Is Sears the only company with credit problems?I'm sure...


October 23, 1997

Is Sears the only company with credit problems?

I'm sure many of your readers noted the delicious irony in the two articles printed within inches of each other on Page 2 of The Sun's Business section Oct. 17.

The larger of the two articles (''Sears post 26 percent increase in profits, but has bad news'') noted that Sears shares dropped 11 percent from the previous day's level due to anticipated losses on credit accounts.

The second article (''Bank to restore credit cards of BJ's club members'') noted that a Delaware bank had dropped (but, for a price, agreed to restore) ''12,000 BJ's Wholesale Club MasterCard credit cards to customers who lost them because they paid their bills on time''.

Of course, both Sears and the Delaware bank want customers to use credit cards, but in such a way as to generate interest payments and hence profits to the issuers.

There certainly is nothing wrong with profit. However, when the name of the game is the enticement of shoppers to use credit cards and carry a continuing balance, this is obviously a not-so-hidden price increase for merchandise paid by those who prefer to use credit cards or have no choice due to lack of available cash.

The really disturbing point is that Sears, the largest retail credit issuer, anticipates significant losses in its credit operations due to non-payment on credit balances by a substantial number of its card users. It this just one company's problem, or is it a chilling harbinger of things yet to come?

Charles A. Ferraro


If they want it, let them pay

Congratulations for the Oct. 12 editorial, ''Who should profit from hotel?'' It thoroughly expresses my thoughts on the subject.

I wish to add another thought. Since the mayor and a number of City Council members are indebted to John Paterakis, it would seem only fair for them to reach into their own pockets rather than into mine and into those of the other tax-paying citizens.

We have already paid for the expansion of the Convention Center with the promise of great return for our investment. Wyndham will not bring in the best return.

Charles H. Devaud


Alternatives needed to high school finals

Being a high school senior, I am against the policy passed by the Baltimore County Board of Education recently.

I do not feel that one final exam can be justified for a semester of hard work and dedication. I think there should be alternatives to final exams, such as written reports, long-term projects or even a mid-term to cover units from the first part of the semester.

Delana Muir


Thank Paul Volcker for recent prosperity

Edwin Feulner's Oct. 19 Perspective effort to give President Ronald Reagan credit for our present prosperity is so skewed and incomplete as to be laughable.

The key federal government factor in our nearly two decades of prosperity was Paul A. Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter and was determined to squeeze the inflationary pressures out of our economy. He did the job despite President Reagan's attempt to get rid of him.

Mr. Volcker's medicine was high interest rates. It was a very bitter purgative. When the clamor against Mr. Volcker became high and when the nation's economy suffered a recession during Mr. Reagan's first term, the president was ready to give in to the crybabies, but that would have revived inflation.

Mr. Reagan happened to be sitting in the Oval Office, but it was Mr. Volcker's persistence, despite the president's lack of support, that tamed the inflationary pressures in our economy and made the later prosperity possible.

Let's base our judgments on the historical record and not on the hype of shallow partisans.

Nicholas Varga


Let Owings Mills have NASCAR track

Alex P. Gross wrote an interesting letter Oct. 9 about the economic value a NASCAR raceway would bring to the east Baltimore County area where I live. He listed a number of ways money and taxes would be generated from this kind of development.

I agree that there is money to be made and I am prepared to support Mr. Gross and others with bringing this valuable economic engine to the community of Owings Mills, where he reportedly lives. Not everything of value can be counted in the same way.

Ann Edwards

Bowleys Quarters

Whatever happened to animal control?

Hooray! With the publication of Stephan B. Brooks' Oct. 11 letter, finally someone has spoken out about those inconsiderate dog owners who allow their animals to bark incessantly without any concern for neighbors.

I'm awakened each morning by a barking dog, when I would prefer to sleep in. The police say they don't handle barking dogs, referring me to animal control, which contends it can only send a letter which could lead to a court case.

Where are the dog laws and who enforces them?

Albert Boan


Pub Date: 10/23/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.