Opening cards


Subprime mortgages might have started the financial crisis, but credit cards have become another potent symbol of rocketing consumer debt and over-inflated credit markets. Now, like subprime mortgages, they are also causing towering losses for banks. In June, losses on US bank credit cards reached 10.4%, according to Standard & Poor's (S&P) - up 4.7% from May and a massive 69.2% over the corresponding month in 2008.

"This is the first time in 25 years that the credit card business has been

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