We should do this in South Dakota;
If you are sick of living in an area crammed with payday lenders on every corner, maybe Arkansas is the right place for you.
On August 11, 2009, the final payday lending storefront shuttered its doors in Little Rock, Arkansas. Though the Arkansas Constitution limits interest on loans to 17%, a decade-old law enabled payday lenders to dodge the issue and charge triple-digit interest on loans.
Needless to say, the law had many vocal opponents. And, in an example of the judicial system at its best, the Arkansas Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional in 2008.
(H/T – C & L)
We’re going to have to watch this corporatist tool like a hawk. Not as if we didn’t have to watch Dodd, mind you, but still:
If Senator Tim Johnson ascends to the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee, the biggest winners will be Wall Street, pay-day lenders and credit card companies. The biggest losers: widows and orphans.
In late 2006, the South Dakotan spoke out against an effort by his fellow Democrats to cap the interest rates that members of the military pay for short-term loans. “This time it’s military. Who’s to say it isn’t going to be widows and orphans or other sympathetic groups in the future?” he griped in an interview with the American Banker.
That’s the man who’s next in line to lead the Banking Committee if the current chair, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), as expected, vacates the position to take the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chair left empty by the death of Ted Kennedy.
Meanwhile, Democrats are hoping to push through the most sweeping financial regulations in a generation, including the creation of a government panel that would regulate financial products with an eye toward consumer protection. All of that will have to go through the Banking Committee.
Consumer advocates and backers of a regulation overhaul are deeply concerned that handing the committee to Johnson would be a death sentence for reform.
“He’s got a long track record of supporting small predatory loan companies, pay-day loan companies,” said one longtime consumer advocate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he would have to work with Johnson as banking chair.
In 2003 and again in 2005, Johnson intervened with federal regulators on behalf of pay-day lenders, sending a letter to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,
One more reason why I have trouble supporting the Democratic party and their candidates. They continue to take money from lobbying groups that are bad for society. And Tim Johnson is no exception, taking money from one of the most crooked (legal) groups, Pay day loan centers;
A newer player representing Internet payday lenders — a growing segment of the market — also ramped up its lobbying and political giving efforts. The Online Lenders Alliance, formed in 2005, nearly quintupled, to $480,000, its lobbying expenditures from 2007 and 2008. It contributed $108,400 to candidates in advance of the 2008 elections compared to about $2,000 in the 2006 contests. Gutierrez was among the top House recipients, getting $4,600, and the top Senate recipient was Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., a Banking Committee member who got $6,900.
Of course, this is no surprise, but extremely disappointing considering the economy and the devasting affect these places have on lower income families, especially in South Dakota. Johnson should have known better.