Thursday, December 7, 2006

Something looks familiar...

So, walking into Espresso Royale today, I glance over a man's shoulder and see this image on the front page of the Business Section:

Now, two things struck me.

One: Damn, I felt like I've seen that map before. Low and behold, I check through the files on my computer and this is what I find:

Two: This must be something interesting and related to what I study. Sure enough, it is. Basically, the first map shows the areas that are most likely to have "subprime" mortgages -- or mortgages that have really bad terms. If you look at the second map, which is a map of the percent white in Chicago tracts, and then you look at the first map -- you will notice how the areas that have subprime loans are much more likely to be non-white than the areas without, just as the article, Subprime Loans Going From Boon to Housing Bane points out:

For instance, in Cook County, home to Chicago and nearby suburbs, nearly half of all first-lien home purchase loans made in 2005 were subprime in neighborhoods where minority groups make up 50 percent or more of the population, according to mortgage data collected by the federal government. By comparison, only 30 percent of all loans made countywide over the same period were subprime.

It's nice to see something about this get into the national media -- particularly after things like Proposal 2 pass in Michigan...


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