Bloomberg Once Linked 2008 Crisis to End of Redlining Bias in Home Loans

The billionaire drew condemnation for his newly surfaced comments on redlining, in which banks discriminated against people of color seeking to borrow money to afford homes.

Comments: 205

  1. Just the most rudimentary digging into Bloomberg’s record indicates he is entirely unqualified to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party. The fact that the DNC is encouraging his ascent should be an indictment on the party leadership’s moral failing. There is one candidate uniquely capable of taking on Donald Trump. His name is Bernie Sanders.

  2. Tell us exactly how Bernie is uniquely positioned to take on trump, using facts and figures. Thus far Bernie has not increased turnout in any way and in fact has lost over half of his votes from 2016. The youth are not surging for a revolution and are mostly sitting home.

  3. CWS, while I agree with both of your points I would very much like the nation to engage in a true contest: a referendum on capitalism. It seems to me that this is the central question right now. Will we as a people continue to allow roughly 100,000 wealthy individuals set policy that is harmful to most of the country? Or will we set on a different course and create policy that will benefit everyone? A Democratic Party nomination contest between Bloomberg and Sanders would be of enormous benefit to the people. For the first time in my adult life I am excited to be part of a country that is taking seriously the question, What is to be done?

  4. How can you say that when we have only heard from Iowa and NH?

  5. Name the politician: • Got elected in a series of flukes: • Gives money and support to fringe groups with questionable bona fides. • Billionaire. • Oligarch. • Kleptocrat. • Election rigging to stay in power: • Business interests around the country and the world that would inevitably violate the emoluments clause. Answers: No, not 45...BLOOMBEREG! 45 only accused, Mayor Mike is the real deal.

  6. Oh ye centrists this is your 2020 savior. Trump in a better suit.

  7. @Little Old Me There are many big differences between Bloomberg and Trump. This isn't about a better suit.

  8. @Little Old Me No comparison.

  9. I don’t think Bloomberg actually believes banks should implement racist redlining policies. The spirit of what he said was correct. Congress did push to extend loans to people with poor credit and the private sector swooped in to profit and that, in part, resulted in the housing crash when many people couldn’t afford to pay their mortgages. If you want to know what’s in Bloomberg’s heart look at his philanthropic record. He’s given away billions to fight climate change and reign in guns and provide education to underprivileged and minority students.

  10. @John None of Bloomberg's controversial comments were factually incorrect (nor is anyone attacking him on the merits). He is fiercely independent in his thinking which drives his critics crazy. It could also make him an amazing President (much like is run as NYC Mayor).

  11. predatory loans are predatory loans regardless of skin color

  12. @John You're ignoring your own words to excuse Mr. Bloombergs views. The financial crisis was created by a network of greed, as you say "and the private sector swooped in to profit", a class of wealthy financial officers who profited wildly off of risky lending practices allowed due to deregulation. Instead of acting as a safe guard against bad loans, providing sound with financial advise and helping the public, bankers and loan officers made bad loans for short term gain. You conflate this with a discriminatory lending practice, a lazy way to avoid bad loans that leads to our poorest individuals being shut out of an important part of our society. Bloomberg is wrong and his greed is showing. Like most conservatives, he shares the view that if only we deregulated more, society would correct itself, if we stop policing these bankers they would stop being greedy. History has shown this to be untrue.

  13. Missing here is the more prevalent cause of the Mortgage crisis. And that was the fact that many a home owner started pulling on home-equity lines of credit which charged a non-fixed rate of interest that changed mostly every month as the variable rates were the way these loans were structured. A lot of people drew on these equity loans and before they knew it they owed more on the equity loans and their first mortgages than their homes were worth.

  14. @Jean, In 2008, a friend and family on their way to visit relations in Detroit called, and asked for some help. A generic letter from one of our largest American banks wanted to put her house in escrow. Stressed, she added that the mortgage due had been rendered in time for the last twelve years. She did not need a loan. More details followed, and I told her, the Bank does not care about you or me; we are 'tools' and this is happening to millions of people. This is their computer glitch, we are going to overwrite the Bank, the error is theirs and should be rectified. It has a reputation to safeguard, and a 'robotic-toned' letter will point this out. The letter was sent certified, the matter was settled, with an apology on the Bank's part. Bloomberg had nothing to do with this state of affairs, one that he would not condone, and this latest attempt to blot the former Mayor's reputation is a sign that The Trump Machine is in motion. Bloomberg is better than prepared, far more astute and reasoned, and above all, capable of smelling a rat from many miles away. Thank you for your input on this unsavory loan policy that reeks of rancid political cheese.

  15. Bloomberg’s description of red lining, about banks not lending money to minorities because they might not be able to pay off their home loan, is not the definition of red lining. Banks and the real estate industry decided they could maximize the value of homes if they segregated the buyers. So, areas of cities were red lined to make that happen. Bloomberg’s explanation makes it sound like it was a risk aversion strategy of banks. No, it was about profit maximization across all home buyers.

  16. @Bascom Hill Whatever it was it resulted in banks issuing riskier mortgages at higher interest rate to compensate for the extra risk. Those mortgages were very fragile and were the first to shatter when the bubble burst. Bloomberg was simply stating the financial fact of the matter.

  17. @Bascom Hill I believe you are correct. In the 1950's and 1960s, if a person of color would move into a non-redlined neighborhood, the result would be the beginning of "white flight". Hence the phrase, "there goes the neighborhood"...

  18. @Bascom Hill No. Redlining was about reducing risk. The neighborhoods were already segregated. Redlining pertains to lending, drawing red lines on maps where banks would not lend. They drew lines around areas that were already segregated. Read American Apartheid, Chapter Two, Construction of the Ghetto, by D. Massey and N. Denton, 1993. Or better yet Crabgrass Frontier by Kenneth Jackson (Chapter 11). It was risk aversion based on a (racist) self-fulfilling prophecy that neighborhoods would decline and housing would not hold value and therefore loans were risky.

  19. "The hope among his advisers is that Democratic voters who see him as the best chance to defeat President Trump will be inclined to take a forgiving view of the elements of his record and persona that they find troubling." Why should I take a forgiving view? Bloomberg has not even debated the other candidates yet. He hasn't even earned my support, let alone my forgiveness. A barrage of unchallenged, well-produced ads isn't enough to convince me that this is the ONLY person, out of several other competent options, who can take on Trump. Everyone thought Joe Biden was unbeatable until he got on the debate stage, and now look how he's doing. He can prove himself against the other candidates first, and then we'll see about forgiveness.

  20. @Elizabeth He did not qualify for any of the previous debates because of the DNC rules. It's not like he could have debated, but chose not to.

  21. With redlining there was a deficit of investment in certain communities which had adverse consequences for the residents. It was Clinton who pushed for mortgages and the sub-prime crisis imploded for unwary home buyers who purchased without stringent requirements.

  22. Mr. Bloomberg, your problem with stop & frisk was not '“taking too long to understand the impact” that stop-and-frisk policing “had on Black and Latino communities.”' Your problem was that the practice violated two Amendments of the Constitution: the right to be free from unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. If you STILL cannot fathom that what you did was not just hurtful but illegal, then you are not fit to be president.

  23. He states it somewhat in artfully but the bones of what he said is absolutely true. From The New York Times, October 4, 2008 "...Fannie Mae’s new chief executive, under pressure from Wall Street firms, Congress and company shareholders, took additional risks that pushed his company, and, in turn, a large part of the nation’s financial health, to the brink. Between 2005 and 2008, Fannie purchased or guaranteed at least $270 billion in loans to risky borrowers — more than three times as much as in all its earlier years combined, according to company filings and industry data."

  24. “It probably all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone" Oh those poor banks. All that pressure led them to create mortgage backed securities. The taxpayers should have bailed out those poor banks for those bad loans that were forced upon them. Wait, we did. Now, about those student loans......

  25. I'll vote for the lights in my living room ceiling if they have the best chance of beating Trump in November, but I would feel heartsick if Bloomberg gets the Democratic nomination. We don't need four years of Trump-lite in the White House.

