“Disaster Capitalism” Skyrockets As Wall Street Profiteers Cash In on Federal Recovery Loans

  • Private financial institutions are taking advantage of the US government’s slow response to disasters by providing high-interest loans for affected landlords to be repaid by taxpayers.
  • According to research from the Urban Institute, HUD’s CDBG-DR program starts distributing funds 20 months after a disaster on average and is typically still allocating money two years after that.
  • “Seems a lot easier and cheaper to make an emergency fund permanent rather than pay private lender fees,” said Donald Moynihan, a public policy professor at Georgetown.

Kenny Stancil from Common Dreams writes:

“Critics of post-crisis profiteering responded with disgust to new reporting that private financial institutions in the U.S. are taking advantage of the federal government’s failure to respond swiftly to disasters by providing loans—to be repaid, with interest, by taxpayers—to landlords affected by floods, wildfires, and other catastrophes that are growing in frequency and intensity due to the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that disaster “victims often wait years for help to get back into their homes because money for repairs moves so slowly.”

The recovery process often exacerbates class and racial inequalities, as renters—who are more likely to have low incomes and are disproportionately people of color—typically wait longer than homeowners for aid. A new initiative seeks to reduce the amount of time tenants are forced to wait, but instead of expediting public assistance, it creates a profit-making opportunity for Wall Street…”

See full story here.

Categories: Business, Government, Infrastructure

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