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It's Not Good Business to Bank on Social Justice

March 22, 1998

How does columnist Vicki Torres imagine the credit officer at a responsible lending institution would regard a credit applicant with little "education, assets and contacts"? ["Public-Private Partnerships: All Too Often, the Promises Go Unfulfilled," At Issue, Feb. 18.]

Every time we see some minority champion bemoaning the lack of ample credit for starting businesses or for minority-neighborhood-members-in-need, we hear a damning of the Wells Fargos, Bank of Americas and Union Banks, who for some odd reason are not always eager to lend their stockholders' resources to markedly poor credit risks.

Does Ms. Torres believe the large lenders are averse to making profitable loans to applicants whose record suggests dependable income, satisfactory credit history, creditable references?

What Ms. Torres and her cohorts are looking for is an unbusinesslike gesture of offering resources to questionable entities in the name of "social justice" or "political correctness," or is it simply voter "extortion" leveled at shareholders and depositors of orthodox American institutions?

T.B. GRAHAM

Port Hueneme

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