Subprime and race

Left Business Observer

Doug Henwood’s Behind the News broadcast on 1/24/08 on WBAI covers the subprime debacle in depth. One illuminating discussion covered race and subprime. In the 80’s-90’s, areas were redlined for race to prevent them from getting mortgages. Then the opposite happened. Those areas were deliberately targeted for abusive mortgages, even to the length of door-to-door salesmen pimping them. The Fed has data showing that people in such areas got much more abusive mortgages even as their credit scores were higher than in white areas and other factors such as income were equal. Yes, they had higher credit scores, not lower. The determining factor here was race. Areas with 50% more people of color were specifically chosen for high pressure, sleazy sales tactics.

Henwood has written a number of left books on economics and finance, has serious chops in the area, publishes an occasional newsletter Left Business Observer, and the spinoff from that, LBO-Talk, is one of the best left listservs around with quality posts and little noise.

The radio show is also available on iTunes.

PS. And in related news, we bring you the new, not satire, which explains, I’m guessing for a fee, how to live in your foreclosing home for months without paying, then walk away from it.