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Week of 11.16.07

Mortgage Mess

This week, NOW travels to North Minneapolis to investigate the mortgage meltdown that has left the city scarred with boarded-up and abandoned houses. What's happened in communities like this one has investors everywhere shaken. Wall Street firms are stumbling and markets around the globe are nervous. Economists worry the mortgage bust may lead to a recession.

NOW connects the dots to see the extent to which recklessness, corruption and greed created this subprime mess that now threatens to undermine our entire economy. David Brancaccio talks to Rep. Keith Ellison, who grew up in North Minneapolis and who has pushed legislation to address the crisis. He also talks to Ameriquest whistleblower Mark Bomchill, who explains the competitive "boiler room" culture that encouraged brokers to aggressively push mortgage products they knew clients would be unable to repay.

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Congressional Intervention: Find out what Congress is doing to fix the mortgage mess

Help for Homeowners: Get tips on avoiding a mortgage nightmare

Topic Search: Income & Inequality, Economy/Taxes

Related Links

Ameriquest Lawsuit: See the allegations made by 49 states and the District of Columbia against mortgage lender Ameriquest (Virginia did not sue because Ameriquest doesn't operate there)

See Ameriquest's settlement with the 49 states

Center for Responsible Lending: Unfair Lending: The Effect of Race and Ethnicity on the Price of Subprime Mortgages

Kenya Community Radio

NOW also travels to Kenya to visit Koch FM, which has been acknowledged as the first-ever radio station in Nairobi to originate from a slum. Operating out of two shipping containers, the radio station was created to inform, empower and entertain the estimated 200,000 residents of the Korogocho informal settlement. David Brancaccio talks to founders Helen Wanjiku and Francis Ngira about the struggles Koch FM has overcome and the long road ahead.

More from NOW

NOW Slideshow: Scenes of Korogocho

Producer Q&A: Read an interview with producer Dan Logan about his trip to Kenya

Health Care Franchise: Learn about an innovative approach to practicing health care in Kenya

Topic Search: Media

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Developing Radio Partners is dedicated to supporting independent radio stations in young democracies. Learn more about efforts in Mongolia, Sierra Leone, and Southern Africa