Nonfiction

Reckless Endangerment by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner

download (2)Morgenson and Rosner, a business reporter and mortgage analyst, have written a best-selling expose on the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008.  The book focuses on Fannie Mae and its officers, who used its status as a GSE to amass millions of dollars for themselves and lobby for influence in Washington.  As politicians urged banks to make toxic loans to increase the rate of home ownership, Fannie Mae was there to buy them, package them into securities and sell them to investors.  Other players in the crisis are also examined, such as subprime lenders like Countrywide and Novastar, Citigroup, and the Federal Reserve Bank.  Morgenson and Rosner show that those activities began in the 1990s, including a Subprime 1.0 crisis in 1998.  Despite efforts of some politicians to change regulatory practices and legislate against subprime lenders, the industry kept growing until the bubble burst in 2008.  The book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the current housing crisis.

Reckless Endangerment

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