So far this year, the share price of American Express has slid 55% as delinquencies rise and the economic downturn deepens. The company's earnings, due this afternoon, are expected to show a 30% or more decline from the third quarter of 2007, according to Thomson Reuters. Analysts say part of the problem has been a change in American Express policy that allows customers to keep a balance on their credit cards and pay the interest, rather than paying off the entire balance each month.

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