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The American Dream

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The American Dream
Wendy Radnovich English 112 Duncan Warner 10/18/2012

Ruzich & Grant develop a theory around predatory lending and the American Dream that states that “the use of the metaphor predatory lending has allowed the complex story of the subprime mortgage crisis to be reduced to a simple and dramatic narrative” (Ruzich & Grant). They develop that theory in the conclusion of their article Predatory Lending and the Devouring of the American Dream by discussing how the metaphor has worked to distract from other contributing factors such as “race, gender, agency, psychological motivations, the enmeshed interest of borrowers and lenders, and the very nature of American capitalism.” (R&G) While I agree that the housing crisis was due to the cumulative effect of both predatory lending as well as overreaching borrowers, I also believe that government should also take some of the blame. The first argument of Ruzich & Grant is the metaphor of predatory lending and its effects on the mortgage crisis, victims and who’s to blame. Coining the term “predatory lending” has led the American public to form biased opinions about the mortgage crisis. The term, in and of itself, leads one to believe that the lenders are predators and the borrowers are victims. As Ruzich & Grant point out, the term frequently occurs in “articles also containing the word victim.” (R&G) Predatory lending, as it has been called, has “shaped Americans’ understanding of and responses to the subprime mortgage crisis”. (R&G) If it really were



Cited: “Predatory Lending and the Devouring of the American Dream” by Constance M Ruzich and A.J. Grant Cowen, Tyler. “So We Thought, But Then Again….” New York Times 13 Jan. 2008: BU6. Smith, Yves. “Up to 70 Percent of Mortgage Defaults Linked to Misrepresentation.” [weblog entry] Naked Capitalism. 13 Oct. 2007. 26 July 2008 Http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2007/10/ up-to-70-of-mortgage-defaults-linked-to.html Openmarket.org “Fannie and Freddie Helped Spawn the Mortgage Crisis, So Did Affordable Housing Mandates” by Hans Bader January 9, 2012

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