The Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy (CEEL) is one of lobbyist and serial corporate front man Rick Berman's "more recent creations," writes Daniel Schulman. "CEEL's surveys -- designed to show that Americans don't know diddly about finances and therefore deserve some of the blame for the current economic tumult -- have been quoted on the nightly news and are frequently cited in newspapers. And CEEL has also promoted payday loans as a lifeline for desperate borrowers." While "there is no evidence that CEEL is bankrolled by the finance industry or payday lenders ... some of its talking points are strikingly similar to the ones that payday lenders have been repeating for years." CEEL is running pro-payday loan ads in the Washington, DC Metro, suggesting "a brewing federal fight. A pending bill sponsored by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) would essentially preserve the status quo for payday lenders -- a top source of his past campaign contributions. But another, championed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), would impose a 36 percent cap on interest rates."
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