Black People : directors of "American Casino" talk about the real deal behind the Subprime Mortgage

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Putney Swope

Well-Known Member
Jun 27, 2009
For a while I have heard folks blaming Blacks for not reading the ine print before they singed for a mortgage to realy see wether or not it ws subprime,
now the directors of "American Casino", explain how the operation of subprime mortgage lending was run like a Casino from the view of the lender, at the expense of providing any clarity to the purchaser.

No more blaming the victim!

from Democracy Now,
AMY GOODMAN: The economy has a long way to recover from what’s been called the Great Recession of 2008. At the heart of the meltdown was the subprime mortgage crisis that caused more than a million Americans to lose their homes and brought Wall Street to its knees.

A new documentary that’s opening today in New York takes on the subprime collapse, tracking its roots on Wall Street and Washington and profiling some of its victims, mainly African American families who lost their homes.

American Casino is directed by Leslie Cockburn, who wrote and produced the documentary with her husband, journalist and author Andrew Cockburn. They join us today in our firehouse studio.

But we first will turn to an excerpt of the film, which begins by looking at how deregulation of the financial sector laid the groundwork for the economic meltdown. This is American Casino.

MICHAEL GREENBERGER: To understand why this is like a gambling casino, you have to understand what’s at stake here. On a December evening, December 15th, 2000, around 7:00, Phil Gramm, Republican senator of Texas, then chair of the Senate Finance Committee, walked to the floor of the Senate and introduced a 262-page bill as a rider to the 11,000-page appropriation bill, which excluded from regulation the financial instruments that are probably most at the heart of the present meltdown.

He not excluded them from all federal regulation, but he excluded them from state regulation as well, which is important because these instruments could be viewed to be gambling instruments, where you’re betting on whether people will or will not pay off their loans. And he announced at the time that this measure would be a boon to the American economy and be a boon to Wall Street, because they would be freed of any supervision in this regard. And that lack of supervision freed Wall Street to essentially shoot itself in both feet.

DAVID ATTASANI: I worked for four companies on Wall Street. Three of them don’t exist anymore. I don’t think anything is really permanent in life. I mean, sure, my grandfather worked for the same company for, you know, twenty-some-odd years in the steel mills of Pittsburgh, maybe thirty years. I don’t know. But he worked for the same company his whole life. Nothing’s permanent anymore. The stock market goes south, the banks going out of business. It’s just the way people in America live. I don’t think anything I’ve done propelled or inhibited it. I don’t think. No, I don’t feel any responsibility for this mess at all.

MARK PITTMAN: It really started getting heated in 2004, 2005. Mortgage rates kept dropping for prime mortgages, you know, the ones that most people get, and that made the others much more valuable, because they offered much more yield. When you have that much cash flow that’s extra, you can siphon off a whole lot more fees, and that is—you know, it’s all about money. Subprime in 2005 and 2006, the issuance was about $800 billion total. It’s a river of cash. $800 billion will buy a lot of houses and do a lot of things, and you could tap into that. Your fees on that might be four percent. OK, four percent of—$32 billion.

full article;

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