Payday loans. Instant tax refunds. As Congress creates the first federal organization purely directed toward protecting consumers of financial products, those products and the industry that houses them face significant federal regulation for the first time. However, work remains to be done in understanding the full nature of the "fringe" banking sector and its impact on low-income Americans and the economic collapse of 2008. Gary Rivlin's timely new book, Broke, USA, goes a long way in explaining that story from the perspective of the families that are enmeshed in the "fringe" and from some of the key figures who made that sector into the multi-billion dollar industry that exists today.
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