  26. Wow, the populists on the left and the right must be in a total panic over Bloomberg’s rise. Every day that goes by there seems to be a new attempt to disqualify him. I can’t wait for Super Tuesday. Go Mike go!

  27. @Allan Go Structural/Institutional/Personal Racism Go!

  28. @Allan I noticed Trump "endorsed" Sanders, saying he was the best candidate to run against him. The Fox talking heads have picked up on this line of thought, slipping it in here and there. This seems a sign that he's afraid of Bloomberg. It also seems a covert message for Trumps followers to vote democrat in open primaries.

  29. @Kathleen I think it is just as likely that it is a sign that he is afraid of Sanders and believes his (Trump's) endorsement will hurt Sanders.

  30. The more I read about Bloomberg, the more voting for him would be like jumping from the fry pan into the fire. Billionaires didn't get to that status by being nice guys...

  31. @Psyfly John And no one gets to be a senator or president by being a nice guy or gal. It's a blood sport.

  32. @marks I shudder to think of all the blood shed by Jimmy Carter in his ruthless pursuit of the Presidency. How the man sleeps at night, I'll never know... And Obama? Practically a mobster.

  33. Bloomberg's comments on redlining are all the more outrageous because redlining and other blatant forms of housing discrimination have not ended. They continue to deny African-Americans fair access to housing, as Newsday recently documented occurs on Long Island, and when African-Americans can get mortgages it is often at disproportionately high cost. The Trump-like spin Bloomberg is trying to put on his redlining comments is of a piece with the way his campaign ads take credit for the previously uninsured New Yorkers who got health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Billionaires who are out of touch with how most Americans live are not the political leaders we need. They never have been. And Bloomberg's poor performance as mayor of NYC -- even in his supposed realm of greatest expertise, high technology, he arrogantly made decisions that wasted huge amounts of taxpayer money -- will emerge more clearly with every passing year. Never forget that Bloomberg made his money servicing Wall Street. As his redlining comments show -- Hey, stop blaming a greedy financial services industry for its callous exploitation of a corrupt system -- that is where his true allegiance lies. "Mike will get it done" for his Wall Street cronies, not America.

  34. "There is no shortage of material from Mr. Bloomberg's past for his opponent-- and the media --to comb through." How about June 2, 2017, ..."Michael Bloomberg has offered $15m to UN efforts to tackle climate change after president Donald Trump announced he is pulling he United States out of the Paris Climate Accord". There is NO "material" more important than the commitment to address Climate Change, which will impact all of us and, in particular, poorer communities.

  35. @Moose There are skeletons in the closets of them all. If we're going to do archeological purity testing and disqualify people about things in the past there's plenty there. Warren was a Republican, Bernie gave speeches that inflammed anti-americanism and wrote a shockingly misogynistic article, Biden voted for wars, and on and on. Anyone who was active in those years did many things they would never do today. LBJ's use of racial slurs would disqualify him for sure, despite him working to pass landmark civil rights legislation and succeeding. The only two questions I care about is whether they have changed their ways and what constructive things they have done. Climate change tops my list. Since I'll be voting Blue for one of them in November, I want to look at what's going to happen going forward for each of them.

  36. @Moose Or how about all that money he gave to Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania -- helping to assure the Senate stayed Republican?

  37. Bloomberg can beat Trump, and he has the capacity to be a good president. Bloomberg has proven capacity to lead large organizations, both business and government. Bloomberg has made mistakes in the past, but he owns up to his mistakes, and he has proven with his own actions that he is willing to take on the most difficult problems...climate change and gun violence to start. To defeat Trump and company in November, let Bloomberg and Sanders and the others compete in the realm of ideas right now, regarding what we are facing right now. Both Bloomberg and Sanders and the other Dem candidates are honorable people, let the best person win through ideas and experience. What Bloomberg is quoted as saying does not imply that he supported redlining, it implies that he had a theory on what helped fuel the crisis...and it is a proven fact that corrupt lending practices was part of it. He should be asked about his comment, but it's not right to say he supported redlining.

  38. I was a realtor in 2008 and what Bloomberg says is true. The federal government, and Barney Frank and pals, required lenders to loan to minority buyers regardless of their ability to pay. Lenders used to be very cautious until the federal government decided everyone should own a home. I ran into some of these potential buyers at open houses; in some cases their level of financial comprehension was heartbreaking. The lenders were business people, some unscrupulous, who would follow the requirements if they had to, but they sure weren’t about to lose money doing it.

  39. @KLM So that would suggest that vast majority of bad loans were made to minorities. But oh dear -- that's not remotely true. Because your description of the Federal requirement is deliberately incorrect, as is your conclusion. The banks caused the crisis, not government policy.

  40. I am a lawyer and did work for a local bank that was pressured by the feds during this period to make loans to minority borrowers who were unqualified. Guess who later was retained to foreclose on homes and to repossess vehicles?

  41. Actually, it was all of the above: the banks and the federal government, and Wall Street, and to a certain extent borrowers, who caused the crisis. It took a whole lot of bad behavior from a whole lot of people to cause the 2008 crash. Not everything is black and white you know. Sure, the largest share of the blame belongs to the banks and Wall Street, but you can't discount the other participants and their negligent behavior.

  42. I think Bloomberg would do us all a service if he would put aside his own personal ambitions to occupy the Oval Office and instead use his billions to help Democrats take control of both houses of Congress. A small act of selflessness, a huge benefit for our democracy.

  43. @Stevem I agree. We don't need to trade one narcissistic Republican oligarch for another.

  44. Mike Bloomberg was simply pointing out the financial facts and unintended consequences of the matter. Banning redlining resulted in banks issuing riskier mortgages at higher interest rate to compensate for the extra risk. Those mortgages were very fragile and were the first to shatter when the bubble burst.

  45. For anyone interested in learning about housing discrimination should read “ The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein. This informative book goes into detail about the policies of how US governmental policy encouraged housing discrimination to disfavor African Americans,Hispanics, and Jews. These policies along with others have produced the residential and income inequality that exist to the present time. Bloomberg is an opportunist who, -like countless politicians past and present, Democrats and Republicans- have exploited racial anxiety for political advantage. Few recall President Johnson’s truth when he said” if you tell a white person that he is better than a n...” you can pick his pocket. America has a long history of such politicians.

  46. So people of color are now responsible for the 2008 financial crisis -- must be all those bad derivative credit swap deals they were involved in. Oh no, almost forgot -- that was the banks. Give me a break.

  47. That this so-called financial genius seriously attributed the housing bubble and mortgage packaging scam to wily poor people, who evidently duped the best analysts and engineers at American investment banks, along with the rest of the finance and banking industry, tells you exactly what to expect from a Bloomberg presidency. There's no need for other people's money to corrupt Mike Bloomberg. His own has already done it.

  48. The Fair Housing Act ended redlining more than 40 years before the 2008 housing crisis. There was no connection.

  49. It is so easy to create confusion when we mix up closely related topics... then we can deflect blame. Many people of color, and many lower income people, were encouraged into betting their life savings to buy homes at inflated prices with 'creative' financing. The lenders profited handsomely; too many of the buyers lost forever the chance to enjoy the American Dream. The blame is on the predators, not the people they victimized. Just because you have financial sophistication and power does not give you the right to take advantage of others.

  50. Bloomberg may have been inartful in how he said it but the fact is that banks did start lending to people whose income couldn't support repayment. One of the reasons this happened is because mortgage lenders ran out of qualified buyers—meaning at the time making a 20 percent down payment and having an income sufficient to cover monthly mortgage payments, with an interest rate determined by the borrower’s credit score. Having tapped out that stable market still with tons of homes to fill, they started cutting corners. Subprime mortgages to people with low credit scores exploded in the run-up to the 2008 crisis. Down payment requirements for those mortgages gradually dwindled to nothing. Lenders began turning a blind eye to income verification. Soon, there was a flood of very risky mortgages designed to get people into homes who couldn’t typically afford to buy them. That's what Bloomberg was talking about. The guy who actually did racially "red line" was Trump and his father.

