Interest Rate Lending and Debt

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interest rate lending and debt

These resources explore moral and ethical problems found primarily in the American financial system. They highlight God’s creation order and its meaning as God’s vision for relationships between human beings, and also between human beings and the created world. To see resources on how interest rate lending and debt served as a tool of racial oppression and white supremacy, see this page.

Messages and Essays on Christian Restorative Justice, Banking, and Finance

Christian Restorative Justice: Financial Reform (ppts) and video from New Hope Fellowship Baltimore, MD, May 2015

Books and Articles on Interest Rate Lending and Debt

Wikipedia, Mortgage Industry in the U.S. (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia, Household Debt (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia, Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Wikipedia) the law that allowed banks to take two incomes into account for home mortgage calculations

Thomas C. Hunt, The National Defense Education Act of 1958 (Encyclopedia Britannica) the legislation that kicked off student loan programs coordinated by the federal government, to engage the Soviets in the "space race" after they launched Sputnik.

The Project on Student Debt (website)

Rolling Jubilee (website)

Trading Economics, Household Debt to GDP Ratio: 1956 - present (Trading Economics website)

Hyman Minsky, The Financial Instability Hypothesis (Bard College, May 1992) about inflation and debt cycles

Scott Craig Mooney, Usury: Destroyer of Nations (book, 1988)

Economist, Those Medici (The Economist, Dec 23, 1999)

Economist, Damned Usurers (The Economist, Dec 23, 1999)

Joseph Stiglitz, Odious Rulers, Odious Debts (The Atlantic, Nov 1, 2003)

Michael Hudson, America's Monetary Imperialism (Global Dialogue, Winter/Spring 2003)

Richard Sylla and Sidney Homer, A History of Interest Rates (book, 4th edition 2005)

Christopher Kaczor, Did the Church Change Its Stance on Usury? (Catholic Answers, Jul 1, 2006)

Yaron Brook, The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History (The Objective Standard, Fall 2007) arguing from Ayn Rand's philosophy that usury is moral

Lingling Wei, Hedge Funds Help Fill Gap In Lending for Property (Wall Street Journal, Aug 27, 2008)

Michael Powell, Bank Accused of Pushing Mortgage Deals on Blacks (NY Times, Jun 6, 2009) re: Wells Fargo in Baltimore

Sinclair Noe, Eat the Bankers: The Case Against Usury: The Root Cause of the Economic Crisis and the Fix (book, Aug 2010)

Scott Schuh, Oz Shy, Joanna Stavins, Who Gains and Who Loses from Credit Card Payments? (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, August 2010)

Scott Craig Mooney, The Fall of the House of Usury: What's Wrong with the Economy and How to Fix It (book, Apr 2011)

David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years (pdf book, May 2011, updated 2014) and John Green's 15 minute summary Money & Debt (Crash Course video, Jul 2014)

Eric Vieth, Mortgage Crisis in a Nutshell - Presented by John Campbell (youtube, Apr 21, 2012)

Baltimore Sun, Wells Fargo Settlement: A Predatory Lender Pays Up (Baltimore Sun, Jul 15, 2012)

Dr. Mercola, Surprising Links: How Big Banks Manipulate and Influence Your Health (Mercola, Jul 15, 2012)

Dan Caplinger, Private Student Loans are the Subprime Mortgages of the College World (Daily Finance, Jul 20, 2012)

Jim Gallagher, Illinois Law Limits "Debtor's Prison" (St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jul 26, 2012)

Michael Hoffman, Usury in Christendom: The Mortal Sin that Was and Now is Not (book, Nov 2012)

Charles R. Geisst, Beggar Thy Neighbor: A History of Usury and Debt (book, Mar 2013) and review

