Consumer Confidential: Credit, jobs and beer
Here's your finally-it's-Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:
-- Banks weren't doing us any favors in August. Consumer credit dropped by nearly $12 billion, according to the Federal Reserve. In other words, there were a lot fewer loans being made, particularly in light of many credit card accounts being shut down by banks ahead of stricter rules coming from Washington. Of course, it's not necessarily a bad thing that many would-be borrowers are being shown the door. One reason we got into our current mess is because banks were handing out cash willy-nilly. But after billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bailouts, some might see this big drop in credit as a fine how-do-you-do.
-- This has been an equal-opportunity recession. Experts say it's not just working stiffs who have been struggling to find jobs. Nearly half of long-term job seekers come from the ranks of white-collar workers, according to a report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. And since these folk tend to make more dough, and thus spend more, this could slow any economic recovery until the ranks of the white-collar crew are replenished. I'm sure we can all agree that what the workplace needs is more managers.
-- Don't mess with Coors drinkers. An Illinois man is suing MillerCoors for allegedly denying him the chance to win football-themed goodies in a promotional sweepstakes. Mario Aliano says in the lawsuit that consumers were told by the company to submit a code on Coors Light cartons to see if they'd won a prize. But when he tried to do this online and by text message, he says all he got was an error message. Aliano alleges that the code was in fact invalid and that he never had a chance to win anything. Would he settle for some free brew?
-- David Lazarus