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FROM THIS EPISODE

Credit card companies made big money by extending easy credit, but now they’re reducing borrowing limits, jacking up interest rates and even closing accounts. Also, USC, UCLA and CSUN are all heading to the NCAA Tourney. On our rebroadcast of today’s To the Point, we consider what that means for consumers and the economy. Also, California’s budget problems are not over, even if voters uphold last month’s $42 billion compromise. Will a new, $8 billion shortfall lead to thousands of teachers being laid off after all?

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Gary Scott
Christian Bordal

Reporter's Notebook USC, UCLA and CSUN All Headed to NCAA Tourney 5 MIN, 29 SEC

UCLA, USC and Cal State University Northridge are all on their way to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Ramona Shelburne covers sports for the LA Daily News.

Guests:
Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Los Angeles (@ramonashelburne)

Main Topic The Credit Card Economy Comes Home to Roost 26 MIN, 5 SEC

The credit card industry has extended $5 trillion in available credit.”  So far, only $800 billion is currently owed.  But, as more and more people look to credit cards as a way to coping in tough times, “easy credit” is becoming a thing of the past. What happens when an industry that extends “easy credit” in good times has to contract? Is anyone looking out for consumers?

Guests:
Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter, SmartMoney.com
Robert Manning, Rochester Institute of Technology
Gail Hillebrand, Manager, Consumers Union's Financial Services Advocacy Campaign
Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University

Credit Card Nation

Robert Manning

Main Topic Another Budget Shortfall Impacts Politics and Schools 20 MIN, 7 SEC

In May, California voters will be asked to ratify the $42 billion tax increase and spending-cut program worked out by Governor Schwarzenegger and squabbling legislators of both parties. But last week, the Legislative Analyst dropped something awful into the punch bowl. For the first time since at least 1950, personal income is down, meaning a decline in state revenues of $8 billion. We hear about the implications for politics and schools.

Guests:
Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News (@jordanrau)
Kevin Gordon, education lobbyist
Norton Grubb, Director, UC Berkeley's Principal Leadership Institute

The Money Myth

Norton Grubb

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