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Addendum: Notes on predatory finance in Matthew Desmond’s latest book:

“The short answer, Desmond argues, is that as a society we have made a priority of other things: maximal wealth accumulation for the few and cheap stuff for the many. At the same time, we’ve either ignored or enabled the gouging of the poor—by big banks that charge them stiff overdraft fees, by predatory payday lenders and check-cashing outlets of what Desmond calls the “fringe banking industry,” by landlords who squeeze their tenants because the side hustle of rent collecting has turned into their main hustle, by companies that underpay their workers or deny them benefits by confining them to gig status or that keep them perpetually off balance with “just-in-time scheduling” of shifts. To the extent that middle- and upper-class people unthinkingly buy products from such companies and invest in their stock, or park their money in those banks, or oppose public housing in their neighborhoods despite a professed commitment to it, or bid up the prices of fixer-uppers in Austin or San Francisco or Washington, D.C., they, too, are helping to buttress the system.”


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