On this week’s edition of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver was joined by Sarah Silverman to take on America’s predatory payday loan industry “motherf*ckers.”
Calling attention to the virtually unregulated industry capable of charging up to 1700 percent interest on short term loans which fall disproportionately on the poor, Silverman advised doing anything else rather than “dealing with these payday loan motherf*ckers.”
Pointing out that the payday loan businesses — which grants short term loans at exorbitant interest rates– is a $9 billion industry, Oliver noted that there are more payday loan stores in America than Starbucks and McDonalds.
“McDonalds!” Oliver exclaimed, “I didn’t know there was more of anything in the U.S. than McDonalds, including people and grains of sand.”
With more the three quarters of borrowers having take out an additional loan before they are able to pay off the original loan, Oliver explained, “Basically, payday loans are the Lay’s potato chips of finance: you can’t have just one, and they’re terrible for you.”
When it comes to regulation of the industry, Oliver points out that, for all practical purposes there is none.
Legislators own payday loan businesses themselves — disregarding the obvious conflict on interest — and governors such as Texas Governor Rick Perry appointing payday loan industry executives to head the very state boards overseeing their business.
Launching a “counter-campaign” using a celebrity spokesperson promoting “anything else,” Oliver introduced Silverman.
“Hi, I’m Sarah Silverman. If you’re considering taking out a payday loan, I’d like to tell you about a great alternative,” she advised. “It’s called ‘anything else.’ The way it works is, instead of taking out a payday loan you literally do anything else.”
Silverman suggested selling sperm or blood, or throwing yourself in front of a “rich guys’s car”: “He’ll throw money at the problem, just to make that shit go away.”
Silverman also had advice for old people, telling them to just take things because they won’t be sent to jail, “Go to the grocery store right now, fill up a cart with everything you need and walk the f*ck out of there.”
“The point is, no decision in your life will be worse than dealing with these payday loan motherf*ckers,” Silverman concluded. “They’re motherf*ckers, they’re f*ckers of mothers. So, if you’re thinking of getting a payday loan, just simply pick up the phone, and then put it down again and do literally anything else.”
Watch the video below from Last Week Tonight: