Are Short Term lending opponents trying to clear the road for Obama Loans & a government-backed windfall?

Do you believe in coincidences?   On scanning my google news feeds in recent days, there was an item that caught my eye. And it was one of those things that kept sticking in my head.

We all know how Obama Campaign manager Steve Hildebrand is pushing hard to go after short term lenders in South Dakota, and has similarly minded Democrats and liberals following in his wake.  There has always been rumbling that there was national backing for his effort, and a recent campaign finance report notes that a special interest group, Center for Responsible Lending, has been backing the measure with support.


Remember the name of that organization – as the Center for Responsible Lending is very noteworthy, as are the founders of the group.

Center for Responsible Lending founders Herbert and Marion Sandler have ties to the subprime banking crisis, which you can read about as detailed by CBS’s 60 minutes in 2013.

In fact, Herb and Marion Sandler were legendary. In 1963, they started Golden West Financial and grew to 285 branches under the name World Savings. The Sandlers’ were known for careful, conservative lending. They’ve given away millions of dollars to charity and started an advocacy group for low income borrowers called the Center for Responsible Lending.

In 2006, just before the housing crash, the Sandlers sold their bank to Wachovia and pocketed $2.3 billion.


Wachovia was so badly wounded, it was acquired by Wells Fargo with the help of a taxpayer bailout.

Read it here.

So, after cashing out prior to the subprime crash, they started this organization… an advocacy group for low income borrowers called the Center for Responsible Lending.   Here’s where it just drips with irony, and it gets better when you start looking at what this “advocacy group”  has been up to besides assisting the Hildebrand effort.

According to Politico just this past November:

The Center for Responsible Lending spent hours consulting with senior Obama administration officials, giving input on how to implement the rule that would restrict the vast majority of short-term loans.


At the same time, the group’s financial services business, Self Help Credit Union, was pushing CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) to support its own small-dollar loan product with a much lower interest rate as an alternative to payday loans.


The emails between CRL and CFPB staffers document regular meetings and close collaboration. In November 2013, as it was researching regulations, CFPB requested data from the nonprofit on payday lenders “to help focus these efforts.” The next month, a staffer for the Center for Responsible Lending requested a copy of the agency’s overdraft analysis “so that CRL could make sure ours was as parallel as possible.”

That spring, David Silberman, associate director for research, markets and regulations at the CFPB, requested an outline on payday lending from CRL President Mike Calhoun. Calhoun replied, “Feel free to improve it!”

Read it here.

Wait, what?  So, as they’re backing Hildy in an effort to kill short term lending, they’re pushing for government support of their own backed product?  It gets better.  As related yesterday from NASDAQ:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, preparing to roll out rules​ aimed at reining in high- interest payday loans, is jawboning banks and credit unions to provide better alternatives for borrowers in need of small, short-term loans.


The Treasury Department is also pushing an alternative to payday lending. Its budget for fiscal 2017, unveiled Tuesday, includes funds to help community development financial institutions extend small-dollar loans. The budget sets aside at least $10 million to provide technical assistance and to cover potential loan losses incurred by these lenders, which fund development projects in financially struggling communities.


The payday lending rule, expected to be formally proposed within the next few months, represents the federal government’s first comprehensive attempt to curb payday lending, which can carry annual interest rates exceeding 400%. While millions of Americans lack access to bank accounts, payday customers—who pledge repayments through automatic withdrawals on their paychecks—do have regular bank accounts.

Read that all here.

So, let’s summarize the chain of events:   After making 2.3 Billion off of selling a bank, which took the buyer under and required a government bailout,  the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) was founded by the bank sellers as “an advocacy group for low income borrowers.”

At the same time the Center for Responsible Lending started backing a push to create a ballot initiative in South Dakota to crush the private short-term lending industry, they “spent hours consulting with senior Obama administration officials, giving input on how to implement the rule that would restrict the vast majority of short-term loans.”  And simultaneously, they were “pushing CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) to support its own small-dollar loan product with a much lower interest rate as an alternative to payday loans.”

