This recent New York Times’ article about proposed federal regulations for the Payday lending industry, Consumer Protection Agency Seeks Limits on Payday Lenders, highlights some of the behind-the-scenes battles in this sector. While the article describes some of the abusive practices and the threat that proposed regulations pose to those practices, it fails to describe any alternative lending practices that might replace the predatory ones. I’m thinking in particular of some of the micro-lending and micro-finance efforts that have been pioneered in India and elsewhere; also some of the local and “slow money” initiatives in the United States. Finally, I’d be curious to know whether adding requirements that Payday lenders include a significant percentage of their clientele in both management and ownership–like a cooperative–might be beneficial.
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