Friday Grab Bag – 8/21/2009

Financial advertising mirrors the economic climate

The Big Money from Slate put together the above video, a montage of bank television ads from the 1980s to today. It clearly shows how the message from financial institutions changes depending on the state of the economy. Though I don’t know in which economic era Samuel L. Jackson’s monologue about sorcerers and “soul-killing witches” would ever be appropriate…

Chase offers high-end Sapphire card

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who view platinum credit cards as a status symbol and those who don’t care. If you’re in the first group, good news! Chase is offering a new credit card designed specifically for the well-to-do (or those that earn over $120,000 a year). The Sapphire card has no spending limit, but I guess Chase is willing to take that kind of risk on the rich. The card comes with a 12.24% APR and offers unlimited rewards points that never expire. Like Mike Krumbol

What kind of a saver are you?

Weakonomics offers seven different categories with which to classify your bad-saving self. Granted, there’s nothing scientific or comprehensive about them, but it’s still enlightening to see which label might apply to you. I’m definitely a “Sweeper” and a “Mrs. Bucket.” And be sure to check out the latest Weakonomics Best of Money Carnival. You’ll learn at least 10 new, random things that you never knew you wanted to know!

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“Soup Nazi” behind Heartland Data Breach

Albert Gonzalez and two other unnamed hackers have been indicted in the Heartland data breach, the largest identity theft case ever prosecuted. If you were one of the 130 million who had a credit or debit card number stolen, this news probably won’t make a lick of difference to you. Your card information has most likely already been sold on the black market, perhaps by Gonzalez himself (apparently a Seinfeld fan because he was known as the “sounpnazi” on various carding sites).

DNA can be fabricated

DNA, the absolutely irrefutable evidence in many a criminal trial since the mid-80s, may not be so rock solid anymore. Apparently, snippets of another person’s DNA can be manufactured by really smart people who have access to a DNA profile in a police database, for instance. This may evolve into the ultimate form of identity theft where traces of our identity can be planted at crime scenes. Not good news for our criminal justice system, which has put all its eggs in the DNA-evidence-is-infallible basket.

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