I know that credit cards are evil, and that I'm paying with snakes. I just love my 3% cash back to give up completely, so articles like this while appalling, are not too surprising:
Banks Mine Data and Woo Troubled Borrowers
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Although I firmly believe that the responsibility for every penny of debt ultimately rests with the borrower, we should all be aware of baits the lenders use to lure us into their traps.
The lenders don't just use existing information about your life to inundate you with custom offers, they use sophisticated predictive models to precisely know who will or will not take the bait. They hone their algorithms, making each pitch more effective, getting more people to borrow and spend.
These companies think they are doing a consumer a service, instead they are contributing to the credit collapse of this country.
The whole "Debt Trap" series which explores the surge in consumer debt and the lenders who made it possible, is an interesting read.