Volume 48, Issue 4 - June/July/August 2009

Window Guy

First National Loan Shark Bank
Part II: More Bank for Your Buck
by R. Mark Reasbeck, owner of Coyote Springs Window and Door in Las Vegas. Mr. Reasbeck’s opinions are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of this magazine.

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part series. The first part appeared in the May issue on page 28.

I’m in the process of writing my life story for my kids. I have experienced many colorful characters living in Las Vegas. Loan sharks are real. I knew of a “gentleman” who had a business card with the initials S.A.M. on it with a caricature of a giant Sumo wrestler holding a club with a nail in it. S.A.M. stood for “Strong Arm Management.” He was a loan shark. He and his “associates” were real.

I have a friend who, in another life, was a patron of loan sharks. Quick, available cash with no questions, no applications and no credit checks until it was payback time. The interest was “variable” based on timeliness. The Shark doesn’t care if your child went to the hospital or you buried a family member, the money is due and payable. The worst part is falling behind. You better not be seen in a new car, fancy clothes or displaying new jewelry because they just may be confiscated. You see the loan shark “owns you” without ever having the title. The terms are usually set to where it is impossible to repay. It’s a marriage: “till debt do we part.”

Wake Up America
Look at the patterns for bail-out money to the big three (minus one) auto makers. The first thing the government wanted to do was to set up a “Car Czar” to help “run and restructure” the industry just like, can you say a “Loan Shark.” This morning on the radio, I heard Jim Gibbons, the Governor of Nevada, speaking his mind on states’ bail-out money. He falls in step with Bobby Jindal from Louisiana and wants no part of the money. His own words were that the structure of the bail-out will mandate the Federal Government to change how welfare, unemployment and state taxes will be redistributed if the state takes the money. Just like a loan shark, they have ownership without title. The Governor emphasized the word “tentacles” several times.

By the time Bail-Out II happens, the government will be more than half owner of most of the larger banks in America. Already telling them who gets salary caps, who can go where on what business trips and scolding them for having private jets … just like loan sharks. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m all about accountability and personal responsibility, which has disappeared on so many levels. But think about this, if the banks become nationalized, will they have the power to regulate who gets loans, the rates, automatically debit your account if you miss a house payment. And what about if you owe a tax debt? The First National Bank tied in to the IRS? So ask yourself another question, “Who is the real predatory lender now?” For the last year or so, I’ve been depositing my money into the Simmons Mattress and Trust.

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