  51. This article makes several criticisms of Mike Bloomberg. But we should remember that all politicians make mistakes. Joe Biden, for example, pushed tough on crime policies responsible for high incarceration rates in the US. The incarceration rate in the US is 14 times as high as in Japan, for example. And those prisoners include many who are black. What worries me about the coming election, however, are the factual misconceptions which are prevalent among followers of Sanders: 1. The US has enough resources to both provide universal health care to its poor and provide open borders for the poor of the third world. 2. Global warming can be fought without considering its cause, which is population growth. Regarding 1, the population of Guatemala grows by about 340,000 per year. Just to deal with the growth, we would have to accept that many immigrants from Guatemala, and that's just one country! We already have homeless encampments in LA and Seattle. Imagine what it will be like if we have a stock market crash and a recession! Where exactly do all the new immigrants go? In the 19th century they could move West, but West from where I live is the Pacific Ocean. Democratic candidates all say that global warming is the most serious problem confronting the US. But use of fossil fuels keeps increasing because population growth overwhelms attempts to shift from oil to solar and wind. Bloomberg doesn't have solutions, but at least he won't lead a march based on fantasy.

  52. @Blaise Descartes Won't he he led a March claiming that he had to undo the peoples vote on term limits because were were in such a dire financial crisis that only 4 more years with the nanny state could solve. It was a bold faced lie and he became enraged at a reporter who pointed out that the the numbers seem to point to an end in the "crisis" He snarled "You're a disgrace" at the reporter who he wrongly picked as one of the reporters he had planted there to deceive the public. He is just as bad as trump in my view #neverbloomberg

  53. The financial crisis was created by a network of greed, a class of wealthy financial officers who profited wildly off of risky lending practices allowed due to deregulation. Instead of acting as a safe guard against bad loans, providing sound with financial advise and helping the public, bankers and loan officers made bad loans for short term gain. Bloomberg conflates this with a discriminatory lending practice, a lazy way to avoid bad loans that leads to our poorest individuals being shut out of an important part of our society. Bloomberg is wrong and his greed is showing. Like most conservatives, he shares the view that if only we deregulated more, society would correct itself, if we stop policing these bankers they would stop being greedy. History has shown this to be untrue.

  54. Ok, so he was simply saying that in the effort to get rid of redlining, some people who were a poor credit risk got loans they weren't qualified for. What's the problem? What he said was true. Redlining was bad, but some got loans they shouldn't have. This is just scared opponents trying to smear Bloomberg. I'm having none of it.

  55. That’s the standard Republican defense of bankers during the housing crash. The truth was that banks ran amok everywhere pumping up the market until it popped with fake appraisals, fake applications, and fake mortgage-backed-securities peddled as AAA investments. As a result, millions were foreclosed, and families, their wealth, and their neighborhoods were shredded. Then, banks bought back those houses for the fair market value they denied former owners, turning owners into renters. The former Mayor of New Yorker will have a hard time defending himself on this one.

  56. @Sherry i read him to be saying the same thing as you.

  57. What about ending Glass-Steagall as a cause? Please, let's not blame everything on the poor. And the poor didn't get bailouts as did the banks, either.

  58. I guess he forgot to mention Wall Street banks, Ivy league educated executives who decided it would be a good idea to take those subprime and Alt A loans , combine them with AAA rated loans and sell them to investors marketed as AAA investments. There really are two sets of truth in this country.

  59. Although retired now, as an attorney I saw the devastating fallout during the recession arising from loans to people who were not creditworthy and that stemmed in many cases from outright fraud by unscrupulous lenders who preyed on lower income people. I think Bloomberg’s comments are being distorted in order to harm his viability as a candidate. He didn’t praise the practice of redlining, but observed what actually happened. Keep up that circular firing squad and Trump is assured 4 more years.

  60. Predatory lenders and credit default swaps created the mortgage crisis and Bloomberg know that but explained it badly. Bloomberg should have anticipated this and his little op ed last week should have included a plan to address those harmed but never bailed out.

  61. Let's face it, we will soon get more and more comments made by Bloomberg that, while technically correct, displays all the warmth and compassion of Mr. Burns of the Simpson.

  62. How else does one become a billionaire?

  63. Was he wrong ? "In the 1990's under the administration of Franklin Raines, a Clinton Administration appointee, Fannie Mae began to demand that the lending institutions that it dealt with prove that they were not redlining. This meant that the lending institutions would have to fulfill a quota of minority mortgage lending. This in turn meant that the lending agencies would have to lower their standards in terms of such things as down payments and the required incomes. These subprime borrowers would be charged a higher interest rate. Having put the lending agencies into the position of granting subprime mortgages Fannie Mae then had to accept lower standards in the mortgages it purchased. That set the ball rolling. If a bank granted a mortgage to a borrower that was not likely to successfully pay off the mortgage then all the bank had to do was to sell such mortgages to Fannie Mae. The banks typically earned a loan origination fee when the mortgage was granted. The lending agencies could then make substantial profits dealing in subprime mortgages. Thus the lenders could write the mortgages as adjustable interest rate mortgages knowing full well that an upturn in the interest rates could easily throw the borrower into insolvency. " San José State University Department of Economics The Nature and the Origin of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis

  64. @Jintung Yes, he was wrong. Do you understand _everything_ in your mortgage agreement? Do you understand that you're saying "the global economic meltdown was caused by poor (and in the case of repealing redlining, black) people who wanted to own homes and generate wealth for the first time and not the banks who preyed on their vulnerability?"

  65. @HX276 .M2782 If you read the transcript from the video, you can see that Bloomberg was citing the movement against redlining as a catalyst for banks to make loans to places they used to consider too risky. Once they started to do that, the banks kept on making more and more risky loans. That accelerated the RE bubble. Bloomberg was a bond trader and understand this history very well. I read his comments as historical in nature and not that he thought ending red-lining caused the financial crisis.

  66. @Jintung Sorry, but Fannie Mae did not cause the mortgage crisis. The overwhelming majority of subprime loans were not made by banks and were not sold to Fannie Mae. They were made by non-bank lenders and sold to Wall Street conduits and sold to investors by those Wall Street banks. And the vast majority of borrowers that defaulted on their mortgages are white (else there wouldn’t have been the huge government response designed to keep defaulted borrowers in their homes). Ending discriminatory lending certainly did not cause the mortgage crisis. Simple greed on Wall Street did.

  67. This “redlining as financial crisis cause” comment is disappointing coming from Michael Bloomberg. I just reread an excellent article by Barry Ritholtz in Bloomberg News, Sep 15, 2018, titled “10 things people still get wrong about the financial crisis” and redlining is one of those bogus causes. Everybody’s favorite scapegoat is on that list. I’m looking for a paper by Willen and Foote of the Boston Fed in the same vein but Ritholtz suffices here.

  68. @Hamilton Lagrange And do you think all of the nuances of the cause were clear as day in September 2008, when Bloomberg made these comments?

  69. Oh my goodness, NY Times. Let's rake Bloomie over the coals because he SAID THE TRUTH. And, to be clear, Bloomberg's comment was NOT about redlining, which is racist in intent. Rather, his comment was about congress relaxing lending standards so that people without money or with bad credit can buy homes. It has NOTHING to do with race and everything to do with pandering congressmen who risked the destruction of the world economy just so they could secure the vote of the low-income bloc in their districts. If character assassination is your goal, you'd better try harder.

  70. And, don't forget: Bloomberg was mayor of New York City when Wise, Salaam, Richardson, McCray, and Santana were exonerated. From the beginning, he vehemently argued that the City and NYPD had acted with probable cause in charging, prosecuting, and incarcerating the five teens. Further, his administration spent nearly $6 million over a decade to fight the Exonerated Five’s lawsuit against the city. As late as 2012, (Bloomberg left office in 2013), his administration continued to defend the City’s and NYPD’s actions. (

  71. @Evelyn Yet Trump is destroying America brick by brick. I don’t think this even compares a tiny amount to the destruction that trump is doing to our once great country.

