World
Housing Enforcement Group Sues M&T Bank for Discrimination
The unusual lawsuit draws on secret videotapes and recordings to argue that the bank's loan officers discriminated against blacks, Latinos and Asians who applied for mortgages
 
One of the nation's largest banks discriminates against black, Latino and Asian homebuyers by offering lesser qualified white borrowers higher loan amounts and using hidden racial criteria in one of its loan programs, according to a lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Manhattan. The suit also accuses the bank of steering homebuyers to certain neighborhoods based on their race or ethnicity.
 
The lawsuit claims that M&T Bank violated the landmark Fair Housing Act, a 1968 law that sought to end discriminatory lending practices and limit the historic segregation of many of the country's cities. The suit was filed by the Fair Housing Justice Center, a New York City-based non-profit organization that is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to enforce the federal law that bans housing discrimination.
 
Between 2012 and 2014, the Fair Housing Justice Center conducted a series of tests in which it sent out trained actors to explore whether white and non-white homebuyers would be treated differently when trying to prequalify for a mortgage. All followed a similar script, telling bank officers they were married with no children and were first-time homebuyers. The black, Latino and Asian testers presented slightly better qualifications when it came to income, credit and additional financial assets.
 
In nine separate interactions recorded either with a camera or an audio devices, employees at M&T Bank's New York City loan office can be seen or heard treating the white applicants differently than the others, according to the suit. In one instance, a black candidate was told she did not have enough savings to buy a home. A white applicant with slightly lower income and credit scores and $9,000 less in savings was pre-approved for a loan. In another case, a Latina candidate was told she would qualify for a mortgage $125,000 less than the test's white candidate with lower income, poorer credit and less cash.
 
"Defendant's conduct, as described above, constitutes discrimination in making available residential real estate-related transactions and in the terms and conditions of such transactions on the basis of race or national origin in violation of the Fair Housing Act," the lawsuit says.
 
A complaint against a lender based solely on secret testing is quite unusual. Several fair housing experts could not think of another case. Because lawsuits against banks typically results from statistical disparities, whistleblowers or consumer complaints, this case could open up a new legal means of pursuing discriminatory lenders.
 
M&T Bank spokesman Michael Zabel would not answer questions about the allegations in the lawsuit. He sent a one-paragraph statement that said the bank had the "highest percentage of African-American home purchase borrowers and dedicated the highest percentage of its deposits to community development lending. These facts reflect our deep commitment to fair lending, and to serving all of our neighbors in all of our communities," according to a report by the Association of Neighborhood Housing and Development. He also wrote that, "This issue is of the utmost importance to us, and we began taking steps immediately to investigate and address this claim." 
 
New York-based M&T Bank is the 17th largest commercial bank holding company in the United States, according to the lawsuit. The regional bank operates more than 700 branches in New York and seven other states and Washington, D.C. The fair housing organization believes that the case pulls the curtain back on how discrimination still occurs in lending even though the kind of overt bigotry that prevailed generations ago is rarely seen. The lawsuit, it turns out, comes as the Supreme Court is actively considering the reach of the 1968 federal fair housing law.
 
Fred Freiberg, the executive director of the Fair Housing Justice Center, has been working in fair housing enforcement for nearly four decades and runs one of the most prolific fair housing testing agencies in the country. He also designed the U.S. Department of Justice's fair housing testing program.
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica.org

User

Economy & Nation Exclusive
Kejriwal-led AAP swipes Delhi elections
Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP clean swept Delhi elections by winning 67 out of 70 seats, relegating BJP to a long-distant second position with just three seats and completely wiping out Congress
 
Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party (AAP) on Tuesday clean swiped Delhi Assembly elections by winning 67 out of 70 seats, thus making a spectacular come back to power nearly a year after its government had quit on the Lokpal Bill issue. While Kiran Bedi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was sidelined at a distant second place with just three seats, Ajay Maken-led Congress was nowhere on the results scene.
 
Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Somnath Bharti, Gopal Rai, Rakhi Birla, Saurabh Bhardwaj and all other prominent AAP leaders emerged victorious.

Almost all senior BJP leaders, including its chief ministerial nominee Kiran Bedi, lost the polls. Bedi was defeated by AAP's SK Bagga by 2,277 votes in Krishna Nagar constituency. The only saving grace for the BJP was victory of its former state unit president Vijender Gupta who won from Rohini.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Kejriwal on the victory and assured Centre's support for Delhi.
 
 
Addressing thousands of cheering supporters at the AAP office in central Delhi, Kejriwal said the AAP government would work in a manner that both the poor and the rich would be proud.
 
Kejriwal won the New Delhi seat with a margin of 31,583 votes defeating BJP’s Nupur Sharma, while Congress’ former minister Kiran Walia was at the third position.
 
