Updated: 2020-07-27 by
This is a one-hour radio documentary and website about bankruptcy in america from American RadioWorks and Marketplace from American Public Radio
See also: "The boom in going bust" -- a report by Marketplace reporter Chris Farrell on a day in bankruptcy court.
This AmericanLife/NPR present one of the clearest explanations of how the housing crisis happened. One hour long.
Media Reports on How the Credit Card Industry Reaps Billions in Profits From Distressed Debtors
Feeling bad about your bankruptcy?
The banking industry has made a calculated science of reaping billions of profits from distressed debtors. By casting a wide net to grant credit to everyone, the real "sweet spot" for banks is the distressed debtor that is caught a never ending cycle of penalties, fees, and exorbitant interest rates (that would have been illegal a generation ago)
The issues covered in this 2004 documentary are still current, and worth watching. It's an excellent recounting by PBS and The New York Times of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling almost 20 years ago opened the door to abusive lending practices and the rise of the modern credit card industry. After watching this, you'll understand why your credit card company is probably based in South Dakota or Delaware.
PBS: Frontline Video and Articles
NY Times: Articles
Excellent report on how lack of regulation allowed "usury" to no longer be a crime, and allowed predatory lenders to sell financial snake-oil all without regulation.
Describes how the inevitable logic of human greed, left unregulated, led banks to make billions by peddling financial snake-oil to naive, cash strapped consumers to sign the equity in their their paid-for houses as collateral for loans they would never be able to pay.... And now whole neighborhoods lie abandoned and falling into ruin, resulting in further loss of wealth base in communities that can ill affford it.
So much for the invisible hand....