  72. The end of “redlining” DID link the 2008 housing crisis to that year’s market slump. Of course, redlining was wrong, unfair, and unAmerican. However, its removal let unscrupulous mortgage brokers create loan packages beyond the finances of a lot of poor people who showed no ability to repay their mortgages. No-doc loaning practices ruled. When a buyer suggested a mortgage was beyond their paycheck, slick mortgage brokers assured them that their new home was a piggy bank. “Your $300K home will be worth $400K in a matter of months. You can borrow more to pay off the mortgage. You will get rich.” Fools rushed in. The prices of homes fell, and the mortgage fiasco destroyed America’s economy for a while. Mike Bloomberg told the truth, and the truth hurt a lot of innocent people, but don’t punish the messenger. Lock up the slick mortgage bundlers who created the mess (of course, that never happened; hucksters rarely get hurt by stepping on poor people).

  73. whomever is finding these clips is getting a promotion. without the black vote you cannot win. regardless of what money you have. Keep talking bloomy.

  74. "Redlining" which is the actual basis of our fake credit reporting system, is a name that comes from the practice of actually drawing a line in red ink on a map to designate where black people will not be allowed to live. It's the real estate "white's only" sign. It was never about actual creditworthiness. The system of midwestern banks that post WWII started making this denial about credit because it was getting less and less acceptable to be racist to someone's face in professional settings used that excuse to avoid having the direct discussion of why they were denying perfectly decent people the ability to buy a home where they wanted to. It was a way to pretend they weren't doing anything wrong. That system is the origin of the credit reporting system the republicans took national and imposed on us and gave them legal authority over our lives that they should not have in the reagan admin. So once again Bloomy is a lyin weasel.

  75. drip drip drip

  76. Tired of the Time’s candidate bashing. How about covering substantive policy positions and issues instead of tabloid style journalism?

  77. Please stop intentionally bashing the only Democratic nominee with a real shot of beating Trump. It’s pretty alarming that you don’t publish articles challenging the two candidates the Times did endorse.

  78. Bloomberg apologists seem to think Democrats should just accept that the only way to beat a racist, sexist white billionaire oligarch... is with their own racist, sexist white billionaire oligarch. The only thing that Bloomberg has going for him, and the only reason is in the race (kinda), is gobs and gobs of money. He could just, you know, drop out and *give* that money to a decent candidate who doesn’t have these issues. Democrats should encourage him to do that.

  79. Another example of NY times' unbiased news coverage. Great reporting! CNN, MSNBC, FOX, are you listening?

  80. Mike Bloomberg is a racist pure and simple. He not only has insulted blacks but also the Irish. He made a derogatory comment in 2011 that was quite insensitive. He is not fit to be president.

  81. @KMW And you forget that he said that he was short changed at a Korean market in 1974 while shopping. So he is also a racist pig who hates Asians. In 1998 he said that he wasn't fond of watermelon if it wasn't chilled so therefore he is denigrating stereotypes of black people and is a racist. Keep it comin' Bernie people. We have your number and on election day will let you know our response.

  82. What I said is in no way indicative of what I mean. Michael R Bloomberg If that isn’t a politician, I don’t know what is...

  83. ‪I look forward to hearing what he has learned since then. I would welcome a President who learns from his/her mistakes.

  84. This article totally fails to present a convincing argument why his point was racist or inaccurate. It just quotes a bunch of people who say so.

  85. Yes, Mike Bloomberg's record as mayor warrants investigation, airing, and debate. But my question is this: Why did the New York Times and other news outlets give Trump a pass in 2016? If you had done your job then, we might not be suffering the remarkable threats to our democracy we are now. As a native New Yorker, I certainly knew that Trump was and is a vicious amoral narcissist, a crook, and a liar. Perhaps you should have alerted the rest of the country.

  86. @AndreaW: I'll defend the Times here, because they printed plenty of negative stories about Trump, from his stiffing of contractors, to his hiring of undocumented workers, his bankrupting of casinos, his denial of housing to black families, his marital cheating, his multiple marriages, his sexual assaults on women, his paying off porn stars, his deceptive PR, and so on. I wouldn't know about any of these things had it not been for stories in the Times. It's not the Times' fault that people didn't read them or pay attention at the time.

  87. None of this is particularly pleasant, but amidst a culture where black people are automatically blameless on everything they do or don't do, with woke excuse factories ever at the ready to address every deviation from strict black achievment parity, this trip down memory lane with grouchy old Mike's candid grousings is refreshing.

  88. Redlining. Stop and frisk. Save the billions, perhaps start a charity. Ain’t no way Bloomberg will be president.

  89. @Full Name (required) What? OOOH! Wait.

  90. I understand why the moderate, neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party is now breathlessly supporting Bloomberg for President. Biden is sinking fast and they are scared. Bloomberg may be acting evolved and woke now that he’s running for public office. But that’s the problem, it’s just an act. He has shown through his own words and actions over many decades that he is a racist, even if he insists he’s not, even if it’s deeply imbedded in his subconscious. He is a racist.

  91. @Dabney L The burden is on him to convince us that he has had an epiphany, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus.

  92. I think the Dems should eviscerate Bloomberg. Four more years of Trump will free us all from the onerous rule of law. We will no longer have to be ashamed of the contradictions in our nation's history because our institutions will be in shambles and the philosophy behind the American experiment forgotten.

  93. You know, instead of all the dire Times anti-Democrat headlines (“chaos” in Iowa, “panic” over Sanders, the racism of Bloomberg, etc., etc.), why doesn’t the editorial board just come right out and endorse Trump for office now so that the owners can continue to get their massive personal tax breaks and generate even more revenue from ongoing coverage of the Trump daily circus.

  94. Few things were more disgusting about the economic collapse than Wall Street types peddling the damnable lie that ordinary homeowners and not themselves were responsible for all the trouble. It turns my stomach to hear that. Bloomberg has no more empathy for ordinary Americans than Donald Trump. Everybody knows it.

  95. I don’t think anyone blames “ordinary homeowners” for the financial crisis. Banks and mortgage companies extending credit to people who could not afford to make the payments (which is a pretty valid, and factual, point by Bloomberg) is (1) still placing blame on the banks and mortgage companies; and (2) has nothing to do with the average homeowner who can afford their mortgage. Subprime borrowers, irresponsible use and extension of credit, and lending people more money than they can pay back has quite literally nothing to do with your comment on “ordinary homeowners.” Please do some reading on the financial crisis and re-read Bloomberg’s comments, which however not PC are blatantly true.

  96. Well, the circular firing squad is blasting away. In another month or two, there won't be anyone left standing but Trump. Bloomberg was wrong about the start of the crisis. But in 2008, no one knew how the collapse got started. It took years of investigations to uncover the incredible complexity of credit default swaps, AIG selling policies over and over again, the massive leverage in the system, and all of the other sordid details that blew up the banking system. The people that used these purported foolproof financial instruments had no idea how they worked. They only knew that they were making a fortune until it all blew up. Bloomberg's comments back then were largely based in ignorance, tainted with a dose of rich guy superiority, motivated by frustration. Conservative media was pounding this excuse day and night. Looks to me like Bloomberg fell for it. But the circular firing squad must have more ammunition. It will purify the candidates till no viable ones are left. That's what Democrats are good at. Self immolation. But you know what? Statements like these will be well received by pre-Trump Republicans. Bloomberg could very well gain more votes from them than he loses for being a sometimes insensitive rich guy. That is, if he survives the circular firing squad. Trump must be enjoying this.

  97. @Bruce Rozenblit Oh, please. The housing bubble was noted years in advance by people like Dean Baker, and it was no secret the market was surfeited with bad loans, solicited and written by huge mortgage companies like Countrywide. All this sounds like a reprise of the "nobody knew Sadaam didn't have WMD". Lots of people knew, and said so. It's just that some didn't care to listen, because it interfered with their program.

  98. @Bruce Rozenblit Bloomberg shot himself--enough already, please, of the tired "circular firing squad" trope. Redlining was a well-established, well-known practice and he knew exactly what he was talking about and supporting. Smug, self-satisfied blowhards don't make good Saviors.