Exactly a year after he had resigned as Delhi Chief Minister, the AAP convenor will take oath as the CM again on 14th February at Ramlila Maidan.

“Arvind Kejriwal will take oath as the Delhi Chief Minister on 14th February at Ramlila Maidan,” AAP leader Ashutosh said after the party’s landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly polls.
 
In last election, Kejriwal had defeated the three-time Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit on her home—turf by a margin of 25,864 votes.

However, after serving the government for 49 days, he had resigned on February 14 last year after his push for the anti—corruption Jan Lokpal Bill was blocked in the state Assembly by BJP and Congress.

Meanwhile, talking with reporters, Anna Hazare, the ‘once upon a time’ guru of Kejriwal and Bedi, said the loss in Delhi is of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and not that of Kiran Bedi, who was incorporated in BJP after the announcements of polls.
 
Accepting the mandate given by Delhiites, BJP's local unit president Satish Upadhyay admitted that the party failed to understand the mood of the people.

Congratulating Arvind Kejriwal for his party's landslide victory, Upadhyay said BJP will continue to serve the people as it did in the past.

"We accept the mandate given by the people of Delhi. We failed to understand the mood of the people. BJP will continue to serve the people as it had been doing in the past. I congratulate Kejriwal on his victory," Upadhyay added.
 
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken, who was the party's face in the Delhi polls, today resigned from the post, taking moral responsibility for the humiliating defeat at the hustings.

He congratulated AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for his party's landslide victory and hoped he will fulfill all the dreams and promises made during campaigning for the Assembly polls.
 
According to reports, accepting the party's debacle, Delhi Congress President Arvinder Singh Lovely has sent his resignation to party President Sonia Gandhi.
 
Congress had won eight seats in the last Assembly polls in Delhi held in 2013 which threw a hung verdict.

User

COMMENTS

MG Warrier

2 years ago

Interesting analysis and diverse views. The debate must go on. As things stand, while there is glaring fallacy when one thinks of the vote share and number of seats won by each party, the discussion will meet a dead end in the context of coalition politics and the shift in voting pattern based on issues. Things may stabilise in course of time.
As regards the views about the recent political developments, allow me to share my view about 2014 General Election and the 2015 Delhi election:
“Delhi Elections-2015, is an affirmation of the people’s intolerance of the wide gap between preaching and practice by political leadership which was first demonstrated in Elections-2014. Though we need not underplay the roles played by Modi and Kejriwal in the two elections, one is tempted to believe that ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ have woken up from a long slumber and have decided to play the role expected of them by the writers of Indian Constitution.
Till 2013, elections in India were won or lost on the basis of money power and/or slogans which had mass-burial post-elections. In this context 2014 general election and 2015 Delhi election stand out and their relevance as ‘vote for change’ and ‘vote for honest politics’.
The role of money in elections need be reduced. Also, there is a felt need to bring some sanity in the sources and uses of resources mobilised by political parties.”

Ralph Rau

2 years ago

Not SWIPES but SWEEPS.

With the Broom.

Bapoo Malcolm

2 years ago

The same logic that gave 60% of the seats for 30% of the vote last May. Didn't see anyone complain then.

REPLY

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to Bapoo Malcolm 2 years ago

Just an observation.

In one election, with 33% of the votes, they form the government with 60% of the seats.

In another election, again with 33% of the votes, they are nowhere with 4% of the seats.

That's democracy for you?

Bapoo Malcolm

2 years ago

The same logic that gave 60% of the seats for 30% of the vote last May. Didn't see anyone complain then.

Deepak Mahulkar

2 years ago

It was of course negative voting to BJP and Congress. Also both these parties targetted Kejriwal which created sympathy wave the way hero after bashing by many rouges get sympathy. Moreover, Kejriwal's much publicised soaps like free water, discount in electricty bills, loos have gone in his fevour. Such benifits are not available even in most advanced countries. If he looks at Centre to fulfill all these,it will be injustice to other states. He has to generate funds internally and look at centre for infra projects only.

Veeresh Malik

2 years ago

54% of the votes = 67 seats.
33% of the votes = 3 seats.
10% of the votes = 0 seats.

Where is the logic in this extreme skew?

High time the election system in India was changed to provide proportionate representation.

manoharlalsharma

2 years ago

It is nothing but BOILING of an AAM-AADMI in Capital-city of INDIA as we r BOILING @ Shree Ganesh CHS.,-Nerul since 15 years 4 JUSTICE.

Suketu Shah

2 years ago

This happens only in Delhi-some outsider fooling them 2 times in 15 months.See what happened in Mumbai Oct 2014(BJP almost majority).This has taken bjp 10 steps back but they wl come strong 10000 steps forward.
Ache din ki shurvat hain.

