A former Chase banker spoke with The New York Times’ Nick Kristof about how Chase pushed subprime loans to minorities for big commissions. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
From Kristof’s article:
One memory particularly troubles [James] Theckston. He says that some account executives earned a commission seven times higher from subprime loans, rather than prime mortgages. So they looked for less savvy borrowers — those with less education, without previous mortgage experience, or without fluent English — and nudged them toward subprime loans.
These less savvy borrowers were disproportionately blacks and Latinos, he said, and they ended up paying a higher rate so that they were more likely to lose their homes. Senior executives seemed aware of this racial mismatch, he recalled, and frantically tried to cover it up.
Just how disproportionately? The people receiving these bad loads were 16% white, 33% Latino, and 50% Black. According to Think Progress:
These disparities help explain why, according to a new report from the Center on Responsible Lending, Latinos and blacks are twice as likely to have been impacted by the housing crisis as whites. In fact, “approximately one quarter of all Latino and African-American borrowers have lost their home to foreclosure or are seriously delinquent, compared to just under 12 percent for white borrowers.”
According to the Republicans and weak Democrats, we need to deregulate the banks anyway because these are the “professionals” Alan Greenspan referred to that are so brilliant, only they can trick minorities into taking bad loans so they can make money and we need to let them so they can get the economy back up and running again!
These people have no morals. Yeah, we need to deregulate an industry where its employees are throwing minorities out onto the street so they can make a quick buck.
It makes sense that old people would have more money than young people, because they have been working and saving longer. But this wealth gap is massive by historical standards. In 1984, old people were a mere 10 times richer than young people. Not only have old people gotten richer since then, but the median net worth of households headed by young people has declined considerably.
Households headed by adults ages 35 and younger had a median net worth of $3,662 in 2009. That marks a 68% decline in wealth, compared to that same age group 25 years earlier.
Over the same time frame, households headed by adults ages 65 years and older, have seen just the opposite. Their wealth rose 42%, to a median of $170,494.
It gets worse, for young people: “37% of the young households held zero or negative net worth in 2009, up from 19% in 1984.”
The fact that this gap is getting worse helps explain why so many older Americans don’t get it, when the young people complain. The amount of debt young Americans take on today is way higher than it used to be, the opportunities for class mobility are shrinking, and the life choices that worked for earlier generations looking to join the middle or upper classes (college and homeownership) have largely become massive rip-offs.
…It is the primary argument of the austerity pushers (and their allies, the deficit hawks) that young people should give in and accept that “we” can’t afford to sustain the fairer society that older Americans enjoyed. That argument would be more convincing if the current Bad Times were affecting everyone equally, instead of simply the already young and poor…
Even though I’ve read quite a bit about income inequality in the U.S., this graph is still startling.
You see that flat red line aaallll the way down there at the bottom of the graph? That’s us, that’s the America that the 99% have been living in for the past 30 years.
1. Bank of America Just Unveiled A Shocking New Debit Card Fee: Late last month, BOA announced that it would start charging a $5-a-month fee simply for consumers to use their debit cards for purchases. Although a few of its competitors have started using similar fees in recent times, BOA’s presence as America’s largest banking chain means that if it successfully enacts such a fee, it may be able to set a trend in the industry to make such charges the norm. More than 137,000 Americans have signed an online change.org petition protesting the fee. Most credit unions do not charge for using one’s debit card, and one credit unions, Delta Credit Union based in Atlanta, is even holding a “Switch Day” to encourage BOA’s customers to switch over to its services instead.
2. Bank of America Has Spent Millions Lobbying To Gut Reforms With Your Tax Dollars: Despite being bailed out to the tune of billions of dollars by the federal government, Bank of America has still had the gumption to spend millions of dollars in Washington battling new reforms meant re-regulate the financial sector. It spent nearly $4 million hiring a double-digit number of lobbyists in 2010, mostly aimed at gutting legislation related to banking regulations. Meanwhile, it spent a million dollars on campaign contributions in the 2010 electoral cycle.
