Battlepanda: Card Slaves


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Card Slaves

I had not realized this before, but credit card debts have become an even bigger problem in Taiwan than it is in the States. With the loosening of lending standards, people started treating credit cards as irresistable magical ATMs as their spending habits outstrips their earning powers by a whole order of magnitude, with tragic results. They are called "card slaves". It's become a major social problem here, as it had in Hong Kong and Korea previously.

A grandmother ridden with debt and the burden of caring for her two young grandsons ended up killing them both and attempting suicide. They were buried today. A man murdered his "card slave" wife who have racked up nearly ten million NT (about 300,000 USD) on various cards before, again, attempting suicide. Another man is suspected of committing suicide because of heavy credit card debts. (Links are all in Chinese, of course).

There are attempts at ameliorating the problem now, with more emphasis on public education and structured negotiation. However, I have a feeling that this is not going to be a problem that is going to go away until lending standards are seriously tightened.