A greed of bankers that would shock even Woody Guthrie | Big tower
Woody Guthrie had a lot to say about the greed of bankers who gave farm loans at usurious interest rates to hardscrabble farmers and then were banned when they couldn’t repay the loans, leaving thousands of farm families homeless . Woody laughed at them with a sarcastic hymn, singing, “I am a happy banker, I am a happy banker.” He also wrote a scathing verse about their theft: “Some fly with a six pistol / some with a fountain pen.”
But even this popular populist poet would be amazed at the blatant relentlessness of today’s agricultural lenders. After decades of systemic and outrageous discrimination by bankers against black farmers and other minority farmers, the Biden administration is now focused on repaying the high level of long-term bank debt that has hampered these good farmers, thus giving them a good chance to progress.
“Oh no!” shouted the American Bankers Association and other farm lender groups. Why? After all, they would get the money they loaned back. Yes, let’s say the fountain pens, but we would lose the interest payments that each of these farmers should have sent us in the months to come. We want American taxpayers to cover the full interest income that we would have obtained by hijacking black, Latin American, native and other minority farmers. They insist that their profits and the financial interests of their wealthy investors must take priority over the needs of a group of non-white farmers.