CREDIT CARDS: Robin Hood To the Rescue

Robin Hood To the Rescue

When Jerry Cosentino talks, Illinois banks listen. The state's new treasurer is determined to force banks to reduce their interest rates for credit cards. Charging close to 20%, he says, is nothing more than "legal loan-sharking." Last week, after the First National Bank of Chicago refused to lower its 19.8% credit-card interest rate, Cosentino indignantly yanked $220 million in state deposits out of accounts at the bank. Said he: "Illinois taxpayers will not help fund this gouging of consumers any longer."

, According to Cosentino, the Marine Bank of Springfield, Ill., lowered its rate from 19% to 13% last week rather...