A lot of people have been talking about payday lending for years. Now John Ewdards has made regulating payday lenders a campaign issue for 2008 (ABC news link).
One one hand, I think more choices are good for consumers, and payday loans are part of the arsenal of services available to them. There are some people who can only get loans that way, and regulating the industry the way Edwards is calling for will shut a lot of poor people out of any sort of borrowing. (And I thought Edwards cared about the poor!)
On the other hand, payday loans are almost ridiculously usurious. Wise people called for the payday lending industry to self-regulate years ago, and they were ignored. Now the industry will pay the price. It's already happening on a state-by-state basis, and if Edwards sticks to this issue, it may end up happening federally.
I predict we'll hear a lot more about how evil payday lenders are in the next couple of years; maybe it's not too late for that industry to heed some good advice and police itself.