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Last year, when he was warming up for his run for Governor, State Treasurer Richard Moore blasted pay-day lenders by saying, “A civilized society does not allow these kinds of interest charges.”

A year later, the News and Observer reported that when Moore said those words he had $11 million in state pension funds invested in those same uncivilized pay-day lenders.

That sounds hypocritical but Moore apparently didn’t mean to be vilifying pay-day lenders on one hand and investing in them on the other. Instead, his staff explained, he had no idea he had invested state funds in pay-day lenders until he read about it in the Charlotte Observer.

The problem – for Moore – is that opens another can of worms. He had $7.7 million invested in CompuCredit of Atlanta. That’s a sizeable amount. Shouldn’t he have known CompuCredit was a pay-day lender? Maybe the State Treasurer doesn’t need to know who he invests state money in. Maybe in the big picture it’s enough to leave the decisions to the money management whiz-kids he hires in New York and San Francisco to handle the state’s pension portfolios. But, on the other hand, you have to wonder – while Moore’s running for Governor – who’s minding the store?

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