Friday, April 01, 2005

Irony in Lending and Ferlo's April Fools Day Efforts

This past Tuesday State Senator Jim Ferlo was before city council in advance of a program that is slated for today on Grant Street. Ferlo, staffers, and others are trying to raise public awareness and provide new governmental regulations to PREDATORY LENDING.

This is a bad problem where nasty events can unfold. Citizens can sign away their house by taking a loan that is worth more than the property. Then when trouble arrives, and it is often built into the contracts, equity is lost and more.

A Pittsburgh Community Investment Board has looked at this problem. Statements from its director presented the topic to those in the audience including the Oakland Catholic championship basketball team and myself. As the team was to depart the floor and return to school, I had an opportunity to speak quickly to the players and coaches and provide a quick civics lessons.

To start, I admit that predatory lending is a serious problem. This problem is growing like crazy. And, the present public officials have been trying very hard to fight it.

With the team meeting in the hallway of city hall I put the situation in a sports context. I asked them what would happen if a squad worked very hard, season to season in tireless training. However, the record and margins of defeats got worse and worse. With defeats mounting by bigger and bigger margins, season to season, in something taken seriously -- I expect that the coaches would be fired.

These governmental officials are spinning their wheels and the problems are getting much worse. They see the problem as a market problem or as a dumb-citizen problem. Sadly, the failures are never hitched to the people in charge of dealing with the problem.

Some type of accountability is necessary, for the governmental leaders. Sala Udin is on that board. He works, but it gets worse. Perhaps he is not able to be effective. Perhaps are doing the wrong things. I'm certain that they have NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

Goals should be tied to results or else other actions need to occur. When things get worse, fire the executive directors. Fire the board members. Nuke the organization. Make the organization a volunteer status, without pay, until certain benchmarks are established.

Athletes underestand how performances are hooked to measured results and to tenure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Trib: April 1

Lance: To Pittsburgh City Council. Led by the nose by Mayor Tom Murphy, the council unanimously gave its preliminary approval to refinance $198 million in bonds. It's bad enough that the city, in state receivership, plans to spend the savings instead of applying it to its substantial debt. But, wait, it gets worse: The deal will "save" $9 million but insurance and fees will whittle that to $6.5 million. This is outrageous. City Council takes a final vote on Tuesday. If it has any responsibility, it will reverse course. Oops, we forgot -- that's too much to ask of this crew.