Jersey City, NJ -- After two full days of meetings with representatives from the five major crime families, Central Mob Bank Chief Al Giorbilini has decided to raise interest rates on all loans by 5000 basis points to 35.5%.
"The vig is gotta go up," growled Giorbilini as he left the meeting at a downtown warehouse, "we know there's people holding out on us and business is getting better," he added.
Before the decision, the rough economy put the prevailing loan sharking rate at a 40-year low of 30.5% for more than two years. Most mobsters found the rate to be a necessary evil.
"So we gave out a little more money here and there, just to get things moving a little," said Frank "The Scrape" Scarpiccio, "but more of our customers is getting real jobs again and that means it's time to put the squeeze on a little more," he added with a sly smile.
Despite the rate hike, not everyone will have to pay the full 35.5% interest.
"No, we still got a special 30% 'prime rate' for our best customers; like actors and pop stars who sometimes run low on cash but is always good for the money in the long run. Those guys are such wimps anyway... you show them a clenched fist and they start paying up real fast," insisted Scarpiccio.
Giorbilini also stressed the many different loan options the mob will continue to offer.
"We got lots of plans. First there's the 'interest only' thing. That's when our guys come to visit you at your place of work every day and take a small token payment and maybe embarrass you just a little. True, that don't do nothing to your principal, but lots of our customers prefer that option," Giorbilini explained.
"And don't forget our limited property lien accounts," added Scarpiccio, "that's when we take a little merchandise from your office or store and fence that on the street from week-to-week. Based on how much we make on that, the total cost of the loan can really go down," he added.
Of course, most financial experts continue to strongly warn consumers against taking any loans from known mobsters at usurious rates.
"But they're still better than most credit card companies, so you may want to take your chances instead of maxing out your Visa," said financial journalist Jeanne Sahadi.