Pete Daniel, Dispossession: Discrimination Against African-American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights (Amazon book, Mar 29, 2013) and review by Vann R. Newkirk II, The Great Land Robbery (The Atlantic, Sep 2019) “President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal life raft for agriculture helped start the trend in 1937 with the establishment of the Farm Security Administration, an agency within the Department of Agriculture. Although the FSA ostensibly existed to help the country’s small farmers, as happened with much of the rest of the New Deal, white administrators often ignored or targeted poor black people—denying them loans and giving sharecropping work to white people… [T]he USDA became the safety net, price-setter, chief investor, and sole regulator for most of the farm economy in places like the Delta. The department could offer better loan terms to risky farmers than banks and other lenders, and mostly outcompeted private credit. In his book Dispossession, Daniel calls the setup “agrigovernment.” Land-grant universities pumped out both farm operators and the USDA agents who connected those operators to federal money. Large plantations ballooned into even larger industrial crop factories as small farms collapsed. The mega-farms held sway over agricultural policy, resulting in more money, at better interest rates, for the plantations themselves. At every level of agrigovernment, the leaders were white.”

Yves Smith, Do Banks Create Money from Thin Air? (Naked Capitalism blog, Jun 6, 2013)

Samir Abid Shaikh, The Anatomy of Usury: A Critique of the Interest-Based Economic System (book, Sep, 2013)

Thom Hartmann, Private Debt - Not Government Debt - Will Destroy America (Truthout, Feb 14, 2013)

Amy Traub, Discredited: How Employment Credit Checks Keep Qualified Workers Out of a Job (Demos, Mar 2013)

Kari Koch, Fannie Mae Evicts Family in Foreclosure, Then Installs Armed Guards (Truthout, Apr 30, 2013)

Jerome Roos, Financial Empire and the Global Debtors' Prison (Roar Magazine, May 6, 2013)

Noam Chomsky, The Corporatization of the University (youtube video, Jul 12, 2013)

Sam Seder, Fannie, Freddie, and the Next Housing Crisis, with David Dayen (youtube, Aug 7, 2013)

Phil Ebersole, David Graeber on Debt as a False Religion (blog, Sep 9, 2013) review of Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Thomas B. Edsall, Making Money Off the Poor (NY Times blog, Sep 17, 2013)

Bill Swindell, Gretchen Wright, Shannon Gallegos, New Data Confirm Troubling Student Loan Default Problems (Project on Student Debt, TICAS, Sep 30, 2013)

Niall McLaren, Dumbing Down America: The Decline of Education in the US as Seen From Down Under (Truthout, Nov 22, 2013)

Laura Gottesdeiner, The Empire Strikes Back How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme -- Again (TomDispatch, Nov 26, 2013)

Ronan Keenan, What's Behind America's Soaring College Costs? (The Atlantic, Apr 10, 2014)

Demos, How State Banks Can Reduce Student Debt (Demos, Apr 24, 2014)

Richard Fry, Young Adults, Student Debt, and Economic Well-Being (Pew Research, May 14, 2014)

Josh Boak, Study: 35 Percent in US Facing Debt Collectors (ABC News, Jul 29, 2014)

Phil Izzo, One in Three Americans Has Debt in Collections:  So What? (Wall Street Journal, Jul 29, 2014)

Hadley Malcolm, A Third of Americans Delinquent on Debt (USA Today, Jul 29, 2014)

John Oliver, Predatory Lending (Last Week Tonight video, Aug 10, 2014)

John Oliver, Student Debt (Last Week Tonight, Sep 7, 2014) much focus on for-profit schools

Heather Perlberg, John Gittelsohn, and Clea Benson, Hedge Funds Reap Gains on FHA Loans Sidelining Nonprofits (Bloomberg Business, Sep 8, 2014)

Anya Kamenetz, These People Can Make Student Loans Disappear (NPR, Sep 17, 2014) about Rolling Jubilee

Chris Maisano, Friendly FIRE: Social Impact Bonds Offer Private Interests Yet Another Opportunity to Enrich Themselves at Public Expense (Jacobin, Oct 2014)

David Dayen, Big banks’ Stunning Setback: Meet Two Officials Saying No to Bank of America (Salon, Oct 28, 2014)

Claire Lee, Debt Behind Korea's Notorious Suicide Rate (Korea Herald, Nov 16, 2014)

David Dayen, “An Ongoing Criminal Enterprise”: Why America’s Housing Disaster is Back and Wreaking Terror (Salon, Nov 18, 2014)

