Jackson calls sub-prime crisis an "economic tsunami" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Blair Simmons

Jackson calls sub-prime crisis an "economic tsunami"

With the backdrop of a black-tie Gala at the Hilton Hotel, Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke about the crisis in the sub-prime mortgage market Sunday night in Memphis.

"It's no fault of people that they targeted people, and used a sub-prime loan to undermine people," he said.
Jackson told the audience the loans should be illegal, saying he believes lenders commonly target poor African-American families and the elderly.

"They targeted Inner City, USA," he said. "Targeted senior citizens, sometimes with loans beyond ability of fixed incomes. Targeted blacks and poor whites with low credit scores, because they had low wages and gave them property beyond their ability to pay."

According to this year's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, foreclosure filings are up 94% since October 2006.  That number, Jackson said, is the result of sub-prime loans.

Jackson said the loans are causing an "economic tsunami," and called for the government to step in and help.

"Federal government must have role to play in salvaging our economy," he said. "We can't take this hit of debt we have with China on one hand, and Iraq war cost on another, and loss of that kind of money to our economy."

In 2007, 2.2 million Americans faced foreclosure on their home, with Tennessee ranking 11th in the nation for having the most with over 4,500 filings.  Jackson said the impact of so many foreclosures will have a ripple effect on the economy, effecting the tax base, revenue base, and community as a whole of cities nationwide.

Jackson said he would take his message to New York on December 10th, where he said hundreds will protest sub-prime loans on Wall Street.

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