Payday lending bill smells real fishy…
If you followed my old blog, you know that I don’t think much of the “keeping poor people poor” payday lending industry in Wisconsin. I think it needs some serious controls placed on it. It’s predatory lending, pure and simple — and I’m sick of people defending its exploitive practices by acting like the free market is going to take care of it. It hasn’t and it won’t, because the business relies on a market comprising people with few options or who lack sufficient sophistication in financial matters to adequately protect themselves.
In short, there ought to be a law and it has to include some interest rate limits. Not having limits would be like claiming to reform drunk driving laws without having a specificied unlawful blood alcohol limit in the statute. The sad truth is that if the Wisconsin legislature set an Annual Percentage Rate cap of 100 percent interest on payday loans, they would still be performing a significant service. Think about that.
The Democrats should be able to rally the votes to get this done and signed and time is running out in this term of the legislature. If they don’t, then it’s a wasted opportunity to do some good and we don’t know if there will be sufficient support in the term that begins in 2011.
Playing in the background of this discussion is a highly compromising situation with Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan and you can read about that here:
This is starting to remind me of the bad old days with former Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala and it should give everyone cause for pause. In ethics laws, we talk about both conflicts of interests and the appearance of conflicts of interests. If it walks like a duck…