Loan Sharks: The Birth of Predatory Lending by Charles R. Geisst (Hardback, 2017)

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Predatory lending: A problem rooted in the past that continues today Looking for an investment return that could exceed 500 percent annually-maybe even twice that much? Private, unregulated lending to high-risk borrowers is the answer, or at least it was in the United States for much of the period from the Civil War to the onset of the Great Depression. Newspapers called the practice loan sharking" because the lenders employed the same ruthlessness as the great predators in the ocean. State and federal governments finally adopted laws and regulations curtailing the practice but organized crime still took over much of the business. Lending to high-margin investors contributed directly to the Wall Street crash of 1929. Loan Sharks is the first history of predatory lending in the United States.
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