Lending money at an unreasonable interest rate is considered immoral and unethical in every major world religion. In the united stated, the interest rate applied to a loan is not regulated at the federal level. Sleazy greedy companies like "check into cash" or "money tree" or most credit card companies lend money at rates ranging from %18 to %500 : short term loans of high risk having the highest interest rates.
Inflation eats away the value of money at about %3/ yr, so charging slightly more then that, lets say %5 is arguably reasonable. Considering that many loans issued are issued at much higher rates, unethical loans have become common place: where the wealthy take advantage of the lower income level demographic groups. You didn't think that super-yachts were acquired by honest ethical people did you?
I am not saying that all wealthy people are sleazy and unethical : far from it. Many very wealthy people are generous, kind, loving people that help others. It is only a small minority of the very wealthiest that are unethically cheating and taking from the middle class and the poor.
Criminal : Bank
What is the difference? I guess with the bank and in the case of a loan, you are agreeing to allow them to rip you off.
Theft : High Interest Rates
What is the difference? Almost nothing. One way or the other, the greedy/ guilty party takes from the less fortunate.
Creative Financial Tools
Sounds interesting huh... ? Yes, geeks on wall-street have created a whole class of complex investment "instruments". Using advanced differential calculus and exotic accounting methods, there is a special class of criminal that operates unimpeded in the United States. These criminals write special investment software algorithms that "trim the peak" and "cut the dip" : moving billions of dollars across tens of thousands of transactions per minute, manipulate prices trends which they then take advantage of through buying low (after they create a dip) and selling high (after they create a spike). They only make a tiny amount of money each time, relying on billions of transactions to amass impressive returns on investment.
Congress for Sale
Many decades ago private research firms determined with absolute certainty that the best yielding investment is the bribing and corruption of public officials: specifically congresspersons and senators. Through bribery and corruption, large and or wealthy businesses can gain control of laws, law makers and regulations.
Banks and Law Makers
The Clinton/ Bush era deregulation of finance laws was the result of imbeciles like alan greenspan corroborating with sleazy fart sniffers like lloyd blankfein and corrupt congresspersons and senators. The sleazy investment banks, and federal reserve, especially that crown dung pile Henry Paulson, removed all of the regulatory framework designed to insure market stability, so that they could milk massive short term high risk investments for as much money as possible, and then get out while the Madoff is still going....
Inside Job (2012)