Banks Discriminate Against Half Their Customers

From the WSJ, I found this funny. It seems when you are being sued for Politically Correct crimes, the logic they use against you can be absurdly weak, because the evidence is clearly irrelevant:

Justice says that out of 4.4 million loans approved between 2004 and 2008, 525,000 went to African-American or Hispanic borrowers, of which some 210,000 paid higher fees or rates than the average paid by similarly situated “non-Hispanic White Borrowers.”

It goes without saying large numbers of white borrowers also paid higher than the average of all whites. It also goes without saying large numbers of minorities didn’t pay higher rates, though Justice isn’t interested in the average of what minorities paid, only that some minorities paid higher than the average of whites.

If this sounds like statistical malpractice, it’s apparently habitual. In a rare instance where defendants fought back, two Los Angeles car dealers recently won dismissal of a complaint accusing them of favoring Asian over Hispanic car buyers because 600 of 1,300 “non-Asian” buyers were charged higher loan terms than the average of Asian buyers. Notice that 600 is about half of 1,300. As the dealers noted, Justice’s claim amounts to an assertion “half of one group is above average, which means that the other half is below average.”

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About Eric Falkenstein 136 Articles

Eric Falkenstein is an economist who specializes in quantitative issues in finance: risk management, long/short equity investing, default modeling, etc.

Eric received his Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University , 1994 and his B.A. in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis, 1987

He is the author of the 2009 book Finding Alpha.

Visit: Eric Falkenstein's Website

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