Jennifer Siegel, For Peace and Money: French and British Finance in the Service of Tsars and Commissars (Amazon book, 2014) and book review byWilliam Anthony Hay, The Debtor's Road to Peace and Prosperity (The American Conservative, May 19, 2015)

David Dayen, “We Know Exactly Who Today’s Dream Killers Are”: Why Postal Banking is So Needed — and on the Rise (Salon, Jan 20, 2015)

Rick Noack, Croatia Just Canceled the Debts of Its Poorest Citizens (Washington Post, Jan 31, 2015)

Tim Donovan, Student Loan Breakthrough? Why a New Victory Has Lessons for Stopping the Madness (Salon, Feb 17, 2015)

David Dayen, America’s Student Loan Boycott: How 15 Students Took on the Government — and Just May Win (Salon, Mar 3, 2015)

David Dayen, “Not True and They Knew It”: What Rahm Emanuel’s Wall Street Craze Cost Chicago (Salon, Mar 17, 2015)

CNN News, What an Interest Rate Increase Means for Real People (CNN News, Mar 19, 2015)

David Dayen, Barney Frank Drops a Bombshell: How a Shocking Anecdote Explains the Financial Crisis (Salon, Mar 31, 2015)

Stephen Freeman, No More Debt (Ancient Faith blog, Apr 13, 2015) an Eastern Orthodox critique of modern finance based on atonement theology

David Dayen, Wall Street’s Favorite Myth Just Got Busted: The Rise of “Shadow Banking” and the Fall of GE Capital (Salon, Apr 14, 2015)

Janet Lorin, Fed: People With Old Student Loans Are Struggling to Pay Them Back (Bloomberg, Apr 16, 2015)

Tom Strode, Payday Loans Targeted by ERLC, Others in Coalition (Baptist Press, May 15, 2015)

Greg Robb, The Fed Fears Lifting Interest Rates, Ex-Insider Says (Market Watch, Jun 11, 2015)

Martha C. White, Widow's Reverse Mortgage 'Nightmare' Underscores Lifeline's Risks (NBC News, Jul 2, 2015)

Bonnie Kristian, Study: Federal Student Loans Increase Tuition, Not Enrollment (The Week, Jul 7, 2015)

Paul Kiel and Annie Waldman, The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods (ProPublica, Oct 8, 2015)

Matthew Yglesias, Hillary Clinton's Plan to Tame Big Banks Shows Her at Her Wonkish Best (Vox, Oct 9, 2015)

Steve Roth, Why Tyler Cowen Doesn't Understand the Economy: It's the Debt, Stupid (Asymptosis blog, Nov 16, 2015)

Erin El Issa, 2015 American Household Credit Card Debt Study (NerdWallet, 2015) good stats

Paul Langley, Liquidity Lost: The Governance of the Global Financial Crisis (Amazon book, 2015) is not a Christian author that I know of, but this book is invaluable as a record of how Anglo-American bankers and politicians defined the financial crisis of 2008. They defined it in terms of liquidity with regards to themselves (to which the answer was "quantitative easing"), but in terms of risk of default with regards to Greece (to which the answer was "austerity"). This suggests that some people get to define problems and solutions for political reasons, where the labeling of the crisis already prescribed a solution, and how the labeling favored Anglo-Americans and crippled everyone else; this is an excellent study in cultural anthropology; see also book review by Sarah Hall (Journal of Cultural Economy, Jul 2015) and Journal of Cultural Economy.  

Paul Kiel, Small Debt is Destroying Black Lives: Institutional Racism and the Wealth Gap America Still Refuses to Acknowledge (Salon, Jan 9, 2016)

John S. Allen, The Big Home Ownership Lie: Greed, Fear, and How the Big Banks Exploited a Human Need (Salon, Jan 9, 2016)

Peter Eavis, Toxic Loans Around the World Weigh on Global Growth (NY Times, Feb 3, 2016)

Kerry Bolton, Tradition and Usury: The Perennial Conflict (Katehon blog, Feb 16, 2016)

Whitney Benns and Blake Strode, Debtor's Prison in 21st Century America (The Atlantic, Feb 23, 2016)

