This is a time of unprecedented challenges for the U.S. credit card industry. Already grappling with a highly stressed consumer credit environment, card issuers must also scramble to deal with the stringent guidelines of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.

This law will fundamentally change the way a company does business, and it ushers in a stronger approach to regulators' rulemaking that will probably be extended across products and institutions.

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