Dean Starkman, writing in the CJR blog this morning, has details--from the Baltimore Sun and the NY Times--of nefarious--though altogether predictable--Bankster plots to ensnare "up-wardly mobile" minority borrowers in predatory, sub-prime home loans. The papers report on a study from Baltimore highlighting "social and class aspects of the mortgage crisis with stories on an 825-page amended predatory lending complaint filed by the city of Baltimore, including affidavits from ex-Wells Fargo loan officers." The complaint alleges the Banksters targeted "low-income strivers" specifically to feed Wall Street’s securitization machine.
These are not the first such allegations levelled against the predatory home-loan 'industry,' but they are among the first to include actual testimony from bankster insiders revealing the explicit racial/class bias of the Banksters. Starkman writes: "In this case, we see more evidence of the most noxious aspect of the credit crisis—the wealth transfer from amateur-borrowers with an already-precarious financial foothold to an out-of-control financial-services sector." It was and still is a systematic scheme to steal wealth from American families to enrich the banks. Starkman continues:
Leaving aside the inflammatory language alleged in the complaint (in which bank employees talk about “ghetto loans,” etc.), the important part is where Beth Jacobson, who says she was once the bank’s top subprime producer, alleges that blacks with prime credit were steered as a matter of policy into more expensive subprime products. (Emphasis supplied. W)Leaving aside the language? That's like leaving out the "Let's Fuck Granny" quote from the Enron cables, faxes and e-mails, innit? The thievery is one thing, but the conscious, class/race-based attack on the poor and marginalized magnifies the affront exponentially. I think a week in the pillory should be the required punishment for these racist shit-heels. And eternal banishment from the field, in any manifestation.“We just went right after them,” said Ms. Jacobson, who is white and said she was once the bank’s top-producing subprime loan officer nationally. “Wells Fargo mortgage had an emerging-markets unit that specifically targeted black churches, because it figured church leaders had a lot of influence and could convince congregants to take out subprime loans.”Another ex-Wells loan officer speaks to the incentives that attached to loan officers steering even prime borrowers to subprime products, which of course fetched a premium on secondary markets.“The company put ‘bounties’ on minority borrowers,” Mr. Paschal said. “By this I mean that loan officers received cash incentives to aggressively market subprime loans in minority communities.”Wells denies the allegations and has moved for the complaint’s dismissal.