[Marxism] ‘They Were Conned’: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers - The New York Times
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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
As of last week, no one had been appointed to the task force.
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