Saturday, August 04, 2012

Bunyan on predatory lenders

In The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, Bunyan has a scene wherein Mr. Wiseman discusses with Mr. Attentive those (like Mr. Badman) who took advantage of the poor through unfair lending practices.  His description of the "Pawn-Broker" of his day has the ring of a contemporary predatory pay-day lender:

Deceit! Aye, but I have not told you the thousandth part of it; nor is it my business now to rake the bottom of that dunghill:  what would you say, if I should anatomize some of those vile wretches called Pawn-Brokers, that lend money and goods to poor people, who are by necessity forced to such an inconvenience; and will make, by one trick or another, the interest of what they so lend, amount to thirty, forty, yea sometimes fifty pounds by the year; notwithstanding the principal is secured by a sufficient pawn; which they will keep too at last, if they can find any shift to cheat the wretched borrower.

1 comment:

Mad Jack said...

Which describes the banking system today. In my own opinion there is greed beyond the dreams of avarice, then there is greed beyond the dreams of bankers and mortgage lenders.