Sneha Girap (Editor)

Matthew Lee

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Ethnicity  Chinese-American
Name  Matthew Lee
Role  Lawyer

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Education  Left college to work in soup kitchen, later graduated from Fordham Law School
Occupation  Journalist, author, lawyer
Notable credit(s)  founder of two non-profit organizations, Inner City Press and Fair Finance Watch; author of Predatory Bender, among other works; frequent guest on
Books  A Pictorial History of the Fire Engine
Organizations founded  Inner City Press, Fair Finance Watch

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Matthew Lee is an American public interest lawyer, author, and founder of two non-profit organizations, Inner City Press and Fair Finance Watch.


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Both are known for their investigations of the banking industry's treatment of low-income communities of color around the world. Lee produces weekly reports on, and advocates concerning, such global banks as HSBC, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, Mizuho, and others. In 2005-2006, Lee was engaged in litigation to deem the "citizens-only" provision of the Freedom of Information Act of Delaware (and ten other states) to be unconstitutional.

Lee and Fair Finance Watch in October 2013 raised fair lending concerns regarding Mercantile Bank and its proposed acquiring of FirstBank. On November 26, 2013, Michigan Live reported on the challenge and Mercantile telling the Security & Exchange Commission the issues Lee and FFW raised would result in a delay of the merger.

Lee is the author of the non-fiction book Predatory Lending: Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City and the novel Predatory Bender. Lee is also an accredited journalist at the United Nations.

In mid-2006, Lee's investigative journalism at the UN, published online in Inner City Press uncovered and led to the United Nations Development Programme halting its disarmament programs in the Karamoja region of Uganda in response to human rights abuses exposed in the parallel forcible disarmament programs carried out by the Uganda People's Defense Force. For another view, see the Ugandan newspaper The New Vision, which was critical of UNDP's halt of funding.

Lee is also a frequent video discussion guest on, discussing things related to United Nations internal operations.

In 2008, Lee appeared on the ninth episode of the sixth season of the show Penn & Teller: Bullshit! . The show discussed "World Peace" and went on a tour that Lee led most of in the UN building. Besides leading the tour, he also discussed some of the actions that the UN takes which are hypocritical, or make little sense.

In 2009, Lee reported extensively on the conflict in Sri Lanka from New York, including critically covering UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's visit to the internally displaced persons' camps in Vavuniya in May 2009. In early 2010, Lee was invited to speak on the topic of Sri Lanka at the Rebellious Lawyers' conference at Yale Law School.

Inner City Press' questioning of the UN on when it asked the Syrian government for access to al Ghouta was played on Democracy Now on August 28, from Minute 18:30.

Immigration Law with Matthew Lee

Personal life

Lee was born in Washington, D.C., to parents of Chinese and Anglo descent. His father was in the U.S. Foreign Service. After finishing middle school overseas, Lee attended high school in the US.


Matthew Lee Wikipedia