From the last issue of N+1, a very thoughtful intellectual journal, a portion of an interview with David Harvey is available online (scroll down a bit).
David Harvey (July 2008)
DH: I don’t have sufficient information to say what proportion of the people who got foreclosed upon were themselves flipping or speculating. Some of them were, in some parts of the country—in California, for example, there was quite a bit of that going on.
But in a city like Baltimore, that was not going on. It was largely a low-income, African-American population that had been pulled into the dream of home ownership and they’vebeen wiped out. And in effect if you look at cities like Cleveland or Baltimore the foreclosure wave has been like a series of financial Katrinas. I’m very familiar with Baltimore, and I have a map of the foreclosures in Baltimore, and it’s clear who’s being affected. A lot of it affects women, particularly single, head-of-household women–they’re just being completely destroyed.
Harvey is a professor at CUNY and well-known author, specializing in the critique of liberal capitalism. Whether you agree with his politics or not (and I suspect that some readers would not), his comments represent an instructive and incisive look at the current real estate crisis.