Deidox, The Ordinance (website, documentary)

Steve Eisman, Don't Break Up the Banks; They're Not Our Real Problem (NY Times, Feb 6, 2016) leveraged debt is the real problem

Charlene Crowell, Pastors Call Payday Lending Immoral (St. Louis American, Apr 21, 2016)

Chris Kirk, Five Charts That Show Americans Families’ Debt Crisis (Slate, May 12, 2016)

Newser Editors, Average Size of US Homes, Decade by Decade (Newser, May 29, 2016) a mark of how debt inflates home sizes

John Oliver, Debt Buyers (Last Week Tonight, Jun 5, 2016)

Kathy Orton, Student Loan Debt is Hurting the Housing Market, Survey Finds (Washington Post, Jun 13, 2016)

James B. Steele and Lance Williams, Who Got Rich Off the Student Debt Crisis (Reveal News, Jun 28, 2016)

Andrew Donohue, The Takeaway: How Privatization Changed the Student Loan Game (Reveal News, Jun 28, 2016)

Reveal News, Who's Getting Rich Off Your Student Debt? (Reveal News, Jul 2, 2016)

Tom Petruno, Another Financial Crisis?  Soaring World Debt Since 2008 Raises Risk as World Economy Sputters (LA Times, Jul 9, 2016)

Josh Marshall, Trump & Putin.  Yes, It's Really a Thing (Talking Points Memo, Jul 25, 2016) on Trump's indebtedness to Russian financiers close to Putin

Nathan McAlone, The Tech Industry's New Perk: Zero-Down Mortgages on Up to $2 Million Homes (Business Insider, Jul 27, 2016)

John Oliver, Auto Lending (This Week Tonight, Aug 14, 2016) predatory lending

US Uncut, A Trump Building Is Close To A Billion Dollars In Debt; You’ll Never Guess The Lender (US Uncut, Aug 21, 2016)

Dan Carter, Race's Role in Predatory Lending (Shared Justice, Sep 12, 2016)

Bob Bryan, One of the Key Forces Behind the Bubbles That Led to the Financial Crisis Is Back (Business Insider, Sep 18, 2016) debt

Michael Pento, The Coming Bond Bubble Collapse (Peak Prosperity, Sep 18, 2016)

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, China Facing Full-Blown Banking Crisis, World's Top Financial Watchdog Warns (Telegraph, Sep 19, 2016) warns about debt-driven economic growth

Alana Semuels, Finance is Ruining America (The Atlantic, Sep 23, 2016)

Jon Gorey, How Student Loan Debt Causes a Chain Reaction in the Housing Market (Boston Globe, Sep 30, 2016)

Deepti Asthana, Stories of Survival: Widows of India's Farmer Suicides (Aljazeera, Nov 3, 2016)

Helaine Olen, America’s Foreclosure Crisis Is Far From Over. So Why Don’t We Hear About It? (Salon, Nov 10, 2016)

The Young Turks, Trump Wants To Ban Federal Student Loans (The Young Turks, Nov 19, 2016) compares Elizabeth Warren's proposal to Trump's

Rachel Koning Beals, These Countries Are Saddled With the Most Debt Per Person, In One Chart (MarketWatch, Nov 23, 2016) public, govt debt

Zach Carter, The Student Debt Crisis Is Driving Elderly People Into Poverty (Huffington Post, Dec 20, 2016)

Sarah Mulholland, A $90 Billion Debt Wave Shows Cracks in U.S. Property Boom (Bloomberg, Jan 24, 2017)

Stacy Cowley and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Loans ‘Designed to Fail’: States Say Navient Preyed on Students (NY Times, Apr 9, 2017)

Jörg Guido Hülsmann, The Cultural Consequences of the Federal Reserve (Mises Institute, Jun 1, 2017) inflation incentivizes indebtedness

Alex Mayyasi, Of Money and Morals: How Did Usury Stop Being a Sin and Become Respectable Finance? (Aeon, Jul 7, 2017)

American Herald Tribune, Bolivia’s President Declares ‘Total Independence’ From World Bank And IMF (Mint Press News, Jul 24, 2017) and Whitney Webb, Bolivia Asserts Newfound Economic Independence, Rejects Rothschild Banks (Mint Press News, Nov 18, 2016)

