that the issue will quickly fade from the public memory. It may very well be that Ann's campaign was doomed from the start owing to the ability of the credit card companies to offload their debt, but the failure to generate sufficient publicity is Ann's fault. There used to be a saying in the Communist Party of old that spontaneous outpourings of popular wrath need to be very carefully organised, and that is something that everyone, not just Ann Minch, needs to keep in mind.

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2 Comments:

Frankly, Ann has not thought the issue through very carefully. I really don't think this is a campaign, as much as a woman that's upset and doesn't know what to do except make a video...

I understand that this woman is upset, but who is she really hurting by refusing to pay money that she leagally owes? I agree that BofA's increased credit card rate seems excessive, however I don't think that she fully understands the ramification of her actions.

CreditLaw.com, has posted a response to this video on their blog which highlights some simple steps that she (or anyone) can take to resolve the situation, walk away and essentially give BofA the finger without sacrificing her personal financial future.

For anyone interested, you can find it here: http://www.creditlaw.com/blog

20 September 2009 at 15:28  

Thanks for your input and welcome to the fun house.

I think that Ann did think things through before she made her first video, and that is why her remarks struck such a cord in the popular imagination.

The fact that she did not know that the credit card companies can shovel their debt onto Uncle Sam is something that doomed her movement from the start, however.

21 September 2009 at 02:32  

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