By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal
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CFPB Sets Sights on Payday Loans (WSJ)
Alan Zibel reports on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s plans to explore creating new rules to regulate predatory payday lending, the first such rules on a federal level.
Consumer-advocacy groups say the loans are deceptive because borrowers often roll them over several times, racking up fees in the process. They also criticize high annual interest rates that can range from less than 200% to more than 500%, depending on the state, according to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Early this year, the CFPB plans to convene a panel of small lenders to discuss its payday-loan plans, according to the people familiar with the matter. The bureau, like other federal agencies, is required to consider input from small businesses if regulations being developed are likely to have a significant impact on them.
Follow below the fold for more.
Signs of Economic Promise Are Offering Some Hope for the New Year (NYT)
Rachel Swarns reports on the positive signs that some are seeing, including new jobs for long-term job seekers and raises and more hours for workers at retail chains like Zara.
Don’t Believe What You Hear About the U.S. Economy (AJAM)
Dean Baker says it’s not yet time to celebrate an economic comeback. Growth is still slow enough that the labor market won’t reach pre-recession numbers by the end of 2015.
Why the Democrats Need Labor Again (Politico Magazine)
Timothy Noah interviews Thomas Geoghegan on his new book, which he describes as a “last-ditch effort for the Democrats” to revive the labor movement and win elections.
California Colleges See Surge in Efforts to Unionize Adjunct Faculty (LA Times)
Larry Gordon speaks to adjunct faculty at some of the private colleges in California that are seeing union organizing on campus for the first time.
Austerity’s End Strengthens U.S. Recovery (MSNBC)
Steve Benen corrects Grover Norquist’s attempt to give Republicans credit for economic growth, pointing to small increases in public spending as proof that austerity didn’t fix anything.
The Five Major Things We Screwed Up in Inequality in 2014 (The Guardian)
Suzanne McGee’s list includes the minimum wage, which she says needs a boost at a federal level, and race and economic opportunity, an issue she says we practically ignored.