  99. Another spot on comment from Bruce. Doubters should read The Big Short by Michael Lewis. Or see the film.

  100. Yes, Mike is a horrible human being. Thanks for letting us know. You tried the same tactic with Pete and look how it backfired. Trump's campaign has even more dirt on him if the NY Times wants it. Just ask them and they will be happy to oblige. This terrible person was a mayor of the largest, most diverse city in America, worked as a valet parking cars to get through college, is one of the leading philanthropists in the world ( major supporter of Sierra Club, number one fighter for gun control+), and is working overtime to fund the largest effort currently to remove Trump from office. He spent $80 million dollars to flip congressional seats ( 20 of 42 so that Pelosi is now the leader there) vs.Bernie's PAC which flipped zero seats. For this he needs to be condemned by the Times. Good work for such outstanding journalism. I don't buy it. Mike is going to be our nominee and boot Trump out pronto.

  101. Bernie created momentum to flip the seats. Don't forget that all money could not safe Dems from compete defeat in 2016

  102. @Simon Sez Well said. The Times is really hoping for a second Trump term it seems.

  103. Thank you Simon. Well said.

  104. Michael Bloomberg is an affront to all those who are not in his economic class This is from 2018. Mike Bloomberg: Raising Taxes on Poor People is "a good thing because the problem is in people who don't have a lot of money" Let's hope this ends up in a Sanders ad and goes viral Michael Bloomberg is an affront to people of color. Stop and Frisk and broken windows policing Tare unforgivable lapses in moral judgment and a sign of authoritarianism that cannot be forgotten or ignored. As president, what authoritarian policies would his bent push him toward in a nation that already has a big problem with authoritarian rule? Bloomberg is running as a democrat because, again, he couldn't win as a Republican. His beliefs are oligarchic not democratic. They are selfish and self-serving. They are sexist (today's news is that he rejoined a racist and sexist club quietly after being forced to quit in 2001). And, yes, they are racist. Expressions of regret one month before announcing are invalid.

  105. "The problem" he was referring to was obesity, which is exacerbated by sugary drink consumption. He suggests that taxing sugary drinks will cause the people hardest hit by obesity- the poor- to drink fewer sugary drinks. According to a NY Times article from 3 days ago: "By 2030, nearly one in two adults will be obese, and nearly one in four will be severely obese." The article also states: "the sugar and beverage industries have blocked nearly every attempt to add an excise tax to sugar-sweetened beverages." Sounds like Bloomberg is taking on big business to work on an urgent problem in this country, and you are taking his words and intentions completely out of context.

  106. @Rima Regas Time passes. Affronts are softened by apologies. Political contexts evolve. Contexts not all of Bloomberg's making. Change is manifest here. Return in two/three months. Re -assess. I see virtue here now. And how to allow and broaden the access to the demise of Trump. Have you established certainty?

  107. @Rima Regas You support Bernie, it appears from your over the top language. I recognize it well since I was a card carrying member of the left for 30 years. I, too, used to yell fascist and racist at anyone who disagreed with me. We are dealing with a genuine racist and fascist in Trump. To suggest that a Socialist ideologue is going to send him packing is ludicrous. Mike is a blessing from on high. I seriously doubt that we have a chance to get rid of Trump without him stepping up to the plate.

  108. In the spirit of what I believe my democratic party's core values are - compassion, empathy, and forgiveness, and in light of the fact that black congresspeople have come out in pragmatic support of Bloomberg, despite stop-and-frisk, I am willing to forgive you, Mr. Bloomberg, if you have changed your ways, and if you will stand up to Mr. Trump. You are not my first choice, however. I would much prefer to see Bernie Sanders nominated and elected. But, perhaps pragmatism is the only solution in desperate times.

  109. @OnABicycleBuiltForTwo Good comment. I believe Bloomberg was referring to the banks becoming greedy through predatory lending that in turn had another adverse effect on low income people in former redlined areas. Then the predators cashed in again when bankruptcy or mortgage defaults snatching up the former low income neighborhood properties and “gentrifying” and the poor are pushed out again.

  110. @OnABicycleBuiltForTwo Yes. Good. OK.

  111. So perhaps we should just do character assassination on every candidate until there’s no one left? I’m already so sick of all this. No one is perfect, and expecting otherwise is a sure recipe for disaster. I expect this publication to be far above average, but I’m more and more disappointed by the constant negative coverage of seemingly every candidate, every day. Can’t you find anything positive, on occasion, to write about these people? All of them are braver than I will ever be, because I’d never have the courage to step into the snake pit of politics today. Nothing and no one is sacred or safe anymore. As for me, I like Mike. I also like Joe, and Amy, and Elizabeth, and Pete, and yes, even Bernie. So please. Stop leading the circular firing squad. You make me weep for my country, what’s left of it.

  112. @T Garrow They aren't negatively covering Warren and Klobuchar as much as the rest because the Times has endorsed them.

  113. @T Garrow Reporting what a politician has said is in no way "character assassination." That's absurd. Bloomberg said these dumb things, and people should know!

  114. @T Garrow I completely agree with you. It seems these columnists just take enormous glee in tearing down every Democratic candidate, one by one-- except maybe the two they've endorsed. Way to go to help us lose the election.

  115. Any day now Bloomberg is going to pride himself on being a very stable genius. Each day he sounds more LIKE Donald Trump, not a reliable departure from him. The DNC should redline Bloomberg from the primaries and the convention.

  116. @teach Do that and ensure a win for Trump. Unlike all the worthwhile candidates now running against each other-despite their positive talents/qualities...insufficient grasp for their reach...there is Bloomberg. More than equal to the travesty that passes as president. Watch him do the thing that we need.

  117. Here we go again. Just as in 2016, the press “discloses” isolated actions and statements that have only the most trivial relationship to a democratic candidate’s accomplishments and qualifications, presented in placement and tone as if something major has been unearthed. Thus good and imperfect people are made to appear equivalent to the truly evil, all in service of some twisted idea of fairness.

  118. @Dan Yes, how dare the press report on a presidential candidate's "words" and "record". Bloomberg is not an "imperfect person". He's a racist, classist, oligarch.

  119. This seems pretty in line with what we know about Bloomberg, rather than some one off trivial statement though.

  120. @Dan - nail on the head, Dan.... NY Times did a great job of undercutting Hilary in 2016 helping give us the joys of trump.... looks like they will give us Bernie as the nominee who is the one guy that Trump is absolutely salivating to get in the general.... great job being fair and balanced NY Times.....and helping America die in the process.

  121. Nothing remarkable here. It is by now well known that the single most important factor in the 2008 financial crisis was the banks’ extending of loans to borrowers who could not afford them — and that the prime villain who pressured the banks to do so was HUD Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo.

  122. Well actually, it wasn’t the loans that were the problem. It was the banks ability to slice and dice questionable loans and sell them off as AAA. If they hadn’t been able to sell the loans at an attractive price, they wouldn’t have made the loans.

  123. Yeah, because they have the loans such people as Trump who was really bad in paying loans and yet got them anyway. But Bloomberg was not talking about Trump, right?

  124. @Ken M. That is frankly just a part of the story. The banks gave loans to people who couldn’t afford them and then quickly packaged those mortgages and sold them on the market. They knew exactly what they were doing. No one forced them to any of that. They wanted to make as much money as possible.

  125. The man is a Republican. People need to understand that. He's a Republican. Ask Senator Toomey and the Republican Senate majority.

  126. @BarryNash He was a Democrat before he was a republican. He only became a republican because it was easier to win Mayor as a republican. Everyone knows that!

  127. No Barry Nash. He’s not a Republican, Democrat or Independent. Those are labels one must wear to run for office. Bloomberg is Bloomberg. Twelve years as mayor of New York and not a hint of scandal; no corruption, no self dealing; no pay to play, etc. From nothing he made more money than everyone on this planet save several capitalists and members of some royal families—I’m guessing a dozen or two. He strikes me as someone who has ethics and morals. In short, the opposite of Trump, who has been a joke in NYC for forty plus years. The coasts are too savvy to be suckers to Trump’s con. Flyover states, not so much with the savvy. Plain ‘ole common sense might be good for planting soybeans, but not for assessing character.

  128. Bloomberg was discussing one of the reasons for the 2008 crash. This being the questionable practice of providing mortgage loans to folks who had limited resources with a meager downpayment. This amounted to banks holding loans that could not be paid back. The banks were well aware of the risks. The banks should have known better. Some called it predatory lending. I'm not sure why Bloomberg is being blamed here for simply stating facts.

