Delinquent: Inside America's Debt Machine
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|Publisher:||University of California Press|
What We're Saying
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
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.