This Times article is about the wave of foreclosures in Memphis, so the race angle is especially poignant –
Ms. Thomas and three other Wells Fargo employees have given affidavits for the city’s lawsuit against the bank, and their statements about bank practices reinforce one another.
“Your manager would say, ‘Let me see your cold-call list. I want you to concentrate on these ZIP codes,’ and you knew those were African-American neighborhoods,” she recalled. “We were told, ‘Oh, they aren’t so savvy.’ ”
She described tricks of the trade, several of dubious legality. She said supervisors had told employees to white out incomes on loan applications and substitute higher numbers. Agents went “fishing” for customers, mailing live checks to leads. When a homeowner deposited the check, it became a high-interest loan, with a rate of 20 to 29 percent. Then bank agents tried to talk the customer into refinancing, using the house as collateral.
– but AFAICT Wells and other criminal banking entities did the same sort of thing to poor and lower-middle-class people of all races across the country. Coincidentally, Daniel Foster blargs about another Times article on foreclosures and feels compelled to remind everyone just who the real moral degenerates are in these situations: the victims:
Welcome to Moral Hazard, USA. Population: Us [Daniel Foster]
The New York Times has an infuriating article this morning about the many Americans who have stopped paying their mortgages — and are loving every minute of it. In this Bailout Land, foreclosure is more abstraction than reality, and the road from delinquency to eviction and repossession passes through a grindingly slow legal process and lenders beset by both an unwieldy glut of defaulters and heavy federal regulatory pressure to keep people in their homes. As a result, many delinquent borrowers are in the driver’s seat, and living rent free[.]
He allows that, sure, it’s hard to feel sympathy for the bankers but the renters, ZOMG THOSE PPL are still living beyond their means! No doubt they drive Cadillacs and buy vodka and narcotics with food stamps! Then there’s an amusing moment when he’s confronted in e-mail by a impeccably wingnut military man whose house is being foreclosed. Mr. Sojer wants to know if Foster thinks he, too, is irresponsible. Foster gulps hard and answers in the negative. Then, later, in typical wingnut-weasel fashion (no doubt fortified by a fresh bag of Cheetos) he equivocates.
Some wingnuts have principles enough to object to all welfare in the abstract sense. But the wild fluctuations in their blargometers is the giveaway to the fact that what they might find objectionable when given to rich people (for whom, by the way, it is never a necessity) is outright intolerable and deeply offensive when given to poor people (for whom it almost always is a necessity). The truth is that despite their constant denials, wingnuts very much approve of class warfare. I think wingnuts naturally side with the predatory class — the rich — because wingnuts worship the powerful even more than they worship power itself. The average wingnut pundit is a shut-in, doughy sack of shit who probably resembles (socially, mentally, physically) John Hawkins and Jonah Goldberg. Although these idiots get paid for farting and fapping, they aren’t exactly winners at anything in life. Hence their worship of the powerful, especially those who have accrued power ruthlessly. Hence their worship of bullies in whatever form: a country, a person, an entire class. They want a hero but only a certain kind will suit them; or perhaps it’s better to say, they want a heroic mirror. This is why they feel the greatest loyalty to powerful fuck-ups (because they identify with the latter but long for the former): Presidents who steal elections, CEOs of bankrupt companies who pay themselves obscenely out of bailout money, clerics who molest their own followers, military leadership that promises cakewalk operations only to be greeted with an insurgency, interrogators who torture people to get misinformation, a wealthy criminal class that stole the poor blind but went broke in the process.