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“Storming Mad” but Staying Home: Depoliticizing the American Borrower

“Storming Mad” but Staying Home: Depoliticizing the American Borrower

Chapter:
(p.72) 3 “Storming Mad” but Staying Home: Depoliticizing the American Borrower
Source:
Democracy Declined
Author(s):
Mallory E. SoRelle
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226711829.003.0003

Chapter three, “Storming Mad” but Staying Home: Depoliticizing the American Borrower, asks why borrowers have largely avoided political avenues when addressing their growing dissatisfaction with consumer financial protection and predatory lending. The chapter argues that borrowers’ strategies for addressing the issue of consumer financial protection are shaped by their experiences with the policies at the heart of the political economy of credit. Drawing on original survey data, this chapter demonstrates how information disclosures produce policy feedback effects that both privatize and personalize the practice of consumer borrowing in the United States. The result is that people place more blame for both individual and systemic lending problems on market actors—including both borrowers and lenders—than on political actors. In turn, angry borrowers try to solve their problems by engaging with banks and trade associations instead of demanding that policymakers enact stronger financial regulations.

Keywords:   predatory lending, credit, consumer financial protection, political economy, political engagement, policy feedback, financial regulation, survey

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