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John Oliver skewers payday lenders. Now, what to do about their customers?
John Oliver skewers payday lenders. Now, what to do about their customers?

HBO's John Oliver turned his humor-laced outrage on payday lenders Sunday, holding them, celebrity pitchman Montel Williams and their legislative allies up for some well-deserved ridicule. Citing a study that found 75% of payday loans were taken out by people who needed to take out another loan before their first one was repaid, Oliver said, "Basically, payday loans are the Lays potato chips of finance. You can't have just one, and they're terrible for you." The central dilemma for policymakers, though, is that payday loans are wildly popular in spite of their egregious terms. Executives of payday companies have cited that popularity repeatedly in Sacramento as...

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