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Cartographies of Race and Class: Mapping the Class-Monopoly Rents of American Subprime Mortgage Capital

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  • ELVIN WYLY
  • MARKUS MOOS
  • DANIEL HAMMEL
  • EMANUEL KABAHIZI

Abstract

The worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression has drawn worldwide attention to America's subprime mortgage sector and its linkages with predatory exploitation in working-class and racially marginalized communities. During nearly two decades of expansion, agents of subprime capital fought regulation and reform by (1) using the doctrine of risk-based pricing to equate financial innovation with democratized access to capital, (2) appealing to the cultural myths of the 'American Dream' of homeownership, and (3) dismissing well-documented cases of racial discrimination and predatory abuse as anecdotal evidence of rare problems confined to a few lost-cause places in what is otherwise a benevolent free-market landscape. In this article, we challenge these three tactics. Properly adapted and updated, Harvey's (1974) theory of class-monopoly rent allows us to map and interpret the localized, neighborhood exploitations of class and race in several hundred US metropolitan areas as they were woven through Wall Street securitization conduits into global networks of debt and investment. Understanding the structural inequalities of class-monopoly rent is essential for analysis, organizing, and policy responses to the crisis. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation (c) 2009 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Elvin Wyly & Markus Moos & Daniel Hammel & Emanuel Kabahizi, 2009. "Cartographies of Race and Class: Mapping the Class-Monopoly Rents of American Subprime Mortgage Capital," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 332-354, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:33:y:2009:i:2:p:332-354
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Wainwright, 2009. "Laying the Foundations for a Crisis: Mapping the Historico-Geographical Construction of Residential Mortgage Backed Securitization in the UK," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 372-388, June.
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    11. Kevin Fox Gotham, 2009. "Creating Liquidity out of Spatial Fixity: The Secondary Circuit of Capital and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 355-371, June.
    12. Kathe Newman, 2009. "Post-Industrial Widgets: Capital Flows and the Production of the Urban," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 314-331, June.
    13. Jesus Hernandez, 2009. "Redlining Revisited: Mortgage Lending Patterns in Sacramento 1930-2004," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 291-313, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:ijurrs:v:40:y:2016:i:6:p:1094-1111 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Andy Pike & Jane Pollard, 2010. "Economic Geographies of Financialization," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 86(1), pages 29-51, January.
    3. Gary A. Dymski, 2009. "Afterword: Mortgage Markets and the Urban Problematic in the Global Transition," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 427-442, June.
    4. Erica Pani & Nancy Holman, 2014. "A Fetish and Fiction of Finance: Unraveling the Subprime Crisis," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(2), pages 213-235, April.
    5. Alan Walks, 2014. "From Financialization to Sociospatial Polarization of the City? Evidence from Canada," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(1), pages 33-66, January.
    6. Alan Walks, 2014. "Canada's Housing Bubble Story: Mortgage Securitization, the State, and the Global Financial Crisis," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 256-284, January.
    7. Leigh Johnson, 2014. "Geographies of Securitized Catastrophe Risk and the Implications of Climate Change," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(2), pages 155-185, April.
    8. Manuel B. Aalbers, 2009. "The Sociology and Geography of Mortgage Markets: Reflections on the Financial Crisis," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 281-290, June.
    9. Manuel B. Aalbers, 2009. "The Globalization and Europeanization of Mortgage Markets," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 389-410, June.
    10. Saskia Sassen, 2009. "When Local Housing Becomes an Electronic Instrument: The Global Circulation of Mortgages - A Research Note," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 411-426, June.
    11. Jesus Hernandez, 2009. "Redlining Revisited: Mortgage Lending Patterns in Sacramento 1930-2004," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 291-313, June.
    12. J. N. Marshall & A. Pike & J. S. Pollard & J. Tomaney & S. Dawley & J. Gray, 2012. "Placing the run on northern rock," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 157-181, January.
    13. Kathe Newman, 2009. "Post-Industrial Widgets: Capital Flows and the Production of the Urban," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 314-331, June.

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