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Pamela Foohey on Fintech and Debt Inequality

Season 1, Ep. 506

In this episode, Pamela Foohey, Associate Professor of Law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, discusses her article "Reducing The Wealth Gap Through Fintech 'Advances' in Consumer Banking and Lending," co-authored with Nathalie Martin, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Frederick M. Hart Chair in Consumer and Clinical Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law. The article is forthcoming in the University of Illinois Law Review. Foohey begins by discussing inequalities in income, wealth, and debt, and how those inequalities affect minority groups in disparate ways. She discusses how consumer credit products worsen the disparate economy, particularly in reference to minority groups' access to banking and lending services. Focusing on home, student, and short-term loans, she describes how a lack of choice and opportunity has facilitated a flow of wealth from low-income groups to high-income groups.

Foohey details how early wage access and other fintech innovations could alleviate or worsen inequality for ethnic and racial minorities, exploring how current fintech products interact with current inequities. She then details policy solutions to address wealth and debt gaps, highlighting four tenets for confronting debt inequality. She reviews political proposals from presidential candidates and members of congress, and explores the potential for a postal banking system. Foohey concludes by providing her insights and recommendations for the public, policymakers, and governments. Foohey is on Twitter at @PamelaFoohey.

This episode was hosted by Luce Nguyen. Nguyen is on Twitter at @NguyenLuce.

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