The new pawn shop payday lending magnate Chuck Brennan talked up in his Christmas card is now in the news. Brennan gets that Sioux Falls paper to promote his new Badlands Pawn, scheduled to open next Thanksgiving.

Brennan tells Jodi Schwan that he plans to spend $15 million to open not just a pawn shop but a 40,000-square-foot entertainment complex across from the new Sanford Premier Center as a response to what seems to be Brennan's gut feeling that plain old capitalism is a drag:

Somewhere [the pawn business] got to the point where it started to become a financial transaction and the showroom started losing its fun and people were just pawning stuff because they needed money, and they weren’t going for the pawnshop experience [Chuck Brennan, quoted in Jodi Schwan, "Entertainment Complex Coming near Events Center," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.12.25].

Brennan's right: capitalism has no soul!

To make business more fun, the "Largest Pawn shop in the Midwest" will include a gold foundry, a gun shop, a shooting range (free for cops!), its own FM radio station with live DJs simulcasting on 30+ stations, a house band led by Metal Cowboy Ron Keel and auditioning professional players and back-up singers now, a tattoo shop offering free Badlands Pawn ink, and a ticket broker providing all your scalping needs in one convenient location within easy walking distance of Sioux Falls' new concert venue. Brennan promises to fly the largest American flag on the largest flagpole (yes, that's phallic) in South Dakota. Brennan also plans to hire nearly 100 workers.

I don't know if Pawn of America will "restructure the tourism routes in the Midwest," but Brennan's pawn shop does sound like fun. And since Brennan is diversifying his portfolio into entertainment, he'll feel even less pain when we cap interest rates in 2016 and drive him out of the usury business. Everybody wins!

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The payday lending industry is so worried about the Hickey-Hildebrand initiative to cap interest rates, they are threatening to take away our beer and ribs. In David Montgomery's last Sunday report, Dollar Loan Center founder and alpha shark Chuck Brennan warns of the profound cultural impact of shutting down his usury industry:

That includes "Chuck's Kegger," a new summer rock-and-roll festival starting next year in Sioux Falls. When he announced Chuck's Kegger this week, Brennan said he'd made a long-term commitment to the festival — but would change in a heartbeat if voters approve a rate cap in 2016.

"The event would end there," Brennan said. "If it isn't for the money coming in from Dollar Loan Center, there aren't these big concerts and donations. We donate every penny we get from the state of South Dakota" [David Montgomery, "Payday Loans Could Cease in South Dakota," that Sioux Falls online content experience, 2014.12.14].

(What? The state of South Dakota is giving payday lenders money? Let's knock that off right away!)

Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey knows the Bible is much clearer on the sinfulness of usury than the ills of missing out on one more kegger. Rep. Rev. Hickey responds to Brennan's empty threat appropriately:

"We will survive one less rib/keg-fest," Hickey said. "I care a lot more that that money is coming from people who can't afford chicken on their table at night. If he wants to say he's going to pull his big party away from here, I'm sorry" [Montgomery, 2014.12.14].

Heck, if South Dakota passes their initiative, I'll bet Pastor Hickey's Church at the Gate would be more than happy to have everyone over for potato soup supper and fellowship.

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