Cramm for 7/28/22


A US mortgage lender is being held accountable for redlining. 



Meet redlining. That’s when an institution shakes its head at offering someone a service just because the person lives in a certain area. Think: banking, healthcare…you get the idea. Redlining originated during the era of segregation in the 1900s as a way to keep majority-BIPOC neighborhoods locked out of these services. In some cases, banks and other lenders would even draw on maps in red marker to single out neighborhoods where they wanted to avoid making loans. The impact has been lasting, with Black and Latino households still much less likely to own their own home compared to white households. 



Now meet Trident Mortgage Company, a US lender owned by Berkshire Hathaway. According to a complaint filed in federal court, Trident used redlining from at least 2015 to 2019. Not a typo. See: the biz’s offices were mostly in majority-white neighborhoods. Its loan officers didn’t serve the credit needs of prospective minority buyers. And loan officers and other employees sent and received work emails that contained racial slurs and referred to minority neighborhoods as “ghetto.”



Yesterday, Trident agreed to cough up $20 million to settle those claims. Prosecutors say the funds will be used to increase credit opportunities in underserved communities. It’s the second-largest lending discrimination settlement in history.



This marks a major step toward justice for BIPOC communities harmed by redlining. 


WORLD: Recently, it came out that the US has offered to trade Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan for arms dealer Viktor Bout in a prisoner swap. Griner is a US basketball star who was arrested four months ago after Russian officials said they found vape cartridges bearing traces of hash oil in her luggage. Whelan is an ex-Marine who was detained in 2018 and charged with espionage. Stay tuned. In other news, the US just put out its estimate of Russian casualties in the war on Ukraine: 75,000. That could be roughly half of the number of Russian forces who were in Ukraine in spring. Meanwhile, over in Iraq, hundreds of protesters breached a high-security zone and broke into the country’s parliament building. The protesters, who are supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, oppose the nomination of a rival candidate. Tension, high. 


USA: The Federal Reserve just raised interest rates. Again. More specifically: officials voted to up rates by three-quarters of a percentage point - just one month after hiking rates by the same number. In other news, yesterday, Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) nodded his head to including hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs and tax increases in a package that would subsidize health care and lower the cost of prescription drugs. This comes just two weeks after Manchin said ‘no way’ to the legislation. Also making headlines in the US: leaked docs just revealed that some of the biggest power bizes in the US spent millions of dollars to influence politics across 8 states. Includes funding a candidate with the same last name as a Dem lawmaker who championed a clean energy law. The goal? Split votes. 


HEALTH: Yesterday, the US Food and Drug Admin announced that it had cleared nearly 800,000 additional doses of the monkeypox vaccine for use. Since the monkeypox outbreak hit the US, the gov has moved slowly in acquiring more doses - leading to shortages. The new doses are expected to expand the US supply, though some experts worry it still won’t be enough. This comes after New York City confirmed more than 1,000 monkeypox cases. In other news, almost one million people have been placed under lockdown in a suburb of Wuhan, China, after four asymptomatic covid cases were detected. ICYDK, China follows a “zero covid” strategy that’s increasingly facing backlash for harsh restrictions. 


Northern giant hornet:” scientists’ new name for the murder hornet. 


“Early Europeans Could Not Tolerate Milk but Drank It Anyway, Study Finds” - a recent headline. Relatable. 

ICYMI, Cramm This Book is OUT NOW! Cramm This Book is a dive into the history that’s shaped the world as it is today, looking at the wars, the movements, the disasters, and more. Get your copy today!
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