Maria Lamagna, Americans Now Have the Highest Credit-Card Debt in U.S. History (MarketWatch, Aug 8, 2017) 

Matt Townsend, Jenny Surane, Emma Orr and Christopher Cannon, America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Really Just Beginning (Bloomberg, Nov 8, 2017)

David Dayen, The Cause and Consequences of the Retail Apocalypse (New Republic, Nov 14, 2017) private equity firms overburdened retail with debt

Meagan Day, The Shark and the Hound (The Baffler, Dec 2017) a history of American predatory lending

Zeke Faux, Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don’t Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance (Bloomberg, Dec 6, 2017)

Tanvi Mishra, One Nation, Under the Weight of Crushing Debt (CityLab, Dec 8, 2017)

Ben Chu, Global Debt: Why Has It Hit an All-Time High? And How Worried Should We Be About It? (UK Independent, Jan 5, 2018)

Michelle Singletary, Don't Spend More Than You Can Afford for Your Child's Education (Boston Globe, Jan 6, 2018)

Aaron Glantz and Emmanuel Martinez, For People of Color, Banks Are Shutting the Door to Homeownership (Reveal News, Feb 15, 2018)

Rachel Cohen, There’s Finally A Legitimate Alternative To Payday Lending (Huffington Post, Apr 12, 2018)

Ellen Brown, The Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising (Truthout, Apr 25, 2018)

TomDispatch, Donald Trump and the Next Crash (Huffington Post, Apr 27, 2018) about his Fed appointees 

Laura Sullivan, How Puerto Rico's Debt Created A Perfect Storm Before The Storm (NPR, May 2, 2018) 

Ari Melber, The Why Robert Mueller 'Following the Debt' Scares Trump(MSNBC, Mar 8, 2018) how debt is part of the political economy, not simply the economy, as a neutral object

Trevor Noah, Fraudulent For-Profit Schools Make a Comeback Under Betsy DeVos (The Daily Show, May 16, 2018) and The Young Turks, Betsy DeVos Caught Getting Rich from Fraud (The Young Turks, May 15, 2018)

NY Times Editorial Board, Fed Makes a Risky Bet on Banks (NY Times, Jun 1, 2018) on loosening Dodd-Frank and debt-limits

Catherine Bosley, Future of Swiss Banking Hangs in Balance as Voters Head to Polls (Bloomberg, Jun 7, 2018) fractional reserve banking creates "money"; not enough support politically but fascinating to follow

Amanda Terkel, Arthur Delaney, and Zach Carter, Behind The Scenes Of The Bruising Bank Fight That Divided Senate Democrats (Huffington Post, Jun 7, 2018) examine the political maneuverings 

The Young Turks, The Housing Bubble is About to Burst (The Young Turks, Jun 12, 2018) examine non-bank lenders who are predatory, and the coming wave of defaults; see original study by Brennan Hoban, The Mortgage Market Risk No One's Talking About, Plus a Proposal to Redesign the System (Brookings Institute, Mar 8, 2018) and update by Robert C. Pozen and Clayton Pfannenstiel, Shifting the Risk of Mortgage Defaults from Taxpayers to Investors (Brookings Institute, Jun 5, 2018)

Arielle Gray, I Couldn’t Afford To Pay My Student Loans. Then I Received A Warrant For My Arrest (Huffington Post, Jun 22, 2018) highlights many of the dangers of student loan arrangements

Ben White, Are We Really Safe from the Next Financial Crisis? (Politico, Jul 18, 2018) experts debate whether the system is better or whether we've just been lucky

Tara Siegel Bernard, ‘Too Little Too Late’: Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans (NY Times, Aug 5, 2018) because parents are sharing more in the student loans of their children, and also going bankrupt from health emergencies

Emily Stewart, The Trump Administration Is Dismantling Financial Protections for the Military (Vox, Aug 14, 2018) because predatory lenders go after former military members

Ben Miller, The Student Debt Problem Is Worse Than We Imagined (NY Times, Aug 25, 2018) newly released federal information shows that 30% of students repaying loans were in serious trouble

