Watch John Oliver Sing “The Circle of Debt” to Explain Predatory Lending

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 11 2014 5:36 PM

Watch John Oliver Sing “The Circle of Debt” to Explain Predatory Lending

screen_shot_20140811_at_4.46.48_pm
"Quik Cash with the word quick spelled wrong."

Screenshot from YouTube

In his latest Last Week Tonight monologue, John Oliver takes on the multibillion-dollar payday-loan industry. These high-interest, unforgiving loans are a huge business in the U.S., where roughly one in five households has resorted to them. (At times, payday loan storefronts have outnumbered those of McDonald's and Starbucks combined.)

Payday loans are designed to ensnare borrowers in a perpetual cycle of debt. Oliver calls them the Lay's potato chips of finance—"You can't have just one and they're terrible for you!"—with lenders dodging regulation at all costs. "It's the circle of debt," he sings to the familiar Lion King tune, "and it screws us all." Check out the full clip below.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

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