  129. Because he is not blaming the banks for their bad practices, but rather prefer to blame the people whom the bank denied the loan because of the location of their home.

  130. @Paula Jo Smith No, that's not what he said. He blamed redlining, which is about race, not resources. Read the first paragraph of the article again.

  131. This is like the adage of how gaff is defined: when a politician accidentally says something true, that everyone else is afraid to say. Many minorities and poor people brought lawsuits after the housing crisis, literally complaining that the banks made loans to them that they had applied for - but couldn't really afford. So, the banks get in trouble if they don't lend to people in the lower class (which will invariably affect black people more), and they get in trouble if they do loan to them. It would be nice to see some statistical analysis of this, but instead we get glib quotes from progressive "experts" that Bloomberg's comments are "without evidence" (says who?) or the banks' practices are racist no matter what they do.

  132. @R.P. I used to do such statistical analysis. One thing we found was that most of the subprime lending (which led to most of the foreclosures) was done by mortgage companies, not banks -- although many banks had mortgage companies as subsidiaries. The much maligned Community Reinvestment Act, for which the right likes to blame the mortgage crisis, only applied to banks, not mortgage companies. In short, by far and away most of the foreclosures were from loans made outside of any influences of the CRA.

  133. Let's face it is unfair when you deny the loan to the people based on where they live rather on basis what is their ability to pay.

  134. Bloomberg is correct. Indiscriminate loans contributed heavily to the 2008 crisis. My Admin was approved for a $250,000 loan on a property which she never could have made the interest payments for. The property was offered at a greatly inflated price due to the ease of getting loans even if unqualified. Today that property is worth less than half. Fortunately, I talked her out of the purchase.

  135. Many years ago I worked as an auditor and the client was a popular savings bank which had the best record of lending in these areas. When the savings banks were going under, the bank was thriving. The reason: if you could make the mortgage payments you got the loan. People in these areas would always pay their mortgages before anything else. These were transit workers, nurses, police, and firefighters, among others. In those days banks held the mortgage until it was paid off. What changed was the banks selling mortgages and combining them into investments. Banks didn't have any skin in the game. Back then, bankers would go to any length not to foreclose: they would say: "We're not in the real estate business". Put the blame where it belongs, on the banks.

  136. I went to buy a VERY nice car my second year out of college. After reviewing my savings and weekly income the bank said no. Years later I wanted to make an offer on a nice home. I needed more money than my meager salary could cover so I had to find a much cheaper house which I did.

  137. Bloomberg is right in this respect - lenders handed out loans like candy to anyone and everyone. No checking of affordability. Housing prices were going skyward and the lenders gave anyone who came in a mortgage because the lender could always sell the defaulted property at a profit. Was it because of attacks on redlining? No, but in an obtuse way, yes, because the potential buyers who were redlined out were now fair game for the abuses that took place during the bubble leading to the recession. But so was anyone else fair game. All warm bodies could apply and be given a loan, ability to pay the loan back was a minor consideration and unimportant detail. I understand Bloomberg’s comments from a business perspective. I disagree with the assertion he thought redlining was a fine policy. It was not, still is not and housing discrimination continues unabated.

  138. @ArtM Well stated. I also think Bloomberg meant his redlining comment in terms of a business perspective. The housing crisis was largely caused by real estate professionals and lenders pushing loans on people who had little hope of keeping up the payments (unless they 'flipped' it), in pursuit of their own commissions. I have feared something similar now, with Trump pushing for lower and lower interest rates which make it easier to borrow and make people feel richer, but which must inevitably rise. We could easily be facing another bubble, with millions unable to maintain their loans in a higher interest rate.

  139. @ArtM Really though? They made huge money on subprime loans and many many middle lower middle class and middle class white people. The mortgage brokers, the banks were responsible for that.

  140. @ArtM Well said. Thanks. Bloomberg isn't my 1st or 2d choice, but I find the attacks troubling. The fact is, he wasn't running for President all his adult life (unlike some others) and he didn't choose every word he ever said with a view to the be-100%-politically-correct-or-you're-cancelled mentality of 2020 progressive politics. Lots of good people are going to be precluded even from seeking public office if this mentality continues.

  141. ​I don't think Mike Bloomberg is a racist. I do, however, think that he harbors some racist ideas about black people in particular, and not consciously. While I find this offensive on a personal level and problematic from a policy perspective, I very much doubt these stories will negatively impact his campaign for the simple reason that I think his views reflect those of most Americans. In my experience, even Democratic voters have some deeply held racial prejudices, as we also suffer from deeply rooted misogyny. Articles like this will ultimately do very little to derail a Bloomberg candidacy.

  142. @firefly "I don't think Mike Bloomberg is a racist. I do, however, think that he harbors some racist ideas about black people in particular, and not consciously. " These two sentences make no sense. Harboring racist ideas is, indeed, a qualification that makes one racist.

  143. @firefly Ah, I really get that. But why is it so difficult to really let it sink in, the impact he had on minorities and the impact he had on many women whom he worked? It seems like it would take so little and do so much just to acknowledge it publicly in a meaningful way.

  144. @firefly Sorry..trying to psychoanalyze the "deeply held racial prejudices" of Democratic voters is idiotic.. But I guess you're trying to give a pass to the 'unconscious racial ideas' of Bloomberg. (By the way, conscious or not..its still racist). ... it may not derail his candidacy, but it should raise some serious questions about his character.. --And he has lost my vote.

  145. Bloomberg and Biden have both done questionable things. Biden really hurt millions of African American families through his push for mandatory minimums and the like. Biden was the TBTF Democratic point man pushing the 2005 Bankruptcy reform bill that made it nearly impossible for every citizen to clear their credit history through Chapter 7, all the while allowing big corporations to keep that right and this all created giant profits for banks and credit card companies while turning American workers, who suffered 40 years without inflation-adjusted wage growth into defacto wage slaves. Biden is to be the establishment choice of the TBTF, the military-industrial complex, big pharma, GMO, and other major Wall St. interests in my opinion. His positions on our massively racist incarceration injustice system are as much a violation of the spirit of the Constitution and this nation as is Bill Barr and his subservient commitment to whatever Leonard Leo and his puppet Trump want. I don't know much about Bloomberg but I don't want another billionaire in office. In my view, no one should have that level of concentration of wealth and after 10 or 20 million, whatever a person generates should go to the common good of our fellow Americans and U.S. companies should pay taxes on money they make from any division or factory they may have overseas. There is so much hypocrisy and willingness to spin stories without looking at all the facts.

  146. Since no one agrees with anyone on everything, let's not nominate anyone and let Trump run unopposed. That'll solve nothing.

  147. Are we to believe a morality tale that claims the least economically powerful people in America caused an *international* financial crisis?

  148. If you keep digging, I'm certain there will be evidence to be found on every candidate. For most minorities- housing discrimination is just part of the American-fabric-of-life; we aren't surprised or amazed by the *news* in this piece. But just remember who WAS actively discriminating against blacks seeking housing. Remember who was fined: Remember whose family member owns tens of thousands of poorly maintained rentals in minority-dominated communities. Remember; remember. Remember.

  149. Yesterday's NYT said only Bloomberg could "save".the Dems from progressive candidates. Today we're reminded that 1/5 of Democrats would never vote for Bloomberg, the lifelong Republican

  150. I can’t believe what I’m seeing in this comment section. Democrats defending discriminatory lending practices and blaming the housing crisis on the poor. Democrats are also excusing the same candidate for militarizing the NYPD for the purpose of occupying minority neighborhoods. We have seen so much moral compromise on the right for the sake of standing behind Trump. I don’t want to see the democrats take the same path with Bloomberg.

  151. When I read and re-read Bloomberg's quote, I see only description, probably accurate if not complete, of a complex situation. I see no blame, and no prescription. He's seems to me to be looking at things the way a scientist does. Warren and others just look silly, saying things like "the end of redlining didn't cause the 2008 crash", when Bloomberg never said it did.

