I told him that I was suspicious of any "business" that claimed they couldn't continue to do business unless they were allowed to charge 400% (or more) APR interest.
I understand that they may serve a need but I'm unimpressed with a claim that unless they are allowed to engage in legally sanctioned loan sharking then they just cannot possibly continue to do business in this state. That sounds like extortion to me.
Well, the same friend pointed me to this article in today's Wall Street Journal,
Rent-A-Center Inc., a rising power in the payday-loan industry, pressured an Ohio food-bank association into quitting a coalition of activists that advocates a crackdown on the business.
In a series of telephone calls in recent weeks, Rent-A-Center executives warned America's Second Harvest and its Ohio affiliates that Rent-A-Center would yank charitable contributions from hunger programs in the state unless the local food banks withdrew from the Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending. The coalition has been pressing the state legislature to cap high interest rates charged on payday loans.
That's a disgusting and deplorable tactic. It is sheer thuggery on the part of Rent-A-Center. No one should ever be fooled again by the benevolent rhetoric that the pay-day loan industry hides behind.