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Emily’s list: Boss Tweed edition

Emily Crone

Today marks the anniversary of Tweed Day (April 3, 1823). It’s the birthday of William March Tweed, also known as Boss Tweed. He was a political boss for the Democratic Party in New York City, and he is famous for leading the Tammany Hall political machine. He also ran the “Tweed Ring,” which is said to have stolen $30 million to $200 million from New York City through political corruption. He died in jail in New York in 1878, but his reputation lives on.

So what’s the purpose of Tweed Day? It is a time to think about political corruption, which is fortunately no longer as common as it was in Tweed’s day (so we think). In this week’s blog roundup, we reflect on Mr. Tweed, and feature posts that discuss how you can avoid financial corruption when it comes to debt and credit cards.

William
A portrait of William Tweed on a 1869 tobacco label.

1. Ask Mr. Credit Card reports on some credit cards behaving badly, including an issuer that charges foreign transaction fees when you make a purchase from a foreign-based company in U.S. dollars, even when you’re in the States!  Scandalous.

2. Money Blue Book doesn’t want you to get scammed by fake free credit score offers (ahem, FreeCreditReport.com). In a blog post, he explains why it is difficult to get your Experian credit score for free, but how you might be able to do so anyway.

3. Are you tired of going into credit card debt to impress your partner? Could you use a little redemption for your sins? Tamara at Queer Cents says attending church makes for a cheap and interesting date.

4. These days, when you find yourself without any money, you can declare bankruptcy. Consider yourself lucky; when Boss Tweed was sued by New York City for $6 million and couldn’t pay it off, he was thrown in debtor’s prison. Kristy at Master Your Card covers the basics of bankruptcy, such as what it is, what it does and doesn’t do, the various chapters and more.

5. Lynnae at Being Frugal explains two of the major steps to getting out of debt: Make a commitment and hatch an escape plan. Boss Tweed did this when he escaped debtor’s prison and ran to Spain to work as a seaman. But, U.S. authorities eventually found him and put him back in jail.

6. It’s hard enough these days to pay off debt from necessary expenses, but it would be worse to find yourself the victim of a scam and try to pay that off. Bargaineering outlines the major ruses con artists use.

 

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