The New York State Department of Financial Services today issued a report summarizing the department’s findings after investigating consumer complaints about the Apple Card. The investigation, which included a review of several thousand pages of records and written responses from Goldman Sachs Bank (the “Bank”) and Apple, interviews of witnesses and Apple Card applicants, and analysis of underwriting data for approximately 400,000 New York State applicants for the Apple Card, did not produce evidence of unlawful discrimination against applicants under fair lending law.
“While we found no fair lending violations, our inquiry stands as a reminder of disparities in access to credit that continue nearly 50 years after the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA),” said Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell in a statement. “The report also notes that the use of credit scoring in its current form and laws and regulations barring discrimination in lending are in need of strengthening and modernization to improve access to credit. Consumer frustration with the Apple Card policy of not permitting an account holder to add an authorized user drew attention to the following: a person who relies on a spouse’s access to credit, and only accesses those accounts as an authorized user, may incorrectly believe they have the same credit profile as the spouse. This is one part of a broader discussion we must have about equal credit access.”
MacDailyNews Take: The uninformed wrongly assumed something that wasn’t at all true, but we should have “a broader discussion” about it after wasting nearly a year and a half and who knows how much taxpayer money to find out what any Finance 101 student already knows?
That’s just typical mealymouthed bureaucratic bullshit and another nice concise example of about fifteen trillion examples of what’s wrong with America today.
“A broader discussion.” Sheesh.
Here’s a better idea. The way we did it for the first 220 or so years:
STFU if you don’t know WTF you’re talking about. End of broader discussion.
The report describes how consumers can responsibly build credit.
MacDailyNews Take: Also available to anyone with internet access or a library card for free.
In the course of the investigation, consumers expressed the belief that they should have received the same Apple Card offers as their spouses because they shared bank accounts and other assets. For example, consumers voiced the belief that if they shared credit cards with spouses, even if only as authorized users, they were entitled to the same credit terms as spouses. In reality, however, underwriters are not required to treat authorized users the same as account holders, and may consider many other factors.
MacDailyNews Take: Again: Imagined slights vs. actual reality.
In terms of gender, the Department found, based on its data analysis, that Apple Card applications from women and men with similar credit characteristics generally had similar outcomes. For all consumers who reported concerns about their Apple Card credit application outcomes to the Department, evidence showed that those decisions were explainable, lawful, and consistent with the Bank’s credit policy.
MacDailyNews Take: “Explainable, lawful, and consistent.”
The Department concluded, deficiencies in customer service and a perceived lack of transparency undermined consumer trust in fair credit decisions. The report notes that Goldman Sachs and Apple have since taken steps to improve transparency, implemented a program to assist denied applicants in improving their credit with the goal of obtaining Apple Card approval, and modified a policy that previously required approved applicants to wait six months before appealing credit terms.
MacDailyNews Take: Translation: Abject morons making incorrect assumptions forced Apple and Goldman Sachs to increase their idiot-proofing for something that already seemed idiot proof. Never underestimate the idiocy of idiots, it seems.
The report is available on the Department’s website here.
MacDailyNews Take: So, how much did this total waste of time – which was obvious to anyone even remotely sane at the outset of this faux outrage – cost taxpayers?
An aside: Shouldn’t all government reports have a price tag attached so that taxpayers can see how much they’ve paid for them, especially for such groundbreaking work such as this?
Here’s our report, which, since we’re not government workers, was free and completed expeditiously:
This is a case of Apple Card accounts being individual and independently evaluated. It has nothing whatsoever to do with gender or martial status or whatever nefarious claptrap the Twitterati concoct in order to work themselves up into a spittle-spewing lather, as they are so wont to do while cloistered inside their twisted outrage machine. — MacDailyNews, November 12, 2019
In a nutshell, this whole charade was based on misperceptions made by the uninformed, ring-led by David Heinemeier Hansson and including, unfortunately, the seemingly easily-swayed and similarly-financially-clueless Steve Wozniak:
The @AppleCard is such a fucking sexist program. My wife and I filed joint tax returns, live in a community-property state, and have been married for a long time. Yet Apple’s black box algorithm thinks I deserve 20x the credit limit she does. No appeals work.
— DHH (@dhh) November 7, 2019
Another ruling from THE ALGORITHM which won’t be explained, can’t be appealed, and is simply assumed to be correct because all faith is in the mighty machine. Sorry you’re a woman, try again in 6 months to see if that’s changed??! https://t.co/sVj3GqIcIU
— DHH (@dhh) November 9, 2019
The Wall Street regulator @NYDFS has opened an official probe into @GoldmanSachs over their black-box credit assessments for the @AppleCard following this profanity-laced thread 😬 https://t.co/ijm67v3Aus
— DHH (@dhh) November 9, 2019
I wonder why women are so much less keen to take financial companies at their word that they’re not engaging in discriminating practices? https://t.co/0c2aJ2wxQL
— DHH (@dhh) November 9, 2019
When even the great Steve Wozniak can’t get @AppleCard to explain or correct its faulty credit assessments, you know the system is beyond broken. @tim_cook, you gotta do better than this! https://t.co/tAwLThvGBi
— DHH (@dhh) November 10, 2019
“I think X is being Y. I have no proof, but I’m going to tweet about it anyway, triggering a year-plus taxpayer money-squandering, waste of time ‘investigation.’ I’ll selfishly get what I want, to impugn others’ reputations, at no cost to me. Of course, whatever it costs others is of no concern to me whatsoever.”
Shouldn’t David Heinemeier Hansson reimburse taxpayers for the costs incurred by his stupidly-induced snipe hunt?
• Elizabeth Warren slams Goldman Sachs’ response to Apple Card gender bias accusations — November 14, 2019
• Elizabeth Warren ramps up attacks on Apple Card over gender bias claims – November 26, 2019
• Goldman Sachs CEO defends Apple Card approval process, says ‘there’s no gender bias’ – November 21, 2019