And just yesterday, the very government agency they were documented as working directly with announces they’re introducing payday loan regulations, while another agency announces they’re pushing an alternative for payday loans, backed by the government to cover potential losses incurred for banks and credit unions. Credit Unions such as the “Self Help Credit Union” operating under Center for Responsible Lending’s umbrella.

If I was going to make the description a little conspiratorial, it might be “kill the private short term lending industry, set up government guarantees for alternative programs, and clean up in the marketplace while assuming no risk.”

If we were going to accept that, that would make the Hildebrand backed effort not just more social engineering & public assistance from the Democrats to create an “Obama Loan” system, just like “Obama Care” and “Obama Cars” (aka Cash for Clunkers), it would be part of an effort where someone is going to make money. A lot of money.

Of course, this is probably just speculation.

If you believe in coincidences.

38 Replies to “Are Short Term lending opponents trying to clear the road for Obama Loans & a government-backed windfall?”

    1. Cliff Hadley

      Not so concerned about what the good pastor does or doesn’t do. Instead, the feds are pressuring regular banks to stop doing business with payday loan companies. And they’re rolling over, as expected. Which means the payday people have to be entirely self-financing. Tough row to hoe.

      My 2 cents? Payday loans provide a free-market solution for the 40 percent of the population that wants nothing to do with traditional banks, people who don’t have that $500 set aside for a car repair. It’s the financial equivalent of people showing up at the emergency room for all their health care. Payday loans are how they plug the leaks in their finances. If they leave the scene, it won’t help those who don’t bank, it’ll force them into the arms of true loan sharks.

    2. Steve Hickey

      Stupid comment. In fact this entire post is stupidness.

      PP, can you clarify my earlier enquiry about whether or not you, DWC, or your campaign marketing company have been hired by any of our opponents? And also maybe be more forthright on who is feeding you things like this to post on DWC. Best to have all our associations in the light of day don’t you think?

            1. Steve Hickey

              Our church already helps people in emergency financial situations well into the five digits each year. That will surely continue interest free. We challenge our business people to advance paychecks as an employee benefit at no interest. I hope in the future the creative faith-based lending coops that exist in other states emerge here. I have no position anymore at my church to direct them toward involvement in such a thing. It would be a great use of the untold billions sitting in some church treasuries to leverage it for the poor. Yes, that was a deliberate reference to the Roman Church. But the rest should be involved as well.

              1. Steve Hickey

                Something I wrote in 2009 that sits in the back of my head as I make reference here to the billions churches could leverage interest free for the poor. What is the net worth of the Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic Churches? Anyone know? The state of Pennsylvania is doing loan guarantees so credit unions and legitimate lenders can lend short term small dollars without the loan sharks in the middle robbing the poor. South Dakota could do it too with our substantial reserves. If the state won’t do it (and it’d be a cold day in hell before SD put money up for the poor), churches are and should be doing it.


  1. Anonymous

    Its all reminiscent of the Dodd-Frank bill of 2010–named and promoted by Chris Dodd & Blarney Frank, who more than anyone else, were responsible for the sub-prime housing debacle and profited most from that debacle.

    Instead of a bill, those two should have had monogrammed orange jail jumpsuits.

  2. Michael Wyland

    Dig a little deeper, Pat. Sandler’s response to the 60 Minutes report is very coherent and resource/reference-rich. The whistleblowing employee at the center of the report was subsequently found to have been properly terminated and owed no compensation ( The Columbia Journalism Review ran an analysis article ( criticizing the 60 Minutes report from a journalistic perspective. The article’s title and subtitle? “The Education of Herb And Marion Sandler
    When two patrons of aggressive journalism became its targets, they cried foul. They have a point.”

    BTW, the CJR article notes the irony that it was the Sandlers who provided the funds to found ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization, in 2008, two years before the 60 Minutes piece and, presumably, using the proceeds from the Golden West sale.

