Contracts, Persons and Property: A Tribute to Margaret Jane Radin

Ruth Okediji, University of Minnesota Law School


In 2011, the United States was only just beginning to emerge from what some claimed to be the most significant economic crisis since the Great Depression. The devastation wrought by unregulated subprime mortgages unfolded as a political, legal, financial and social tragedy. Millions of homeowners had purchased homes for amounts they most certainly could not afford, with terms and conditions written on documents they even more certainly had never read. Many of those most severely affected were, as one might expect, racial minorities and underrepresented groups, but plenty of other members of society were also caught in the intricately woven fine print of the “contracts” that compelled the crisis.