  152. No one is surprised. Those views are common in Bloomberg circles. Stealing just because it's there is not a virtue. What the bankers did is take advantage of a situation that was created by ill intentioned real estate brokers. All of those people are friends of Bloomberg.

  153. "The hope among his advisers is that Democratic voters who see him as the best chance to defeat President Trump will be inclined to take a forgiving view of the elements of his record and persona that they find troubling." Is he really the one best positioned to beat trump? First it was stop and frisk, and now its redlining. He strikes me as a very wealthy man with a very wealthy man's POV. With FDR, he was at least willing to go after his peers (that's why the wealthy of that time considered him a traitor to his class). Warren is similar in that she was a highly regarded registered republican and a corporate lawyer who argued for the very interests she is now going up against (e.g. Wall Street). Bloomburg doesn't strike me as someone yet who will go up against his peers; or if he tries, with the same ferocity as Warren or Sanders have. His dismissive attitude towards trump sounds like a member of the hoi polloi stating "dear boy, you are mistaken." How Bloomberg handles himself at the upcoming debates will determine whether his money to date has been well spent.

  154. I hate to say it but I keep seeing more and more of these historical incidents come out. If moderates what to push someone palatable to progressives, I would push klobuchar or Buttigieg, not Biden or Bloomberg

  155. Sometimes good intentions (end redlining) lead to bad results. It happens. Subprime lending, in housing and elsewhere, was a racket, and it's that racket that's partly to blame for 2008. Those racketeers didn't live in those neighborhoods, they just preyed on them from computer terminals.

  156. It would be nice if the politics of inclusion were used to defeat the Republicans rather than having the politics of race divide the Democrats.

  157. Just one more reason why the Democratic Party leadership should keep looking for a moderate candidate, and not settle for third-best, which is what Bloomberg is -- if that.

  158. In the quote provided in this article, Bloomberg DEFINES the context of his statement. "Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, ‘People in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas.’” Lenders do not care what you look like. All they ask is are you profitable, or not?

  159. I can't belive anyone except the already well-off is even thinking of supporting Bloomberg. He is clearly in the corporate billionaires' corner, reinforces the status quo, and will bring no relief to the millions of victims of income inequality.

  160. @Allison Do your research. He advocates raising taxes significantly on the wealthy.

  161. This view by Michael Bloomberg isn't really surprising. It's a little bit surprising that he allowed himself to be recorded as saying it, but he seems to have been so clueless on why racial discrimination is wrong that he couldn't understand that he was saying something bad. If he at least partly knows better now, it's only because he understands that the people whose votes he needs mostly think differently. Remember that Mr. Bloomberg's political history is as a Republican. Unlike Elizabeth Warren, there's no sign at all of Mr. Bloomberg's having an "aha" moment, when he understood that his previous beliefs were mistaken. He's only running for the Democratic nomination because he can't run for the Republican nomination with even the slightest hope of success, and he really wants to be president both because he just really wants to, and because he wants to help keep the world safe for billionaires (who, by no accident, are overwhelmingly white males).

  162. It isn’t presented as his view. He was describing redlining, not ascribing to it, or saying it was good. Get a grip.

  163. When you compare what Bloomberg has accomplished in the public and private realm versus any other democrat in the race (and certainly against Trump) he is more impressive by a factor of at least 10.

  164. Bloomberg is an authoritarian Republican. The fact that establishment Dems are more comfortable with him than Bernie Sanders is quite telling.

  165. If there is any hope at all of terminating Trump's tenure in office this November, it is going to be the nomination and election of Mike. So of what value is all of this smearing of Mike? It only helps Trump. Bernie will not defeat Trump.

  166. I’m sure Trump and friends will be running with all the negativity on Bloomberg, hoping to help the Democrats nominate Sander’s. Then they can suffer another four years, on how they didn’t get it right, again.

  167. It amazes me that people find it reasonable to compare what Bloomberg did to what Trump has done and is doing.

  168. Bloomberg is describing what Redlining is here. How is this offensive in any way? The portion of this speech quoted in the article was a description of the practice. He does not appear to have defended or advocated for the practice. Am I missing something here?

  169. Bloomberg was asked "How did we get here. What are the root causes?" Bloomberg has never been known to be the most eloquent speaker. His reply was certainly not the most articulate way of putting it, but I think he was simply drawing an historic line of bad practice after bad practice in the housing and mortgage industry. I do not see it as him blaming the financial and housing crisis on ending of redlining. The push to end redlining, which needed to be ended, beget looser lending standards, until ultimately we got to the early to mid-2000s, and anyone with a pulse could get a mortgage for more than the house they were buying was worth. I find it extremely hard to believe that Bloomberg in any way supports or ever supported the idea of redlining.

  170. Yes, agree with many of the comments. Just because some truths are unpalatable does not make them lies. There should be a relentless march towards a more just and equitable society, but ignoring facts, and shutting down speakers of truth is not going to change any fundamentals. In this world that has seemingly lost it’s mind, appearance has become more important than reality. I know no end of passionate young Bernie supporters whose Starbucks and Whole Foods bills are still being paid by their parents...because, hey, their virtue-signaling looks so good on social media. Who’s got time to work? Or actually rationally apply one’s mind?

  171. “…I have run across what appear to be several classic examples of political incorrectness and insensitivity by a major political figure… “…So shocking are they that I hesitate even repeating them here for fear that they might cause widespread shrieking and fainting on the part of the politically proper… “…Consider this statement: “…nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then (I) look around and see someone white and feel relieved… “…Or this observation about street danger in the cities: “…This killing is not based upon poverty; it is based upon greed and violence and guns… “…Let us examine what might be considered wrong with these remarks… “…First quote: It could be viewed as racist for someone to say he hears footsteps, fears robbery, look over his shoulder, sees that it is only a white person, and feels relief… “…Second quote: Greed? Plain nastiness? That flies in the face of the belief that only social conditions cause our widespread street violence… “…You would be run off many college campuses for such simplistic offenses. Most public radio producers would hyperventilate if a guest uttered such heresies… “…But these statements came from one of this country's best-known public figures…. “…No, it isn't Sen. Jesse Helms or any other...right-winger…. “…Would you believe Rev. Jesse Jackson…

  172. What people fail to understand is that redlined black communities were economically diverse, with poor and middle income families. Being a qualified buyer who is discriminated against because of race and and being a lower-income prospect preyed on by banks two very different wrongs. The myth that black people are NEVER qualified for mortgages is a lie that needs to be put to rest. Bloomberg is a racist, just like Trump. The problem is racism is no longer a red line. There are probably people who will gravitate to Bloomberg because of his unearthed racist beliefs.

  173. These is some truth to what Bloomie said. The government, specifically HUD, did encourage banks to lend money to sub-prime individual borrowers and when the borrowers could not repay the loans the loans, the banks and the real estate market tanked. And do we know who was the actually behind that? It was none other than our dumb governor Cuomo who headed HUD at that time. There is a hardly a single individual who has caused more damage than this whining clown Cuomo.

  174. Hizzoner is all but redlining himself from having any chance to bag this nomination. First the stop and frisk and now this. I for one would hope that he would have some guts to stand up to this scrutiny and speak the truth - unvarnished, w/o any silly apologies. And they call Trump the biggest liar. BTW, Does anyone want the Democratic Nomination at all? I mean all of these guys are looking like milquetoast now. Biden has fallen asleep and gone into a coma. Warren is running out of breath and money and we aren't even in March yet. Mayor Booti has scored two lucky touchdowns and the angry old man who combs his hair with a balloon is looking angrier every day. And from the White House, the reality star is enjoying the show and throwing stones and thumbing his nose at the Justice Dept. God help us all in November. No one else can.

  175. Lending was very loose prior to the housing meltdown. Let me share a personal story: My wife and I have very good friends of 20 years. They are illegal immigrants from Mexico, one who never went to school and one with a third grade education. He works as a landscaper and she is a stay-at-home mom. Back in 2006 or so they purchased a $700,000 (!) house with a "NINJA" loan (no income, no job and no assets). These loans were real. Of course they lost it quickly. Bloomberg is not too far off in his comments.

