Wall Street and Legalized Loan Sharks
Award winning financial columnist and structured settlement guru
Posted: June 1, 2010 08:17 PM
I don't give a damn about my bad reputation
In my childhood, Northern Kentucky was a hot spot for organized crime. In a town full of hustlers, prostitutes and gamblers, the profession they looked down on was loan sharking.
Loan sharks preyed on the poor and most desperate. The sharks charged high rates of interest for short term loans. The practice was illegal and, often, dangerous.
It wasn't unusual for a loan shark to wind up floating in the Ohio River. One of the biggest names in the business, Frank "Screw" Andrews, (who is a central character in Hank Messick's book, Syndicate Wife) "accidentally fell" out of a 4th floor window.
If Screw was in business today, he would be a captain of industry. Loan sharking is now legalized. Today, we call the loan sharks "payday lenders." more