Other People's Houses

Other People's Houses

How Decades of Bailouts, Captive Regulators, and Toxic Bankers Made Home Mortgages A Thrilling Business

Book - 2015
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In the wake of the financial meltdown in 2008, many claimed that it had been inevitable, that no one saw it coming, and that subprime borrowers were to blame. This accessible, thoroughly researched book is Jennifer Taub's response to such unfounded claims. Drawing on wide-ranging experience as a corporate lawyer, investment firm counsel, and scholar of business law and financial market regulation, Taub chronicles how government officials helped bankers inflate the toxic-mortgage-backed housing bubble, then after the bubble burst ignored the plight of millions of homeowners suddenly facing foreclosure. Focusing new light on the similarities between the savings and loan debacle of the 1980s and the financial crisis in 2008, Taub reveals that in both cases the same reckless banks, operating under different names, received government bailouts, while the same lax regulators overlooked fraud and abuse. Furthermore, in 2013 the situation is essentially unchanged. The author asserts that the 2008 crisis was not just similar to the S&L scandal, it was a severe relapse of the same underlying disease. And despite modest regulatory reforms, the disease remains uncured: top banks remain too big to manage, too big to regulate, and too big to fail.
Publisher: ©2015
New Haven :, Yale University Press,, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
Branch Call Number: 332.72 TAU
Characteristics: xi, 406 pages ;,24 cm.


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May 05, 2015

This is a complex book, so not an easy read, but a necessary one. This book explains the steps of how the mortgage fraudclosure situation was arrived at, from a legal POV. In Michael Hirsh's book, Capital Offense, he outlines how Prof. Robert Shiller [from Yale] was fired as an advisor to the NY Fed [by Timothy Geithner] for suggesting the possibility that housing mortgages could fall, and was replaced with Catherine Mann [Peterson Institute] who has long promoted the offshoring of all American jobs [my additional comment]. In Frank Pasquale's book, The Black Box Society, he mentions the question posed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to the regulators [FDIC, SEC, OCC, CFTC, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, and the Consumer Financial Protection Board]: had any of these regulators taken a Wall Street bank to trial? No one had! Prof. Taub ties this all together quite nicely [if Jimmy Carter's administration hadn't overturned the anti-usury federal regs, could the Reagan administration brought out the usurious ARM, or adjustable rate mortgage concept? [And didn't Alan Greenspan's Federal Reserve adjust rates to always benefit a housing bubble?] Highly recommended along with Laura Gottesdiener's book, A Dream Foreclosed, and Matt Taibbi's book, The Divide.

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