3. Bank of America’s Practices Are At The Nexus Of The Foreclosure Crisis: Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan raised eyebrows recently when he excitedly cheered for faster foreclosures of Americans’ homes. Despite being found to be a major user of error-ridden “robo-signing” foreclosure practices last year, the mega-bank only briefly halted its foreclosure proceedings nationwide. It is also facing lawsuits by multiple states over its mortgage practices.
4. Bank of America Just Announced That It Was Laying Off 30,000 People: The “firm’s 30,000 job cuts are more than double what any other U.S.-based employer has announced so far this year, according to a employment tracking group.” The layoffs come after a decision by Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Citigroup earlier this year to “outsource IT and back office projects worth nearly $5 billion this year to India, as they seek to lower costs.”
5. Despite The Poor Economy, Bank Of America Continues To Reward Its Executives With Multi-Million Dollar Salaries: Despite blaming economic woes for layoffs of employees and its new debit card fee, the mega-bank continues to deliver huge paydays to its executives. The bank just announced that two of its former executives, Sallie Krawcheck and Joe Price, will receive a salary of $850,000 and a payment of $5.15 million and a salary of $850,000 and a payment of $4.15 million respectively. Meanwhile, BOA maintained its CEO’s salary of $950,000 plus $9.05 million in performance-based stock awards this year.
"Citibank will soon charge $15 a month for checking accounts with less than $6,000. Finally someone is sticking it to those people with less than $6,000. About time. Great job." —Jimmy Kimmel, monologue 10/3/11
This month, you can look for sales on the following:
Halloween: Candy, Fresh Pumpkin
Beginning of the Baking Sales: Canned pumpkin, Evaporated Milk, Baking Chips
Daylight Savings Time Ends Promotions: Alarm Clocks, Batteries, Safety Equipment, Smoke Detectors
National Seafood Month
Adopt a Shelter-Dog Month: Pedigree, Purina
Seasonal Produce: Almonds, Apples, Artichokes, Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbages, Chard, Chestnuts, Cranberries, Lemons, Parsnip, Pears, Pomegranate, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Spinach, Squash, Winter, Turnips, Yams
I don’t know why people seem to be confused on this point.
The main impetus behind the Occupy Wall Street protest seems to be that more and more middle classed folks are struggling to keep one step ahead of financial disaster. They’re doing all the ‘right’ things to have a good (not fabulous, just good) lifestyle, but the system that used to reward you for following the ‘rules’ (e.g. getting an education) is now screwing you over for doing the same things (e.g. massive student loan debt).
Meanwhile, the wealthiest 1% in this country keep doing better and better. And their cronies in the government keep doing all they can to ensure that the wealth gap keeps widening.
Yes, the college students at the protests and bloggers covering it may be privileged with regard to most of the world, but the context of the protest is not global (at least, not at the moment); it’s domestic. It’s about how incredibly unequal things are in this country. It’s pointing out that we are rapidly shifting from a multi-class society (poor, middle class, rich) to a two-class society (poor, rich). It’s pointing out the exponentially increased difficulty for have-nots to become haves these days.
The fact that more middle classed folks are feeling the pinch of unjust economic and corporate policies is important here. The very poor don’t have the numbers, resources, or political clout to mount an effective campaign against the powers-that-be—they need the working and middle classes to be involved too.
That’s why the Wall Street protestors are calling themselves “the 99%”, not “the bottom 10%” or “the middle 70%”.
Starting Saturday, big banks must comply with a new regulation that caps the fees they can charge merchants for processing debit card purchases. But some consumers are already seeing the impact of the change, in the form of higher fees charged on their checking accounts, as banks seek to recoup lost revenue.
Bank of America is the latest bank to say it will begin charging a monthly fee for checking accounts that use debit cards. Starting early next year, the bank will charge $5 a month, in any month that the customer uses a debit card to make a purchase. (If customers have a debit card, but don’t use it, they won’t incur the fee.) The fee won’t apply to A.T.M. transactions, and it won’t be charged to customers with certain premium accounts, a bank spokeswoman, Betty Riess, said. “The economics of offering a debit card have changed with recent regulations,” she said.
Bank of America joins banks including SunTrust and Regions in charging the fees. Other institutions, like Wells Fargo and Chase, are testing them, too. And over all, bank fees have crept up to record levels, a recent survey found.