Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Brenda Procter

Brenda Procter is a founding member of GRO Grass Roots Organizing and helps Missourians with financial planning and literacy

November 16th, 2011 5:24 PM

Putting a big hurt on big banks for charging big interest rates

I can still remember where I was when I saw my first payday loan advertisement.

It was 19 years ago, and I had just started a new job with University of Missouri. I was leafing through an adbook for U of M students when I saw the ad for loans at 391 percent interest.

I thought it had to be a joke, or at least a typo. I ran upstairs to talk with one of my professor friends and said, “Can you help me? This can’t be right. This would be highway robbery. They can’t charge 391%, can they?”

We ran the math and checked the law books, and scratched our heads. Apparently, they can!

Over the years since, I have worked with victim after victim of the payday industry, watching as the annual percentage rate of interest on payday loans has actually risen to as high as 445% in our state of Missouri.

The economic crisis has thrown more people into the arms of the payday loan firms. And it seems like Wall Street is betting against an economic recovery by investing in these firms. While a few states have been able to offer solutions to the payday problem in the form of increased regulation, the newest development of giant national banks entering the area of payday more directly threatens what little progress we’ve made so far.

National People’s Action is demanding that big banks like Bank of America stop financing these predators. There’s a great video explaining the issue, and then people can call the CEO’s office to demand that Bank of America wash their hands of this dirty business: Payday Action

Bear in mind that Big Banks themselves borrow from the Federal Reserve at less than 1% interest. Then they finance the payday lenders who rip off people who are most vulnerable (a fourth of payday loans went to people who get Social Security benefits). As an activist who has been fighting for payday loan reform in Missouri for 19 years, I have a problem with that!

Since the Big Banks have federal charters, they can easily step in to fill the void where 17 states have managed to eliminate payday lending in hard-fought battles over the past 20 years.

When regulators won’t or can’t end Big Banks’ opportunistic usurious practices, how do we fight back? The answer is this: we need to strike directly at the Big Banks themselves.

Last week angry consumers and local governments, as part of a New Bottom Line campaign, moved nearly $50 million from Bank of America and other Big Banks to local credit unions or regional banks. Like the old joke says—it’s a good start. We won’t rest until $1 billion is withdrawn from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and other Wall Street banks.

The people’s movement is gaining steam, and the Big Banks are scared. They should be, because people power is hurting their bottom line. Let’s show the Big Banks that the people do indeed have a New Bottom Line. What is it? PEOPLE OVER PROFIT!

Go to the New Bottom Line and join the campaign, join the movement today and move your money, too.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles