Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Article/Newsbit of the week: US subpime crisis in graphics

I'm a little torn emotionally as far as the slant of this article goes but, I guess you can't argue with the facts?

US subpime crisis in graphics

The BBC, I've found, is a great asset for world business news and different views not easily found here in the U.S. where the same story and opinion is usually repeated again and again.

One thing that can be difficult to swallow (for a black male anyway) is the lack of political correctness - that is somewhat automatically and silently assumed by the American media. I guess they don't have the constant threat of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson marching on their doorstep since people can drive but flying to England is for most of us - an economic impossibility.

What I'm referring to is a representation of the facts that would not be easily found here in the States:

"Mortgage brokers focused their efforts by selling sub-prime mortgages in working class black areas where many people had achieved home ownership.

They told them that they could get cash by refinancing their homes, but often neglected to properly explain that the new sub-prime mortgages would "reset" after 2 years at double the interest rate."

If you'll take the time to check out the article, above this blurb in particular, there is a map of Cleveland - a city here in Ohio - that does have a large black population. The map can be adjusted to see:

  1. Areas where subprime lending occurred.
  2. Areas where Foreclosures (repossessions) occurred
  3. Areas of Deutsche Bank properties (loans were made)
  4. ...oh yeah and Black areas
At first glance it almost looks as if the report is saying more or less
'because black people are so stupid, and bankers were stupid enough to lend to them - we are now in this sub-prime crisis which may go global'

At 2nd glance it looks like it's saying:

'evil bankers didn't tell the stupid black people that there mortgages would reset in 2 years and then they wouldn't be able to pay the mortgage back so now we're in this sub-prime crisis'

Either way it doesn't seem like it's showing black people in the most favorable light.

For the sake of having some personal pride, I'll argue that this portion of the article is not that relevant seeing as black people only 12% of American households and we are no longer even the largest minority group thus we cannot be blamed entirely or even share more than 1/8th of the blame for the sub-prime mess and you definitely can't blame me - cause little ole me doesn't own any 'real property' as in real estate. ..bloody britons.


zackattack said...

Honestly, I think BBC is just writing what the USA really wants to say.

I agree that the sub prime crisis is not the fault of blacks. It is more of a predatory lending issue that back fired on greedy corporations. Now, everyone is learning their lesson the hard way.

We have a long way to go until blacks get fair media representation.
Let's hope that blogs like ours start a new trend.

Tasha said...

I have to agree with you about the lack of political correctness in the media 'across the pond'. For that and other reasons, I enjoy watching the BBC World News. I valued the objectivity of the news media when I was spending time in Europe, and missed it when I came back here.

Anyway, while the article is harsh, it is actually pretty correct to a point. Not saying that it's only black people affected by the mortgage crisis, but it seems to be hitting us the hardest. I personally know a few families that were focused more on what the monthly mortage amount when they closed on the house rather than focus on the actual cost of the mortgage and the potential fluctuations in payments. They didn't educate themselves and lost everything. Being short sighted in an effort to immediately be on par with the Joneses (you know...big house/car/lots of stuff)ended up ruining them.

Ok, sorry for blogging in your comment box. First time stopping by and I'll definitely be back

Aunt Jackie said...

predatory lending seemed to be an acceptable practice until it hit the market, when in reality it was a case of cooked books that backfired.

damn shame.

nice blog, i'll be returning!