HERE’S MORE in the Ed Cone / John Tabin debate over Al Sharpton and “marginal” lenders.

As someone who generally favors free markets, I’d normally side with Tabin, and Sharpton, here. But many of the deals offered by a lot of these loan outfits are so bad that it’s hard to believe anyone agrees to them understanding what’s going on. The interest rates are so absurdly high that merely spelling out the deal would seem to be evidence that the borrower probably didn’t realize what was involved. I certainly agree that there’s a need for people with bad credit and low incomes to get banking services, and credit. But, really, I don’t think you can defend these kind of operations except on the most abstract grounds.