  176. Why don't articles about Sanders refer to him as a "millionaire" and "owner of three homes?"

  177. Now that Moneybags Bloomberg has shown himself to be a staunch advocate of racist policies such as Stop And Frisk and Redlining, can someone please explain to me the thinking of African-American leaders who flock to his banner? This utterly flummoxes me.

  178. Shame on you Elizabeth Warren. You, as a professor, know exactly what government policies created the demand for subprime mortgages and that is what Mayor Bloomberg was discussing. Once again, trying to get some leverage against an opponent unfairly.

  179. "he argued that “ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O.” Specifically, he said, they were “male, minorities, 16 to 25.” Before we enter the condemnation cycle it would surely be good to know whether his numbers were correct, whether he was misinformed or whether he was simply politically incorrect. It is unconscionable and bad journalism that Stevens does not supply us with the actual stats.

  180. Gretchen Morgenson, business columnist for The New York Times, wrote in her book Reckless Endangerment that the 2008 financial crisis was caused by imprudent home mortgage lending promoted by the Clinton Administration. That wasn’t race-based, but it helped many who were harmed by red-lining. So there's some truth in Bloomberg’s claim.

  181. The truth is not always politically correct.

  182. Don’t bring me no bad news. Bloomberg may be ancient but he’s a buddy of all Democrats.

  183. What is most disturbing wasn't his support of racist hyperbole reminiscent of Trump. What is disturbing is that he did so to cover for the real reason, excessive leverage used by investment banks through synthetic MBS. The blame wasn't on loans that defaulted. The blame belongs on leveraged bets on those mortgages. Bloomberg was deflecting blame from his investment bank clients and onto borrowers. Shameful.

  184. NY times thanks for doing your part in making sure we all know Bloomberg isn’t perfect. Please do your part in making sure Trump is the last man (not using that term literally) standing. If trump wins re-election we won’t have a country that even resembles the USA and I doubt if you’ll have a newspaper. Trump has met his nemesis. Can we just leave it at that for now?

  185. Who cares anymore? If, and it’s a big if, Bloomberg is best positioned with his resources to beat Trump then we are still better off. The big changes will have to wait. That’s the cost of playing stupid politics in 2016. We are in a full blown constitutional and moral crisis that threatens the very democracy and human rights principles we all depend on. In a word, many are fighting for their lives. Bloomberg, Klobachar, Pete, Sanders...whoever. It can’t be Trump. NYT would be better served explaining in detail why Trump cannot be elected a 2nd time and discuss tactics on how to beat him.

  186. "Oh yeah, but he's not a racist!," the moderates will cry. As Bloomberg's ridiculous candidacy continues, how many more times will moderates equivocate any sense of ethics, morality, and common sense in favor of what this man has actually said and done? And who should that equivocation remind us of? For me, it is completely analogous to the Republican Party's capitulation and rationalization of Trumpism, nothing more or less. Democrats, we can do far better!

  187. @Joel On second thought, I'm pretty sure that some of the comments to this article, and the one from yesterday about Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk comments, have been made by bots. Maybe bots deployed by the Bloomberg campaign, and maybe by some other entity (not going to speculate, but 2016 should make us all wary). Tryin' not to be paranoid, but I'm sure if the NY Times did some research into its Comments app here on the site, it probably would be true. Now that'd be a story!

  188. Mike is wrong. Red lining was not in my opinion the primary cause of the 08 crash. The cause was the change in policy which began under President Clinton. We heard "Every American deserves a decent house.". Freddie and Fannie were directed to buy up poor quality home loans in support of this policy. Banks followed the new rules - loaning money to people with little down. Sure some were African what? It was not racially motivated...just normal Democratic socialist nonsense. And it hurt us all.

  189. @SEGokorsch Might want to read the NY Times' own reporting on this issue: Bush drive for home ownership fueled housing bubble By Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Stephen Labaton "...Bush did foresee the danger posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage finance giants. The president spent years pushing a recalcitrant Congress to toughen regulation of the companies, but was unwilling to compromise when his former Treasury secretary wanted to cut a deal. And the regulator Bush chose to oversee them - an old school buddy - pronounced the companies sound even as they headed toward insolvency. "As early as 2006, top advisers to Bush dismissed warnings from people inside and outside the White House that housing prices were inflated and that a foreclosure crisis was looming. And when the economy deteriorated, Bush and his team misdiagnosed the reasons and scope of the downturn. As recently as February, for example, Bush was still calling it a 'rough patch.' "The result was a series of piecemeal policy prescriptions that lagged behind the escalating crisis."

  190. Bloomberg is assaulting our sense of reality by pretending to care about income equality but he is the poster boy for income inequality and racism. We don't need a closet trump in the white house, there are many other viable candidates #neverbloomberg

  191. If he insults 100 religious or ethnic groups every day, he still will never catch up to Trump before the election.

  192. That Bloomberg said it is one thing, that his campaign spokesman is playing fast and loose with the truth in a Trumpian manner is despicable.

  193. I don't care. He's far from a perfect person or leader, yet he still is a man that I respect and that respects everyone. The current person in the white house has no respect for anyone unless they can do something for him and then if they say anything untoward about him, he says he's never known that person. The current person in the white house is a known criminal. Mike also has the billions to beat trump. He has my vote.

  194. one of the issues with redlining in its usually practiced form, was how it was used to simply ignore everyone of a certain neighborhood, ir color. meanwhile, plenty of people of either are worthy customers you just need to look. plenty of GIs after WW2, failed on paying off their houses, even with the GI advantages they received. they bought too much house, lost jobs, succumbed to their vices, etc...most cane from poor backgrounds, and all they had was GI loans. but the rates were fair, the banks helped them in times of crisis. but those days are gone. now its dont slip an inch, or youre gone! and if you're brown and slip 1/2 inch, you're doomed.

  195. The housing meltdown was caused by the loosening of lending standards, driven by Republicans. Many people were affected but especially minorities. People were given loans with “undocumented” finances. Loans they couldn’t afford. Affordability was not even considered. Mr. Bloomberg’s comments show an embarrassing lack of insight into how lending is done and into what redlining is. Never to late to learn, though. I think he has shown that.

  196. The entirety of his comments haven’t been publicized. Of course redlining was (and is) a despicable practice. However, the mortgage crisis that contributed to the Great Recession was caused by banks giving mortgages to people—of all colors— who could not afford them, then selling those mortgages to investors. I mean, mortgages without 3 years of tax returns, without proof of reliable income, without good credit...I would think that he was trying to make that point, but I don’t know, since the entire discussion wasn’t provided.

  197. Interesting that all this is coming out now. I assume Trump's people are furiously digging up anything they can find. Next up, Georgina and Emma Bloomberg tied to Burisma!!! I'm not saying Bloomberg is perfect, but he's not the clear and present danger that Trump is.

  198. @K10031 I see him as clear and present danger. I wouldn't pick a new improved version of trump.

  199. Well, I am sure that Mike is spending tens of millions of dollars to dig up dirt on Trump. So, let him get taste of his own medicine.

  200. Right on. Russians have started already on MB

  201. I wish the media would stop writing negative articles about the Democratic potential candidate. Please just stop. My first choice is not Bloomberg but I will vote for him should he be the nominee. I want Trump out of office. For the sake of my children and grandchildren please stop.

  202. @KLM Its quite literally the job of news outlets to report both good and bad things about candidates, even if its not flattering to your preferred political party. Journalists cannot and should not report only good things about someone to achieve a political end. There's a word for that.

  203. You want to muzzle the press and suppress the first amendment, prevent the truth so that a billionaire can get elected to beat Trump? This country is in danger of becoming like Russia. Hopefully Bloomberg candidacy is done now.

  204. Warren said it best. “I’m surprised that someone running for the Democratic nomination thinks the economy would be better off if we just let banks be more overtly racist... we need to confront the shameful legacy of discrimination, not lie about it like Mike Bloomberg has done.” Senator Elizabeth Warren for President 2020

  205. Why all Democrats candidates are expected to have totally squeaky clean record throughout their entire life? Stop knit-picking. Why the media never pursue the fact after reporting Trump's thousands lies and gives him a free pass?