Delinquent: Inside America's Debt Machine

Delinquent: Inside America's Debt Machine

By Elena Botella

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"In this rare glimpse behind the curtains that typically shield private banks and lenders from public scrutiny, we learn about the decisions these companies make to keep people in debt. We learn about debt as a punishing edge of capitalism's spear, wielded by private banks and lenders. "--Terri Friedline, author of Banking on a Revolution: Why Financial Technology Won't Save a Broken System "We rarely get an inside peek into how our corporate overseers plot to separate ordinary people from their money.


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Book Information

Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 10/11/2022
Pages: 320
ISBN-13: 9780520380356
ISBN-10: 0520380355
Language: English

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November 29, 2022

It seems like each and every category of our awards has elements of Current Events & Public Affairs percolating within them, but that doesn't negate the need for a dedicated category. These are the five best books in that space this year. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 17, 2022

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Full Description

Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Fall Release in Business and Economics​
A consumer credit industry insider-turned-outsider explains how banks lure Americans deep into debt, and how to break the cycle. Delinquent takes readers on a journey from Capital One's headquarters to street corners in Detroit, kitchen tables in Sacramento, and other places where debt affects people's everyday lives. Uncovering the true costs of consumer credit to American families in addition to the benefits, investigative journalist Elena Botella--formerly an industry insider who helped set credit policy at Capital One--reveals the underhanded and often predatory ways that banks induce American borrowers into debt they can't pay back. Combining Botella's insights from the banking industry, quantitative data, and research findings as well as personal stories from interviews with indebted families around the country, Delinquent provides a relatable and humane entry into understanding debt. Botella exposes the ways that bank marketing, product design, and customer management strategies exploit our common weaknesses and fantasies in how we think about money, and she also demonstrates why competition between banks has failed to make life better for Americans in debt. Delinquent asks: How can we make credit available to those who need it, responsibly and without causing harm? Looking to the future, Botella presents a thorough and incisive plan for reckoning with and reforming the industry.

About the Author

Elena Botella was a Senior Business Manager at Capital One, where she ran the company's Secured Card credit card and taught credit risk management.

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