Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Pity the poor "victim" of the lenders

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The Independent Online

Talk about barn doors and bolting horses. Like the chiming of the great grandfather clock, the Office of Fair Trading has announced that it is to conduct a consultation on "irresponsible consumer lending" with a view to eventually issuing guidelines as to what's acceptable. It's a bit late for that now. The chance of any kind of a loan would be a fine thing these days, irresponsible or not. The market seems to be dealing with the problem in suitably vicious fashion already, without any help from the OFT.

Why all this newfound puritanism, anyway? Nobody cared a tinker's cuss about irresponsible lending when the boom was in full swing. In any event, the chief victim of the irresponsible loan is not the borrower but the lender, who on lending to the fundamentally uncreditworthy is unlikely to get his money back. But no. It's the borrower that apparently needs protecting. What a strangely upside-down world we are constructing for ourselves.

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