Emily Stewart, The Government's Top Student Loan Watchdog Is Quitting in Protest (Vox, Aug 27, 2018) within the CFPB; see also Cory Turner, The Why Public Service Loan Forgiveness Is So Unforgiving (NPR, Oct 17, 2018)

S-Rank TV, The Bank That Almost Broke Britain (S-Rank TV, Oct 3, 2018) an hour long documentary about the Royal Bank of Scotland and the financial crisis of 2008

Stacy Cowley, 28,000 Public Servants Sought Student Loan Forgiveness. 96 Got It. (NY Times, Sep 27, 2018)

Tom Porter and Reuters, Trump American Household Debt Is Nearly a Trillion Dollars Higher Than It Was Before the 2008 Recession (Newsweek, Nov 17, 2018)

Hunter Derensis, The Coming Bankruptcy of the American Empire (The American Conservative, Nov 20, 2018)

Harry Cheadle, Millennials Aren't 'Killing' Industries, We're Just Broke, Study Finds (Vice, Nov 30, 2018) referring to a Federal Reserve study

Chico Harlan, Where Are All the Children? How Greece’s Financial Crisis Led to a Baby Bust. (Washington Post, Dec 1, 2018)

Michael Stratford, Trump Administration Hid Report Revealing Wells Fargo Charged High Fees to Students (Politico, Dec 10, 2018)

Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff, Craig Antico, and Judah Freed, End Medical Debt: Curing America's $1 Trillion Unpayable Healthcare Debt (Amazon book, Dec 4, 2018); see also video news interview by Cenk Uyghur, Medical Debt is Ravaging America (Rebel HQ, Jan 4, 2019)

Barbara Boland, Ignoring America’s Abyss of Debt (The American Conservative, Feb 15, 2019) mostly public and federal debt

Hasan Minhaj, Student Loans (Patriot Act, Feb 24, 2019)

Franklin Foer, Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America (The Atlantic, Mar 2019) “Washington had placed its faith in the new regime’s elites; it took them at their word when they professed their commitment to democratic capitalism. But Palmer had seen up close how the world’s growing interconnectedness—and global finance in particular—could be deployed for ill. During the Cold War, the KGB had developed an expert understanding of the banking byways of the West, and spymasters had become adept at dispensing cash to agents abroad.” Even if there were no money laundering in a formal sense, the reality that debt is a political factor, not just a neutral, economic factor, is important.

Steve Inskeep, Christine Lagarde Watches for Dark Clouds on the Eocnomic Horizon (NPR, Mar 8, 2019) IMF Director Lagarde points out that banks headed by women are financially healthier and take on fewer risks; however, there is some systemic bias against women in finance, as only 2% of banks worldwide have women CEO's, and 20% of board members are women. This confirms the observation about Iceland's banking experience, as related to gender, by Michael Lewis, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World (Amazon book, Oct 3, 2011)

Gabriel Debenedetti, Wall Street Democrats Are Absolutely Freaking Out About Their 2020 Candidates (New York Magazine, Apr 28, 2019) very revealing

Veronique de Rugy, Corporate Welfare Wins Again in Trump’s Washington (NY Times, May 7, 2019) “We don’t need the Export-Import Bank, which pads the profits of politically connected corporations on the taxpayer’s dime, but it’s back anyway.”

David Doel, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes & Bernie Team Up To Take On Wall Street Greed (The Rational National, May 9, 2019) proposing a cap of 15% interest on consumer debt, including credit cards and payday loans. A response to the Fed study showing that half of Americans have no savings. In principle, this is a return to anti-usury laws. The legislation also considers postal banking.

Sean Illing, How the Baby Boomers Wrecked the Economy for Millenials (Vox, May 22, 2019) a conversation with author and WSJ columnist Joseph Sternberg; Sternberg admits his bias as a free-market conservative to avoid examining the financial sector, etc.