Bapoo Malcolm

2 years ago

Seems that Fadnavis is in a scooter without a helmet and a kid in front of the "driver".

Bad example when the CM himself breaks the law and has himself photographed doing it. In case, someone decides to find the excuse that the vehicle was stationary, it still is an offence. Unless it is in a private compound.

As is number plates sported by netas, in Devnagri, and with irregular fonts.

Why cannot we all follow simple laws? Breaking small ones leads to greater carnage.

Bapoo M. Malcolm

SuchindranathAiyerS

2 years ago

BJP is a party based on an ideological cadre that is not employed from party (i.e. our hidden taxes) funds. Parachuting Kiran Bedi in like a Khangress Prima Donna would have sent the cadres home with just the BJP High Command and Kiran Bedi having to get the votes.

MOHAN

2 years ago

After Delhi win, AAP says it will challenge Mualayam's SP in next UP polls.

Poor Lalu Prasad yadav. Who will lalu choose in UP - Mulayam or Kejriwal ?

Will his 'secular' son in law (Mulayam's grandson MP Tej Pratap Singh) join AAP?

MG Warrier

2 years ago

Hope, such developments will open the eyes of the political leadership to the impatience of WE THE PEOPLE with the games the political leadersbip play with unstated support from bureaucracy and corporates. LET US CONGRATULATE THE PEOPLE OF DELHI.

Nifty, Sensex may try to bounce back – Monday closing report
Nifty may find support around 8,490 and put in a short bounce
 
In Friday’s closing report, we had mentioned that if Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) loses in the Delhi assembly elections, it might result in making of more losses on the bourses. The exit polls released by several media showed that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will get majority and will be able to form the next government in Delhi. The counting of votes for the 70-member Delhi assembly takes place Tuesday morning.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 28,567 while NSE’s CNX Nifty opened at 8,584. Sensex hit its intra-day high at the same level as at which it opened, while Nifty hit its intra-day high at 8,606. Both the indices moved to the low of 28,183 and 8,516, respectively. Sensex closed at 28,227 (down 491 points or 1.71%) while Nifty closed at 8,526 (down 135 points or 1.56%). NSE recorded a volume of 82.07 crore shares. India VIX rose 6.43% to close at 22.0150.
 
The Indian government will release advance estimates of GDP for 2014-15, as well as for the first three quarters of the current financial year - on the basis of the revised methodology later in the day.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged all Chief Ministers to work with the Centre to forge a model of cooperative federalism to come together to resolve differences and chart a common course to progress and prosperity. He urged all Chief Ministers to focus on the cycle of investment, growth, job creation and prosperity.
 
The Ministry of Finance on Saturday said that the government has decided to infuse Rs6,990 crore in a total of nine public sector banks (PSBs) during the current fiscal year based on efficiency parameters for individual banks. The methodology for arriving at the amount to be infused in these banks has been based on efficiency parameters, the finance ministry said.
 
Coming back to stock markets, Sun TV Network (9.02%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It posted an improved result of December 2014 on Friday. The board of directors have declared an interim dividend of Rs6.75 per share (135%).
 
Jammu & Kashmir Bank (17.52%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock hit its 52-week low today after posting weak result on Saturday for December 2014 quarter.
 
Dr Reddy’s Lab (1.81%) was the top gainer of the Sensex 30 pack, while Larsen & Toubro (6.61%) was the top loser of the pack.
 
US indices closed Friday in the red.
 
The Labour Department report showed that the economy added 257,000 jobs in January, while November and December numbers were revised sharply higher. In another good sign, hourly wages jumped 0.5%. Although the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.7% from 5.6%, it suggests that more people are entering the workforce. The US economy has added more than 200,000 jobs for 12 straight months.
 
Asian indices showed mixed performance. Shanghai Composite (0.62%) was the top gainer while SET Composite index of Thai (0.73%) was the top loser.
 
Data published on Sunday showed China's trade performance slumped in January, with exports falling 3.3% from year-ago levels while imports tumbled 19.9%, far worse than market expectations.
 
European indices were trading lower while US Futures were trading in the red.
 
The concern grew over the political situation in Greece as Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reaffirmed his rejection of the country's international bailout program.
 
Rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) cut Greece's long-term sovereign credit rating to B- from B on Friday warning that liquidity restraints on Greek banks would limit the time the new government has to clinch a deal with its creditors.
 
German exports increased in monthly adjusted terms in December, data from the country's statistics office, Destatis, showed today. The rise of exports of 3.4% combined with the 0.8% decrease in imports and translated into a trade surplus of 21.8 billion euros.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)