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American Express Company

Self Description

February 2003: "American Express Company is a global travel, financial and network services provider. Founded in 1850, the Company serves individuals with charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques and other stored value products."

Third-Party Descriptions

May 2010: "The Durbin amendment gives the Federal Reserve new authority to regulate and limit the fees that businesses pay to card companies,. It specifically addresses payments processed through the Visa and MasterCard networks. American Express and Discover cards are not covered by the bill."

June 2009: "Rising Default Rates Banks are cutting limits in the face of a deteriorating economy. U.S. credit-card default rates reached record highs in May, near or even above 10% for Bank of America (BAC), American Express (AXP), Citigroup (C), and Capital One (COF), according to Reuters. The worsening unemployment situation is causing banks to worry that even good customers could quickly become risky customers. As a result, the companies are preemptively slashing credit lines, especially those that aren't being used."

June 2008: "MasterCard Worldwide has agreed to pay $1.8 billion to its credit card rival, American Express, to settle claims related to a 2004 antitrust lawsuit."

April 2008: "Instead, many companies, from boutique outfits to immense corporations like American Express, have avoided the cost and stigma of defending themselves against criminal charges with a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, which allows the government to collect fines and appoint an outside monitor to impose internal reforms without going through a trial. In many cases, the name of the monitor and the details of the agreement are kept secret."

August 2007: Arbitration became practically ubiquitous in 1987, after the Supreme Court ruled in a case known as Shearson/American Express v. McMahon that account forms signed by customers requiring that disputes be resolved in arbitration were enforceable contracts. Wall Street firms soon required clients to sign such documents.

September 2004: Higgins’ lawyer, Christopher Thorsen, filed a lawsuit in January in a state court in Tennessee against three American Express subsidiaries. The complaint accuses American Express of fraud and deceit for its practice of billing cardholders for subscriptions, memberships and merchandise they did not order.

October 2005: In the private sector, the first pension was offered by American Express, a stagecoach delivery service, in 1875. Railroads followed suit. Employees were required to work for 30 years before they qualified for benefits, and thus pensions helped companies retain employees as well as ease older workers into retirement. These employers thought of pensions as management tools, not as employee 'benefits.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Status/Name Change from E. F. Hutton Organization Aug 29, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Kenneth I. Chenault Esq. Person
Director/Trustee/Overseer (past or present) Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Person Oct 22, 2007
Director/Trustee/Overseer (past or present) Secretary of State Henry Alfred Kissinger Person Apr 1, 2008
Organization Executive (past or present) Rion B. Needs Person Jan 31, 2012
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Jim Torgerson Person Aug 8, 2004

Articles and Resources

37 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 17]

Date Resource Read it at:
Mar 28, 2013 Cyberattacks Seem Meant to Destroy, Not Just Disrupt

QUOTE: an intensifying campaign of unusually powerful attacks on American financial institutions that began last September and have taken dozens of them offline intermittently, costing millions of dollars....Corporate leaders have long feared online attacks aimed at financial fraud or economic espionage, but now a new threat has taken hold: attackers, possibly with state backing, who seem bent on destruction.

New York Times
May 14, 2010 Debit Fee Cut Is a Rare Loss for Big Banks

QUOTE: Retailers have begged Congress for years, in vain, to limit the fees they must pay to banks when customers swipe credit or debit cards...That long record of futility ended in a landslide Thursday night. Sixty-four senators, including 17 Republicans, agreed to impose price controls on debit transactions over the furious objections of the beleaguered banking industry.

New York Times
Mar 12, 2010 Overdraft Protection: Why Bother?

QUOTE: Overdraft, in other words, is the very last resort. After a credit card. After account alerts. After tapping home equity. Or, presumably, after you’ve maxed out or ruined your credit and have no home equity left.

New York Times
Jan 09, 2010 The Damage of Card Rewards (Your Money)

QUOTE: the 1 to 3 percent or more of every transaction that merchants pay to accept the cards is a significant cost, and the small local retailers that make neighborhoods vibrant often pay a higher percentage. Stores then build those fees into higher prices, so people who aren’t earning any rewards can end up subsidizing those who do.

New York Times
Sep 08, 2009 Dirty vendor tricks

QUOTE: Enterprise software and service vendors are a tricky bunch. Like skilled magicians, they use sleight of hand and misdirection to pull cash from your company's coffers… Better check your bill, because odds are you're getting charged for stuff you didn't actually buy. And just when you've got everything running smoothly, you'll be hit up for an upgrade -- whether you need one or not.

Jul 27, 2009 Credit card firms raise fees before law changes

QUOTE: Chase [JPMorgan Chase & Co] is but one of a number of major credit card companies that are jacking up interest rates and fees, or laying the groundwork to do so, before new federal legislation that cracks down on some of the practices goes into effect in February.

