The FT Misunderstands the Economics of Credit-Card Markets
In a recent piece for the Financial Times, Brendan Greeley argues that the misnamed Credit Card Competition Act would reduce inflation. In it, Greeley recycles numerous myths about the nature of credit-card markets that have long been rebutted by serious economic research. Both theory and ample evidence from the United States and other countries shows that attempting artificially to force down interchange fees is bad for consumers—especially those with lower incomes and those who revolve their balances. Moreover, these interventions simply redistribute the costs of operating the payment-card system; they do not eliminate them. As a result, they won’t reduce inflation, as Greeley imagines.