Article By Elena Botella | Article Originally Appears in The New Republic
The first thing you should know about a woman I know, who I’ll call Annie, is that she volunteers to sit at the hospital with people who are going to die alone, who have no family or friends to be with them during their last moments. “It’s obviously sad,” she told me, “but I feel like I have enough positive energy that I can share some.” And share she does: She cooks her coworkers’ favorite desserts for their birthday; she organizes anti-racism workshops and attends racial justice protests; she teaches ESL classes to recent immigrants. Annie is, in short, a very nice person. She works hard at being good, to be friendly and kind to everyone she meets.
She also, for a time, made a living selling credit cards with high interest rates to people who were barely making ends meet.
Annie and I worked together at Capital One for three years. For a few months, I was her boss. I oversaw the bank’s “secured card” product—a credit card marketed to people whose credit is so bad they can’t get a credit limit of $300 at a 27 percent interest rate without putting down a security deposit. Ironically, at Capital One, the more of a positive-energy type you were, the more likely it was that you’d work in the subprime division. There, people like Annie and myself reasoned, the choices you made could, hypothetically, make things easier for struggling families. We told ourselves that such families likely didn’t have any better lending options. And for poor, under-banked households, many lending options are far worse than Capital One.....
Marc has 36 years in financial services and 6 years in teaching.
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