Apple’s partnership with a ‘giant vampire squid’ comes back to bite it — updated

Reports that men are getting 10 to 20 times more Apple Card credit than their wives have triggered a government probe.

The start of Matt Taibbi’s “The Great American Bubble Machine” in the April 2010 issue of Rolling Stone:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

My take: Go into business with a vampire squid, and you could end up covered in ink.

UPDATE: Goldman Sachs has tweeted a response. Gender, it insists, is not a factor when it decides who gets credit and how much.

16 Comments

  1. Aaron Belich said:

    With zero details and only allegations… I’d prefer to wait for more info from all related parties before making any further statements. I am curious though, hypothetically, what if a wife applied and was approved prior to the husband applying with the same personal info. There’s got to be more variables at play versus simply male vs female.

    And of course at the end of all of this… does anyone believe that Apple isn’t going to make this right? Of course they will.

    2
    November 11, 2019
    • Steven Noyes said:

      Credit is based on individuals. Period. A husband and with do NOT have identical credit even if they file taxes jointly and all their accounts are joint. They may be close but will seldom be exact.

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      November 11, 2019
  2. Gregg Thurman said:

    Being big isn’t a crime. If it were Apple would be in deep sh*t.

    Being big doesn’t make you perfect either. Everybody, large and small, makes mistakes.

    The term “vampire squid” implies all encompassing evil, not an attitude I’d expect from a fact based, unbiased article.

    I’m with Aaron, there’s more to this story than is being reported, not uncommon in the age of the internet, where anybody with access can post what they want you to hear.

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    November 11, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:

    Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails, should have some idea of statistics. Yet he faults the statistics methods of Goldman based on a sample size of 2. As for the others, guess what? If one 3rd grader says, “I found a rock.” Other 3rd graders will find rocks.

    That said, GS surely has bias in their model. No judgement, human or machine, is perfect. And 10x???

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    November 11, 2019
    • Jim Fournier said:

      The story of Woz and his wife alone is enough to convince me that GS has left themselves wide open to a sex discrimination suit. I hope Tim is is burning the ears off of someone at GS.

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      November 11, 2019
  4. David Emery said:

    I bet the credit scores are substantially different for the two spouses. I’ve observed this with my wife (in both directions, a few times her score was better than mine.) We’ve made it a point to make sure she’s the primary borrower on some loans and cards, so that gets recorded in the scores. Her car, the (substantially more) expensive one is in both our names. This time I’m the first borrower listed (because we financed with USAA, and I’m the USAA member.) For her previous car, she was listed first (dealer financing.) My truck is in my name only.

    So if my hypothesis is correct (the bias is in the credit scores), GS is off the hook.

    2
    November 11, 2019
    • Jim Fournier said:

      Obviously, you have not read the articles. Woz and his wife, like others, reported the exact same joint holdings and got wildly different credit limits. This was not some innocent mistake.

      PED, I am diasapppointed by your acceptance of the pro forma GS response. We’ll see what the Feds have to say.

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      November 11, 2019
      • Steven Noyes said:

        Wiz and his wife are individuals. It is a really simple concept. There are many holdings that are held by individuals. Even primary vs co-sign makes huge impacts on credit scores and credit limits. Note: you can have a great score and a tiny limit and visa-versa.

        This is really basic stuff people.

        0
        November 11, 2019
        • Aaron Belich said:

          I don’t doubt that for a second. Ultimately we are just a Social Security number. But there’s still variables at play. Variables such as… well I’m not going to list them all, they are everything that you fill in the blank on any form that gets rolled up, reported to, and shared between the data-harvesters. Plus whatever other random crap they can figure out.

          No extra details will come of this anyways, it’ll be deemed as proprietary information.

          BUT AAPLE MUST DO SOMETHING!!!
          Give me a break…

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          November 11, 2019
  5. Ross Richardson said:

    My wife and I experienced this, too. She has better numbers, but I received a higher credit level and a lower interest rate. Go figure.

    0
    November 11, 2019
  6. Gregg Thurman said:

    My EX-wife has a better credit score and credit line(s) than I, and for good reason. After our bankruptcy in 2004 she set about reconstructing her credit, I did not. It wasn’t until about a month ago that I applied for, and got credit. Everything up until then that I purchased, including house, I paid for with cash off my success with options.

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    November 11, 2019
  7. Jerry W Doyle said:

    Question: I viewed CNBC’s interview today of David Heinemeier Hansson. It surprised me that Hansson stated that he and his wife each completed a financial credit application for the Apple card. The “application process” was news to me.

    I applied for my Apple card and subsequently received my approval notice, and later my card. I filled out no paper work relative to financial matters, other than to “request” the card. Goldman Sachs did to me what most all companies do; they pulled my credit score. I know that they did this because I later viewed my credit app and found where a credit request initiated by GS was made to obtain my credit score. So, I am puzzled why Hansson and his wife completed, what sounds to me in his interview with CNBC, a rather “thorough” financial application document to obtain the Apple card. Did others on this chat board do similarly?

    Hansson is a mature man. So, it would seem he has a credit score history and/or track record of credit. The only factor that I can assume as to why he had to complete a financial credit application is that Hansson may run his own business, which means that his income may vary annually, or the creditor wants “proof-of-paperwork” as to what Hansson’s business income is currently.

    The only folk I know who complete financial application paperwork for credit are those folk who need to provide some form of financial proof (paperwork, by signing a document) as to their incomes.

    Can someone expound on why Goldman just couldn’t pull Hansson’s and his wife’s credit scores?

    If both spouses credit scores are fairly similar, then the amount of credit extended to each should be similar.

    Credit scores are based on “individuals,” not on both spouses no matter it is a “community property” state.

    Community property means essentially each share jointly in the assets and liabilities. If only one spouse is working, though, then the non working spouse cannot expect to receive the same credit score. What happens if the working spouse dies, loses his or her source(s) of income, or there is a divorce? Concomitantly, the same applies (I would think) if one spouse makes a disproportionately higher income than the other.

    I believe this whole subject is more complex than how Hansson and Wozniak are presenting the problem, “…if there is a problem.”

    Credit scores are an “individualized” score. They are not a “joint” score involving one or more people.

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    November 11, 2019
  8. Gianfranco Pedron said:

    Hold on a minute. There’s a lot of finger pointing and hand wringing going on about David Heinemeier Hansson getting 20 time the credit limit his wife got. OK, I get that.

    The real story, however is buried in his Twitter feed … his wife was originally granted a spending limit of … get this … $57.24. So, at 20 times this level, he only got a spending limit of $1,144.80 and that didn’t upset him anywhere near as much, apparently.

    If that’s the case, then something is obviously broken, needs to get fixed and it will.

    I must say though that using the sexist angle got him a lot more ink than he would have had he complained that, as a multimillionaire, he was personally insulted by the low credit limit he got from GS.

    0
    November 12, 2019
      • Gianfranco Pedron said:

        OK, so that wasn’t her credit limit … only the amount left for her current billing cycle. Sheesh! Clear as mud.

        I guess when you’re busy making a scene it’s counterproductive to provide any useful information.

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        November 12, 2019

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