Subprime loans are often blamed as the basis of current financial crisis. Thats unfortunate, according to Elinore Longobardi in the Columbia Journalism Review, because subprime describes only the borrower, in unflattering terms, and has nothing to say about the lender.
A better option is to point the finger at predatory lendingthe crooks who made bad loans to vulnerable populations like minorities and the elderly. The press used the term subprime somewhere between seventy or eighty times more frequently than the term predatory lending, according to CJR. That statistic points to the abject failure of the press in predicting the financial crisis, and it places the blame for the crisis in the wrong place.
Source: Columbia Journalism Review (Article not yet available online.)
Image by woodleywonderworks, licensed under Creative Commons.