Category Archives: Economics

Study: Redlining Alive and Well

indexBy Free Radical

The Fair Housing Act, passed 50 years ago, along with subsequent local, state, and federal laws should have effectively ended mortgage redlining. However, a new study by The Center for Investigative Reporting shows that discriminatory lending practices are alive and well, even in the age of rampant gentrification.

The nonprofit analyzed data from more than 31 million government mortgage records and found that people of color disproportionately faced denials in 61 metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Detroit, Washington DC, and St. Louis.

The analysis which was independently reviewed and confirmed by the Associated Press, showed that Black loan applicants were denied at significantly higher rates than Whites in 48 cities, Latinos in 25, Asians in 9, and Native Americans in 3.The data remained consistent even when researchers controlled for nine factors such as applicants’ income, loan amount, and the type of lender.

Credit scores were not included because lenders have successively fought long and hard to keep this information under wraps. Though they argue it is to protect the privacy of borrowers, critics say that the publication of that data would only reinforce existing evidence of discrimination.

In St. Louis, African-Americans were 2.5 times more likely to be denied for loans than Whites. And of the 41 metro areas in St. Louis where banks denied every request for a loan, all were located in majority African-American neighborhoods.

Though the data showed rampant discrimination in lending, many of the governmental mechanisms in place to prevent it have been weakened. The Community Reinvestment Act, passed under the Carter administration, instituted additional protections for borrowers. However the Trump administration has reduced or eliminated provisions that banks must follow to show they are issuing loans fairly. After one year in office, Trump’s Justice Department has not sued one lender for discrimination.

Steve Wynn, Conservative Mogul Resigns, Again

By Free Radical

Steve Wynn, Hotel Mogul and Trump ally, resigned as head of his resort company amid multiple sexual assault allegations.

Steve Wynn, Hotel Mogul and Trump ally, resigned as head of his resort company amid multiple sexual assault allegations.

Trump ally and wealthy Republican donor Steve Wynn resigned from his position as chairman and chief executive of his travel company, Wynn Resorts this Tuesday. Wynn has been the subject of a maelstrom of sexual assault allegations, some say stretch back decades. In a prepared statement, Wynn said that his stepping down was the result of “an avalanche of negative publicity.”

Wynn has been accused of and had settled several sexual abuse claims. Victims have said that he raped them, demanded they disrobe, and masturbate in front of him. The allegations forced him to step down as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in January. The University of Pennsylvania also revoked his honorary degree. Gaming commissions in Nevada and Massachusetts have pledged to open investigations on his activities.

Wynn, also resigned from Wynn Macau which operates in China. Regulators have also inquired about looking into his activities there as well.

Trump Writes to African Nations, Saying He Deeply Respects Them

By Chuma Kisu index

According to international reports United States President Donald Trump wrote a letter to African leaders that he ‘deeply respects’ the people of Africa and that he will be sending his top diplomat, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, to visit the continent in March this year.

The remarks were made in a letter addressed to African leaders ahead of the 30th African Union Summit that is underway in Addis Ababa.

Trump’s letter dated Thursday, January 25, 2018, states that the US “profoundly respects” the partnerships and values shared by the US and Africans and that the president’s commitment to strong relationships with African nations is “firm.”

He further writes, “I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa. Our soldiers are fighting side by side to defeat terrorists and build secure communities.”

Several African presidents reacted angrily to Trump’s earlier “shithole” reference, summoning diplomats attached to their countries to explain their president’s position on Africa while the African Union ambassadors in the United States demanded a retraction and apology from Trump.

While Trump has denied making the offensive statements, he has since met the African Union chairperson, Paul Kagame of Rwanda whom he described as a ‘friend’ and sent this ‘reassuring’ letter to African leaders.

His statement went on to pledge United States support to the African Union as it tackles issues of trade and development, resolving armed conflicts, and combating corruption.

The president concluded by saying, he hopes to “welcome many of you to the White House” also said his government is ‘partnering’ with African countries to “improve transportation security and safeguard legal immigration.”

Report: More than 80% of 2017 Wealth All Goes to the 1%

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam.

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam.

By Free Radical

A new report released by development charity Oxfam has shown that in 2017 the wealth gap has dramatically widened rather than grown smaller. In fact, last year 82% of the wealth generated throughout the world went to the top 1%.

The report also showed that just 42 people in the world own as much as the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.

According to Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam, “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system.”

Using data from the bank Credit Suisse, Oxfam’s report revealed that the wealth of billionaires increased 13% a year from 2006 to 2015.

The organization argued that this extreme inequality could be tackled by raising living wages, supporting workers’ rights, and ending gender discrimination as 90% of the world’s billionaires are men. Perhaps a serious campaign to end white supremacy would also be helpful as the lion’s share of members of the 1% are not only men, but they are also White.

The study has been released this week to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland which attracts some of the world’s richest people.