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October 2, 2008


The South Bronx on the $700 Billion Bailout

James Jacobs talks to the NY Times

As always, the Times does a great job of going into neighborhoods and asking New Yorkers what they think about national political or economic events. They went to the Morrisania neighborhood in the Bronx and asked residents about the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. Responses are funny, and show a clear, and justifiably cynical understanding of what's going on:

On a chair outside Johnson’s Barbecue on Tinton Avenue in the Bronx, Keith McLean had thoroughly considered the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. "That’s for C.E.O.'s.," said Mr. McLean. "And I am a P-O-O-R."

The accompanying video captures the best bits, with one guy on camera and another guy shouting commentary off-camera:

"It’s corporate America doing what corporate America does," Mr. Jacobs said.

"Organized crime," Mr. McLean said.

"It's the new organized crime," Mr. Jacobs said.

"Ain’t nothing new about it," Mr. McLean said.

"We're not going to see none of that," Mr. Jacobs said. "Not one red cent."

One woman in the video is worried about her 401k and that the effects of bank failures will eventually trickle down to her. But the guys at the barbecue, who don't exactly raise concerns about their investments, had more to say about the aspect of the meltdown that affects them personally--the irresponsible lending that caused it in the first place.

"I was out of work there for a couple of years, and I ended up with three credit cards. American Express. Visa. I forget the other one. And the banks give all these loans to people knowing they can’t pay, but they get a commission."

These guys should open a financial advisory service. If they tell me I should put my savings in shoeboxes and hide it behind the couch cushions, I'm doing it.

categories: Economics, NYC, Politics
posted by amy at 10:23 AM | #

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