Boston Globe
Jun 23, 2009 Credit-Card Companies: Who Qualifies Now?

QUOTE: Jittery banks, eager to reduce potential risk, appear to be targeting many borrowers with low-balance or inactive accounts. About 11% of customers who saw their limits cut had no "risk triggers" during that period and generally had very high credit scores. Risk triggers include late payments, excessive cash advances, check bouncing, collecting unemployment, or having a mortgage in an area where property values are plummeting.

May 12, 2009 What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?

QUOTE: credit-card companies are becoming much more interested in understanding their customers’ lives and psyches, because, the theory goes, knowing what makes cardholders tick will help firms determine who is a good bet and who should be shown the door as quickly as possible.

New York Times
Nov 24, 2008 Store credit cards a good deal?

QUOTE: Consider the following pros and cons before you apply for a store card.
Jun 30, 2008 U.S. Seeks Names of UBS Clients

QUOTE: Federal authorities, turning up the pressure on UBS, the Swiss banking giant, asked a federal court on Monday to force the bank to turn over the names of wealthy American clients suspected of evading taxes through secret offshore accounts.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2008 MasterCard Pays $1.8 Billion to American Express

QUOTE: The settlement comes about seven months after Visa paid more than $2.1 billion to American Express to put similar claims behind as it as raced ahead with plans for an initial public offering in March. MasterCard, which went public two years ago, had been under pressure to resolve the suit since uncertainty surrounding the litigation was one of the few clouds hanging over the rapidly rising stock.

New York Times
Apr 09, 2008 In Justice Shift, Corporate Deals Replace Trials

QUOTE: Deferred prosecutions have become a favorite tool of the Bush administration. But some legal experts now wonder if the policy shift has led companies, in particular financial institutions now under investigation for their roles in the subprime mortgage debacle, to test the limits of corporate anti-fraud laws.

New York Times
Aug 11, 2007 When Arbitrators Are Their Own Judges

QUOTE: For investor advocates, the potential for conflicts among arbitrators ranks high on the list of arbitration problems. They say that requiring arbitrators to volunteer their conflicts with little policing of those disclosures is an honor system that can lead to abuse.

New York Times
May 27, 2007 A Highly Charged Relationship: Americans Can't Do Without Their Credit Cards, But the Card Companies Are Another Matter

QUOTE: The avalanche of gripes generally boils down to objections about a half-dozen practices, according to congressional staff and consumer groups. The complaints mostly center on what consumers see as unfairly high interest rates and penalty fees; confusing policies that constantly change, almost always in the lender's favor; and near-insurmountable hurdles to getting help when a consumer falls into trouble or when a company makes a billing mistake.

Washington Post
May 22, 2007 Johns Hopkins Aid Official Resigns: Student Loan Scandal Repercussions Affect Columbia, Too

QUOTE: The financial aid directors at Johns Hopkins and Columbia universities have been forced out of their posts amid revelations that they received payments or gifts from loan companies they recommended to students.

Washington Post
Dec 26, 2006 Ugly Credit Card Trends

QUOTE: From fee hikes to new technologies that encourage spending, credit-card companies will look to improve their bottom line at your expense. Here are five credit-card trends that could affect your wallet in 2007, and how to avoid getting burned.

Smart Money
Aug 27, 2006 Beware Costs of Road Aid

QUOTE: Getting roadside-assistance coverage as part of your auto-insurance policy may be cheaper than joining an auto club....But by calling for a tow or jump-start through your insurer, you run the risk of increasing your insurance premiums and possibly lowering your eligibility for future coverage.

Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ)
Aug 11, 2006 Legal Beat: A Wall Street Rush to Patent Profit-Making Methods

QUOTE: An intellectual property arms race is escalating on Wall Street, where financial services firms like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are building up stockpiles of patents on processes...But some warn it is merely a matter of time before the patent activity turns from defensive to offensive.

New York Times
Jul 27, 2006 Choosing the right card to travel: Consumers can expect some pretty hefty charges for using credit cards overseas ... a little investigation beforehand is worthwhile.

QUOTE: For the credit card industry, fees linked to foreign-made purchases provide a nice line of revenue. MasterCard (Charts) and its competitor Visa charge bank issuers 1 percent for every purchase consumers make abroad...Banks jumped on the bandwagon, charging a fee of 1 to 2 percent of their own on top of the fees passed down by Visa and MasterCard.

CNN/Money Magazine
Jul 12, 2006 Well Spent: Read the fine print before using credit card abroad

QUOTE: Most large issuing banks are now charging this new fee. The "international transaction charge" is usually a separate fee slapped on top of any kind of currency-conversion charge a bank might also levy for expenditures abroad...The fees started popping up mostly on Visa cards about a year and a half ago. Now, almost all Visa and MasterCard issuers, which are individual banks, include the charges.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

37 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 17]