    I’m not saying I like or don’t like payday loans. I don’t have a dog in this fight. If we’re going to talk about personalities and motivations of key players, surely we can do better than accepting a 60 Minutes report at face value, without even reviewing the supplemental information linked to from the 60 Minutes web site itself?

    1. Pat Powers

      Michael – too many links kick it into the spam filter. That being said, the 60 min portion is minimal in relation to the rest of the story.

      1. Michael Wyland

        Perhaps the 60 Minutes piece is a small part of the story, but if the first building block in the argument is weak, the other building blocks in the argument are precarious.

        Not sure what you mean about too many links kicking it into the spam filter. Maybe you’re referring to my original comment, which included two hyperlinks.

  3. Troy Jones

    Well, this explains all the innuendo that somehow I was profiting personally from the pay day loan industry (have no association or interest in the industry and never have).

    Analogous to the liar thinks everyone is lying, a thief thinks everyone is a thief and an adulterer thinks everyone cheats on their spouse.

  4. Steve Hickey

    Really? You make a big deal about a small gift in kind here and ignore mafia connected 2.1 million from Aycox?

    Pat, who wrote this for you? Be forthright.

    1. Pat Powers

      Steve, it was pretty easy to follow the money and to connect the dots. Seriously, it is documented by 60 minutes, Politico, and NASDAQ.

      Or are you somehow disputing that you’re working to kill the free market in favor of the newly budgeted government backed Obama Loan program.

      1. Steve Hickey

        I used to see the free market argument as viable until I realized that we hardly let the free market work when we incentivize corporations and industries we like. Because we have a good vision for a better SD it’s no different to make life harder on businesses that exploit our citizenry. The last industry we want flourishing and unbridled in our state is the poverty industry. The sky hasn’t fallen for the poor in the 16 states which no longer let the loan sharks exploit them.

        1. Anonymous

          Hickey, when we thought you idolized Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan you should have corrected us and said Karl Marx and Bernie Sanders were your guys.

  5. Troy Jones


    Since the beginning of his crusade, he said his goal was to eliminate this industry and the need would then be filled by other “more reputable” lenders. Your post asserts the replacement is another government solution (Ala Obamacare). Until Hickey addresses the substance of what you wrote and provides more than sanctimony with regards to his view and condemnation of its opponents, I advise you to ignore the question. He has no standing to demand you live by a standard he exempts himself from.

    1. Steve Hickey

      Troy – crusade, sanctimony… all your little digs. You are the high catholic holy one on this blog. Not me. You and Aycox are the same to me.

      1. Anonymous

        Yes, there is precious little that is “high”, “holy” or “catholic” about such petulant remarks.

        It would be nice if the “debate” would avoid a devolution to personalities, but that seems to be the modus operandi of some baiters.

        How about giving that up for Lent?

        Just not very charitable or Christian.

        1. Steve Hickey

          It was an intentional use of the word catholic with a lowercase c, Pat. I even had to override my auto correct. You do know the difference don’t you? Reread my sentence and you’ll see my intended meaning was to refer to Troy as one who rides high over all of Christendom. He is the priest of DWC far more than it is a pulpit for me. Most days I could care less. I bite back though when he intentionally gets personal to my vocation.

          1. Anonymous

            Mr. Hickey:

            There’s no need to defend yourself.

            Informed readers and followers recognize the modus operandi of some who “wear the collar” in public, loudly proclaiming piety, but when challenged, cloak themselves with victimhood and devilish nastiness, instead of Christian humility.

            You’re not the first target of these multi-faced faux prophet(s), so rest comfortably knowing that your analyses of personalities and character defects is spot on. It’s particularly disturbing when those personalities claim to be Christian, Catholic, or whatever and behave as they do when challenged.

            As for your position on pay loans, well…..

  6. Anonymous

    Its important that all voices are given the platform to be expressed, and responded to, if one desires, including Mr. Hickey’s. Its childish and closed-minded to “pile on” with pleas to ignore this or that person or post. Adults can make their own decisions when and if to join the fray, or not.

