American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis (2020-2021)

Building on the work of the 2019-2020 project team, this team used a multi-method and interdisciplinary approach to examine the policy and market dynamics in the run-up to the financial crisis in order to explain the divergent responses among federal and state/local policymakers as well as the implications for preventing the next financial crisis.

Each of the 25 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty worked on multiple projects throughout the year. The continued focus on interdisciplinary research allowed for students to produce engaging, accessible analyses on four separate sub-teams.

  • The Oral History subteam conducted 30 new interviews over the course of the year. The interviews expanded the geographic range of the project to Ohio, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Florida. The team also collected stories from executives at institutions in the private sector, such as Washington Mutual, and federal and state regulators as well as consumer advocates.
  • The Policy Analysis subteam mapped out legislative timelines for the United States, North Carolina, and Massachusetts and wrote policy memos on mortgage enforcement actions in Florida and Massachusetts. The memos chronicled the development of rules and regulations as well as any changes leading up to, during, and after the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The Data Analysis subteam produced word clouds using common words and phrases from the oral history interviews conducted by the team. They color-coded the words by stakeholder, which were policymakers, consumer advocates and banking executives, revealing patterns that differed drastically from each other. This team also dove into an analysis of the Arizona mortgage market in conjunction with continued analysis of other key states like North Carolina.
  • The Business Analysis subteam analyzed two case studies over the semester: Colonial Bancgroup and Long Beach. The case studies provided greater insight into the product line throughout the lead-up to the financial crisis.  In addition, the team wrote four memos on the evolution of the mortgage market, which analyzed how underwriting, different entities, subprime products and regulators changed before, during and after the crisis.


Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

Team Outputs

Team website

Documenting the Financial Crisis (2021 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Documenting Oral Histories and Business, Data and Policy Analysis on the American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis (poster by Colins Abanda, McKenna Baker, Arjun Bakshi, Carolyn Chen, Michael Dymond, Danielle Engliman, Jett Hollister, Esther Hong, Malena Lopez-Sotelo, Sean Nguyen, Braelyn Parkman, Maria Paz Rios, Cameron Polo, Raghav Rasal, Patrick Rochelle, Jacob Satisky, Sebastian Soriano Perez, Neha Vangipurapu, Olivia Wivestead, Jessie Xu, Sana Pashankar, Sarah Zhao, Charlie Zong, Katie Kaufman and Jacob Argue (runner up, Bass Connections Poster Competition, Judges’ Selection))


Maria Paz Rios

This Team in the News

Two Duke Seniors, One DKU Alumnus Earn Schwarzman Scholarship for Graduate Study in China

Frank Nothaft, Former Freddie Mac Chief Economist, Communicated Complex Ideas Simply

Three Students from Duke, Duke Kunshan Receive Schwarzman Scholarships for Graduate Study in China

Meet the Members of the 2021-2022 Bass Connections Student Advisory Council

Raskin, Former Deputy Treasury Secretary and Fed Governor, Awarded Distinguished Professorship

Spotlight on Class of 2021

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2021

Two Faculty Receive Inaugural Bass Connections Leadership Award

What We’re Getting Out of Our Bass Connections Teams

Duke Law Faculty, Students Tackling Diverse Interdisciplinary Research Projects through Bass Connections

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2023

See related teams, American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis (2021-2022) and American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis (2019-2020), and related Data+ summer project, American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis (2020).


Image: Sign of the times, foreclosure, by Jeff Turner, licensed under CC BY 2.0


Team Leaders

  • Edward Balleisen, Sanford School of Public Policy|Arts & Sciences-History
  • Deborah Goldstein, North Carolina Leadership Forum
  • Lee Reiners, Duke Law-Global Financial Markets Center
  • Joseph Smith, Jr., Former North Carolina Commissioner of Banks

/graduate Team Members

  • McKenna Baker, Juris Doctor
  • Michael Dymond, Business Administration-MBA
  • Esther Hong, Juris Doctor
  • Katie Kaufman, Juris Doctor
  • Malena Lopez-Sotelo, Mgt Science and Technology Mgt
  • Sebastian Soriano Perez , Interdisciplinary Data Science - Masters
  • Patrick Rochelle, Masters of Public Policy

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Charlie Zong, Philosophy (AB)
  • Collins Abanda, Computer Science (BS)
  • Sarah Zhao, Mathematics (BS)
  • Yinhong Zhao, Economics (BS)
  • Jessie Xu, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Olivia Wivestad, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Neha Vangipurapu, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Jacob Satisky, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Maria Rios, Mathematics (AB)
  • Raghav Rasal, Economics (BS)
  • Cameron Polo, Economics (BS)
  • Sana Pashankar, Computer Science (AB)
  • Braelyn Parkman, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Jett Hollister, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Darielle Engilman, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Carolyn Chen, Computer Science (BS)
  • Arjun Bakshi, Economics (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Sarah Bloom Raskin, Duke Law
  • Sara Greene, Duke Law

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Sean Nguyen, Undergraduate Student, UNC-Chapel Hill