Documentary Exposes Predatory Lending and Questions the Government

Leslie Cockburn is director of American Casino a documentary about the predatory lending in America. Cockburn a seasoned investigative reporter for PBS and CBS’ 60 minutes has provided us with an extraordinary piece of film that chronicles the predatory lending against African-Americans and the Governments bailout of Wall Street.

The piece examines the questions: how the economic crisis by the mortgage industry comes to pass? ; Why millions of people are going to lose their homes in 2009? ; Why minorities make up the tidal wave of foreclosures? ; Did banks truly target Minorities? ; And the big question of why was our government more concern with bailing out Wall Street than its citizens who are being evicted from their homes daily?

The interviews that Cockburn conducts with middle-class African-Americans expose the greed by Wall Street and lending institutions that deceived them into mortgage notes that had repayment terms the lenders knew where going to fail.

Cockburn interviews a minister from Baltimore, Emily Wade who lost her childhood home to foreclosure. The loan she took out on the property was only for twenty eight thousand dollars however Wade did not understand the legal terms in the fine print that eventually swelled the loan payments making them impossible for her to pay. She is now living in her car.

Rodney Carter, a social worker and his wife Patricia McNair, a psychiatrist, purchased a home with monthly payments that were affordable and then the payments soared to where they are dangerously close to losing the home. They wonder what they will tell the children when they are eventually evicted.

Cockburn has ingeniously distinguished these victims of the mortgage crisis and their grim situations against Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary intervening on behalf of Goldman Sachs his former company and other Fortune 500 firms. The vary firms that gamble on mortgage backed securities and should have lost millions. Paulson succeeded in encumbering future generations with colossal debt in order to save companies that were considered too big to fail.

The documentary is damning in nature and makes persuasive points about the federal government and corporate leaders caring less about the plight of the working class.

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