Independent Trader Team, China Crushed By Debt (Seeking Alpha, May 22, 2019) how indebtedness exposes Chinese companies, and China as a nation, to trade and economic uncertainties 

The Young Turks, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And Elizabeth Warren Put Steve Mnuchin On Blast (The Young Turks, May 23, 2019) how hedge-fund manager Eddie Lampert became CEO and placed Steve Mnuchin on the board so he could asset-strip Sears, buy Sears property himself and rent it back to Sears at prices he set himself, and drive Sears into debt from private equity and his own hedge-fund while issuing stock-buybacks to profit himself. See also The Young Turks, Why Sears Bankruptcy Should Outrage You (The Young Turks, Dec 17, 2018) on how private equity companies destroy other solid corporations; and how other media companies do not cover it accurately; Sears execs will make huge bonuses for the bankruptcy proceedings, while workers make nothing. See also Bess Levin, Did Steven Mnuchin Help His College Roommate Steal $2 Billion? (Vanity Fair, May 23, 2019)

Steven Pearlstein, The Shadow Banks Are Back With Another Big Bad Credit Bubble (Washington Post, May 31, 2019)

Brett Christophers, How Financial Giants Might Come to Rule Us All (Jacobin Magazine, Jun 18, 2019)

Elizabeth Warren, The Coming Economic Crash — And How to Stop It (Medium, Jul 22, 2019) and summary by The Young Turks, The Economy is About to Crash! Elizabeth Warren Sounds the Alarm (The Young Turks, Jul 22, 2019) focusing on private debt and corporate debt that reduces resiliency to events that affect the economy.

Mihir Sharma, China’s Got the World by Its Throat (Bloomberg, Jul 17, 2019) “Developing countries owe Beijing a lot more money than is commonly realized. This is how empires start.”

AnnaMaria Andriotis, Ken Brown, and Shane Shifflett, Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class (WSJ, Aug 1, 2019) “Wages stalled but costs haven’t, so people increasingly rent or finance what their parents might have owned outright”

Olga Khazan, What Happens When You Don’t Pay a Hospital Bill (The Atlantic, Aug 28, 2019) “As Americans sink under medical expenses, debt collectors go to great—and sometimes strange—lengths to collect.”

William D. Cohan, Only the Fed Can Save Us (NY Times, Aug 31, 2019) “In large part, the explosion of debt issuance has been driven by central-bank policies that have kept interest rates at historically low levels, in effect rewarding entities for issuing more and more debt. Interest payments on corporate debt are tax deductible, in most jurisdictions. We live in a world awash in debt. But that’s the risk we can see. There is plenty of additional risk hiding in the undisclosed obligations of private companies and in the “shadow banking system,” nonbank financial institutions that have sprung up in the past decade to hold the risk that the Federal Reserve insisted, after the 2008 financial crisis, that Wall Street avoid. So what would happen if interest rates did increase slightly, or if the economy dipped into a recession, and some of those overleveraged companies could no longer meet their interest payments? It wouldn’t be pretty.”

Brian M. Rosenthal, Reckless Loans Devastated Taxi Drivers. Now Prosecutors Are Investigating. (NY Times, Sep 10, 2019) exploitative lending practices associated with buying a taxi medallion, a city permit allowing ownership of a cab. “It could reverberate throughout the city’s taxi industry, which has been engulfed in a financial crisis and rocked by a string of suicides among cabdrivers. More than 950 drivers have filed for bankruptcy, and many more are still buried in overwhelming debt today.”

Morgan Simon, GEO Group Runs Out of Banks as 100% of Banking Partners Say ‘No’ to the Private Prison Sector (Forbes, Sep 30, 2019) interesting example of the leverage that private banks have

Elena Botella, I Worked at Capital One for Five Years. This Is How We Justified Piling Debt on Poor Customers. (New Republic, Oct 2, 2019) “The subprime lending giant is a textbook case in creating a corporate culture of denial.”

Amy Goodman and Aaron Glantz, Homewreckers: How Wall Street, Banks & Trump’s Inner Circle Used the 2008 Housing Crash to Get Rich (Democracy Now, Oct 15, 2019) see also Aaron Glantz, Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream (Amazon book, Oct 15, 2019)

Christian restorative justice, Banking, and Finance: topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: domestic policy topics

Christian restorative justice critique of the right: philosophical influences