[Marxism] ‘They Were Conned’: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers - The New York Times

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun May 19 11:49:42 MDT 2019


(How predatory lenders and conniving politicians paved the way for a 
financial calamity that led many taxi drivers to commit suicide.)

Bhairavi Desai, founder of the Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents 
drivers and independent owners, has asked the city to bail out owners or 
refund auction purchasers. Others have urged the city to pressure banks 
to forgive loans or soften terms.

After reviewing The Times’s findings, Deepak Gupta, a former top 
official at the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said 
the New York Attorney General’s Office should investigate lenders.

Mr. Gupta also said the state should close the loophole that let lenders 
classify medallion deals as business loans, even though borrowers had to 
guarantee them with everything they owned. Consumer loans have far more 
disclosure rules and protections.

“These practices were indisputably predatory and would be illegal if 
they were considered consumer loans, rather than business loans,” he said.

Last year, amid eight known suicides of drivers, including three 
medallion owners with overwhelming loans, the city passed a temporary 
cap on ride-hailing cars, created a task force to study the industry and 
directed the city taxi commission to do its own analysis of the debt crisis.

Earlier this year, the Council eliminated the committee overseeing the 
industry after its chairman, Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx, 
said the Council was “controlled by the homosexual community.” The 
speaker, Mr. Johnson, said, “The vast majority of the legislative work 
that we have been looking at has already been completed.”

In a statement, a council spokesman said the committee’s duties had been 
transferred to the Committee on Transportation. “The Council is working 
to do as much as it can legislatively to help all drivers,” the 
spokesman said.

As of last week, no one had been appointed to the task force.

full: 
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/19/nyregion/nyc-taxis-medallions-suicides.html



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