Mortgage crisis stoked by ‘incredible greed’

Published on People’s Weekly World, by Susan Webb, August 18, 2007.

Baton Rouge, La., Kansas City, Mo., and Bethlehem, Pa., are far from Wall Street, but they are among the ground zeros in the financial crisis now grabbing headlines. It’s a crisis caused, some say, by “incredible greed and looting” by the nation’s financial institutions.

The home mortgage scams that triggered the crisis have delivered a double whammy to residents of Baton Rouge and nearby New Orleans. “We have a double crisis here because we’re in the post-Katrina rebuilding era,” said Emma Dixon, project director for the Louisiana Community Reinvestment Coalition.

“We have a lot more vulnerable population — we still have a lot of people living in trailers,” she said …

… Business Week reports that state sales tax revenue is suffering the most in states with the largest drop in home prices. Lower state and local revenues from sales, income and property taxes will mean growing government inability to meet basic commitments.

Perlo called for a moratorium on foreclosures.

He singled out companies who specialize in subprime mortgages. “They don’t care. The execs are paying themselves millions every year. Even if the company goes bust, so what? They can retire.”

“The homebuyers who allegedly ‘should have known better’ are victims of fraud,” he said. These lenders “should all be sent to jail.”

Halliburton, of Western Missouri Legal Aid, said, “We need more low-income housing in this country.” His area has waiting lists of thousands for public and public-subsidized housing, he said. (full text).

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