Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sydney, birds and loans


I've just been in Sydney, as I noted in my last post, and the area I was in - St Mary's - consisted of a shopping centre, some housing...and a lot of parkland.  The first thing that struck me was the amount of open space near where we were staying: wide streets and lots of parkland with hundreds of trees.   And birds making a kind of Naaaah noise.   It sounded at first like a baby crying, or a young child protesting.  But it was the distinctive sound of these birds.   One morning, before I got up, a tribe of them got together and did a chorus: one would start - Naaaah - another couple would respond - Naaaah - and then gradually a bunch of them added their voices to the song (if that's what you'd call it), until all the Naaaahs - became one big protesting Naaaah.  

Anyway, on the Saturday morning I got up before the other two people I was staying with and went for a bit of a wander along the main street.   Most things were closed at that hour, but I bought a Sydney Morning Herald weekend edition (which turned out to have a huge chunk of real estate stuff, and business advertising, and not a great deal else...including no crosswords!)   I was struck by one particular thing in the shopping area: the number of places that offered instant cash loans.   I was just reminded about this through seeing Blue Global Media on the Net.  They offer similar quick loans, especially those kinds of loans that you get to tide you over until your next payday: payday loan affiliate programs and the like.  In fact, with BGM, as you might guess from the last link, you can become an affiliate to their programs, and make money yourself by becoming part of their payday affiliate network 

I'm sure BGM is a perfectly legitimate business, and offer very good deals.   I just have some qualms about tiding myself over till the next payday by borrowing.  It means that in effect your next pay is already being eaten into, which will mean more borrowing and so on.  We already have some sense of this in terms of our pension income not being quite enough to come and go on some weeks - especially if big bills arrive - and so we in effect have to 'borrow' from ourselves to keep ourselves afloat (borrowing from our savings account, that is).  This isn't ideal, but it's necessary.  And there plenty of people who aren't as well off as us, even, who get into similar difficulties, and find that these sorts of loan places are necessary to their survival.  
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