Getting Real About the Banks' 'Toxic Assets': People Live in Them

Economists, politicians, and pundits refer to "toxic assets" as if they are some unspeakable stew bubbling in a barrel behind an old warehouse. But "toxic assets" are actually mortgages and, by extension, houses and the people who live in them. Sandra Berrios is one of millions facing the prospect of ballooning loan payments forcing her and her family from their home. The bank that lent her the money is getting hundreds of millions in TARP money, but the federal dollars flowing to the bank show no sign of trickling down to Sandra's level.


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