Payday Lending Is Still In The News.
Why? Because it’s a corrupt business if one allows it to be. Not only do they run over the poor with high interest rates and questionable collections tactics, they get to do that with a little government help when one of their own sits on a commission that is supposed to protect consumers.
While city governments, like Houston, have taken it upon themselves to send a message to the Texas Lege to do something about protecting consumers, it is gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis who has made this an issue at the state level by calling for the resignation of William J. White from the Finance Commission of Texas. White is a VP at Cash America, which funnels money to candidates (or through lobbyists as it was done here in Houston). The rest of the board lacks diversity ethnically, but it sure does represent the banking and financial industry well. There aren’t any “regular” folks or consumer protection types on the commission.
“It’s really disgusting that an industry that profits from the poor by charging 1,000-plus interest is put at the head of the state’s financial regulatory agency,” Senaor Davis said. “It’s saying, ‘It’s not only OK, but we’re going to put them in charge.’ ”
Davis has been critical of White’s appointment and payday lending practices, filing legislation attempting reform since 2009. But these bills, strongly opposed by the industry, who are also heavy political donors, have failed in the legislature.
Greg Abbott and White blame the poor for making bad decisions in life. I guess it’s a bad decision to end up in the emergency room because people like Abbott and Rick Perry won’t expand Medicaid or support access to health care for the poor–that’s just one reason folks get these kind of emergency loans.
Just one last reminder about the mission of this commission: The mission of the Finance Commission of Texas is to ensure that the banks, savings institutions, consumer credit grantors, and other regulated entities chartered or licensed under state law operate as sound and responsible institutions that enhance the financial well-being of the citizens of Texas.
So much for that.
OK–that’s just one thought for the week. Have a fun weekend!
Music Break – Jimmy Gonzalez and Mazz – Mi Cama Llora Por Ti (Forever Mazz)