    Its also important that when one speaks of mores to live by, that they actually do so themselves before scolding others for allegedly not doing so. This is just as important for Christians as non-Christians, particularly in this time of Lent.

    Its clear that Mr. Hickey holds some pretty strong views on payday loans, many steeped in his faith. Its not very Christian for anyone to question whether those views are insincere or self-serving. “Putting down” another’s views of what their faith calls them to do simply to elevate one’s own views is nothing if not ironic, and most certainly unchristian. There’s no earthly or heavenly prize for being or proclaiming that one is “more Christian” than the other!

    Again, its Lent: Christians should be careful to remind themselves to hear the Lords cries on the cross before typing like hell on DWC.

  7. Anonymous

    I applaud Steve Hickey for remaining and posting here.

    While I may not agree with him, he lends a deep, thoughtful, and faith-filled voice to the debate…that often is much more Christian in tone and substance and tolerance than the posts of his priggish detractors.

  8. Anonymous

    Mr. Hickey—a serious question—-I am learning about this proposal you have put forth.

    Would it be correct to say that if the 36% ballot measure passes it only effects payday lenders on South Dakota state land and not on Indian Land, is that correct? So they would be free to charge whatever rate they wanted correct?

    Thank you for your response.

  9. Anonymous

    Maybe I missed it but I don’t find any “bigotry” here, whether from Mr. Hickey or anyone else.

    When one holds herself out as a “Catholic”, and repeatedly pontificates from that perspective, its not bigoted to point it out , point out hypocrisy, or point out the obviously uncatholic comments and behaviors.

    That’s not “bigotry”–that’s holding sinners accountable.

    Maybe I missed something though…

    I for one welcome Mr. Hickey’s views here, and condemn Christians, Catholics, Baptists, et al. who make ad hominem comments unbecoming of Christians, especially during Lent.

  10. Troy Jones

    Andrew Shiers,

    You are quite the guy. In the last couple weeks, you have anonymously posted over 15 times (quit counting at 15) after I posted which specifically question me personally as a Christian/Catholic without a single substantive comment on the substance of my post.

    The funniest is when you accused me of being a bad Catholic for my position on the death penalty with multiple references to Pope John Paul II despite me showing my position exactly conforms to his position and that from the Catechism.

    Then with regard to Steve Hickey, you anonymously criticize him personally (I find this representative “It may be a bit awkward for Kory to accept the award though with Rev. Hickey’s lips attached to his arse” or asserting Hickey is getting richly rewarded for his work on pay day lenders) until in response to me when you defend him personally above welcoming his comments.

  11. Steve Hickey

    Why are you and Pat researching who makes anonymous comments here? I thought you encouraged those here. Apparently only when you aren’t the one getting smeared.

  12. anonymous

    It appears that Troys posts simply confirm what Steve and others has said about him. Maybe he should take it to heart or leave who ever he is.

    I don’t see anyone personally attacking any one else while not addressing the pay day loan debate except Troy.

    Being a paranoid prick while saying all those Christians things make all Christian look bad. just stop it.

  13. Anonymous

    I think Mr. Hickey had it right: there’s something more going on than mere disagreements–there are some psychological deficits that maybe Mr. Hickey has some experience recognizing & counseling to alleviate. No one appears to be attacking let alone addressing anyone in particular here, except the self-proclaimed victim doing such things to others. Spending countless hours looking back at innocuous posts and tallying them up seems rather obsessive, possibly even paranoid as stated previously, especially when those posts are general in nature or addressed to no one in particular. It’s become a “search & destroy” mission for some folks–why not just join in the discussion, or leave when it becomes too much? After all, one’s crap stinks as much as the next–unless you don’t believe that, then you need to pray for some Christian humility and perspective. Instead of giving up something for Lent this year, maybe we should recognize this lack of humility, and work & pray to become more so.

    It’s weird that some are critical of those for disagreeing with Mr. Hickey while concurrently supporting his presence here. That used to be called “intelligence”, but now we’re being told that we need to pick sides and join the crusade to personally destroy whomever disagrees with us.

    Count me out.


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