Posted by Audiegrl
The Root/The Buzz—Uh oh.
A suit filed by the attorney general of Illinois claims Tavis Smiley and others were used to okey doke folks into high-risk Wells Fargo loans. From the Washington Independent:
As the housing market began booming in mid-2000, Wells Fargo & Co. teamed up with prominent African American commentator and PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley and financial author Kelvin Boston, the host of “Moneywise,” a multicultural financial affairs show, to host something called “Wealth Building” seminars in black neighborhoods.
Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere. After Hurricane Katrina, Smiley also emphasized the importance of building assets and wealth, saying those who had done so were able to leave New Orleans, while people with nothing had to stay behind, Boston said.
You can also read a piece @ Jack and Jill Politics by The Christian Progressive Liberal entitled The “Outing” of Tavis Smiley
***Update: Prominent author, commentator and PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley has announced that he’s cutting all business ties to Wells Fargo & Co. The move comes in the wake of a TWI story last week about Wells Fargo “Wealth Building” seminars held in black neighborhoods starting in 2005, headlined by Smiley, which a recent lawsuit filed by the Illinois attorney general charged were nothing more than sales pitches for high-rate subprime loans.
Richard Prince reported Friday in his “Journal-isms” column that Smiley said he would sever all ties with Wells Fargo until charges that the company steered minorities into higher-rate loans are resolved.