“Pinklining”: How women of color are disproportionately hurt by Wall Street’s predatory practices

Report highlights how financial industry targets women of color,
transferring their wealth & reinforcing inequality.

A new report explains how women, and especially women of color, are disproportionately hurt by Wall Street.

“Pinklining: How Wall Street’s Predatory Products Pillage Women’s Wealth, Opportunities & Futures,” details how sexism and racism are “increasingly exploited and exacerbated by Wall Street and the financial sector.”

The report, which was written by scholar Suparna Bhaskaran, shows how “Wall Street takes advantage of women’s precarious economic position and marginalization to push them deeper into debt,” in a practice Bhaskaran calls “pinklining.”

Structural sexism and structural racism make women and people of color more susceptible to pinklining, the report stresses.

It looks at three primary financial practices in which these inequalities are visible: subprime home mortgage lending, payday lending and higher education lending.

Subprime mortgages
Subprime home mortgage lending increased from $35 billion in 1994 to an enormous $600 billion in 2006.

At the peak of subprime lending, in 2005, women were 30 to 46 percent more likely to receive subprime mortgage loans than men. Black women were a staggering 256 percent more likely to receive subprime loans than white men.

Wells Fargo was a particularly egregious example. It targeted black and Latina/o Americans with subprime loans, leading to a $175 million settlement with the Department of Justice in 2012.

The bank forced high-interest subprime mortgages on black households five times more than it did on their white equivalents. Wells Fargo employees also called black Americans “mud people,” and referred to subprime loans as “ghetto loans.”

Read the full article in Salon.