Something to Watch for in Tonight’s Debate

 The Story:

Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, as he has become more visible, has become a target. One consequence? Some of Bloomberg’s comments about the causes of the financial crisis of 2007-09 have come to light. His opponents may seek to use these quotes against him at tonight’s debate..

One Key Quote:

In 2008, Bloomberg said that the problems then unfolding “all probably started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone. Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said people in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages.”

Bloomberg believes that a reaction against the unfairness of bank redlining led to a dynamic in which the government increasingly pressed banks to give mortgages to home buyers who were going in over their heads, and this undermined first the housing markets, and eventually the world financial system.

The Thing to Know:

There is a very plausible case to be made that Bloomberg was trebly delusional there, about the real problem of redlining that was addressed by Congress in the 1960s; about the problems of banks in the 2000s; and about the alleged link between the two.

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