Chain of BlameHow Wall Street Caused the Mortgage and Credit Crisis
<p>An updated and revised look at the truth behind America's housing and mortgage bubbles</p> <p>In the summer of 2007, the subprime empire that Wall Street had built all came crashing down. On average, fifty lenders a month were going bust-and the people responsible for the crisis included not just unregulated loan brokers and con artists, but also investment bankers and home loan institutions traditionally perceived as completely trustworthy.</p> <p><i>Chain of Blame</i> chronicles this incredible disaster, with a specific focus on the players who participated in such a fundamentally flawed fiasco. In it, authors Paul Muolo and Mathew Padilla reveal the truth behind how this crisis occurred, including what individuals and institutions were doing during this critical time, and who is ultimately responsible for what happened.</p> <ul> <li>Discusses the latest revelations in the housing and mortgage crisis, including the SEC's charging of Angelo Mozilo</li> <li>Two well-regarded financial journalists familiar with the events that have taken place chronicle the crisis in detail, showing what happened as well as what lies ahead</li> <li>Discusses how the world's largest investment banks, homeowners, lenders, credit rating agencies, underwriters, and investors all became entangled in the subprime mess</li> </ul> <p>Intriguing and informative, <i>Chain of Blame</i> is a compelling story of greed and avarice, one in which many are responsible, but few are willing to admit their mistakes.</p>
<p>Introduction: Financial Ashes vii</p> <p>Cast of Characters xiii</p> <p>Chapter 1 Angelo Speaks, the Worldwide Contagion Begins 1</p> <p>Chapter 2 The Repo Man Meets the Bald Granny: A Short History of Subprime 23</p> <p>Chapter 3 The Death of the Bailey Building and Loan, the Rise of Millionaire Loan Brokersand Countrywide 47</p> <p>Chapter 4 The Beach Boys of B&C: How Roland Arnall Became the Johnny Appleseed of Subprime 73</p> <p>Chapter 5 Angelo Rising: The Son of a Bronx Butcher Makes Good 103</p> <p>Chapter 6 The Holy Roller of REITs 127</p> <p>Chapter 7 The End of the (New) Century 149</p> <p>Chapter 8 A Conspiracy by Merrill? 179</p> <p>Chapter 9 A Warning from Lewie: CDOs, SIVs, and Other Things No One Understands 205</p> <p>Chapter 10 Deep in the Belly of the Bear 227</p> <p>Chapter 11 Armageddon Times: The Tan Man Departs, Bye-Bye Bear 249</p> <p>Chapter 12 What the Hell Happened? Ten Bad Years for Housing in America 277</p> <p>Chapter 13 TARP, the Great Recession, and the Return of Stan Kurland 309</p> <p>Afterword TBTF: A Mortgage Cartel Rises from the Ashes 335</p> <p>Source and Interview Notes 341</p> <p>Glossary 351</p> <p>Acknowledgments 359</p> <p>About the Authors 361</p> <p>Index 363</p>
"<i>Chain of Blame</i> is one of the first books to delve deeply into the central role that big banks played in the mess…for a juicy, name-dropping read, Muolo and Padilla’s book is hard to beat."--<i>BusinessWeek</i> <p><i>"Muolo and Padilla examine just who was to blame for the crisis and find that it is not just cowboy operators."</i> (CEO Middle East, September 2008)</p> <p>“…a level-headed book…the anecdotal style is easy-going...much the best book on the mortgage industry”. <i>Fund Strategy</i> 1 September 2008</p> <p>“…a ripping piece of reporting… The authors know their stuff.”<i>Bloomberg News</i> Monday 28 July 2008</p>
<p><b>PAUL MUOLO</b> is Executive Editor of <i>National Mortgage News</i>—which won a Polk Award in 1990 for its reporting on the S&L crisis. His freelance work has appeared in the <i>New York Times,</i> the <i>Washington Post,</i> and <i>Barron's</i>. Muolo has been a guest on numerous media outlets, including CNN, CNBC, ABC, and Fox Business Network. <p><b>MATHEW PADILLA</b> is a business journalist whose work on the implosion of the Southern California subprime industry was recognized by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
<p>Americans are losing their homes at a rate not seen since the Great Depression. Prices continue to fall sharply despite the reassurances of just a few years ago that all was rosy on the housing front. Many factors have been blamed for this crisis, but who is really responsible? And perhaps more importantly, why was everyone so taken by surprise?</p> <p>In Chain of Blame, acclaimed financial reporters Paul Muolo and Mathew Padilla go behind the headlines to tell the inside story of why Wall Street's established investment banks bear much of the blame for the events that have cost millions of Americans their homes. They show in detail how, from 2000 to 2007, executives from Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and others financed non-bank mortgage lenders that eagerly sold their mortgages to consumers through loan brokers. Wall Street then sold bonds backed by subprime mortgages to overseas investors in Europe and Asia—which led to financial difficulties there as well.</p> <p>The authors build their compelling story around the key players in this tragedy, first and foremost being Angelo Mozilo, founder and CEO of Countrywide Financial, America's largest home mortgage lender. From Mozilo's July 2007 conference call with a group of top Wall Street equities analysts—which marks the true beginning of this fiasco—to his congressional rebuke in 2008, Chain of Blame chronicles the crisis in detail, showingreaders what happened, who is responsible, and what lies ahead.</p> <p>As the dust settles around these life-shattering events, the blame game has begun. But as Muolo and Padilla show with stunning clarity, there is really no single entity or individual to point the finger at. It was a mix of factors and participants—the world's largest investment banks, homeowners, lenders, credit rating agencies and underwriters, and investors—that precipitated the current subprime mess.</p> <p>Chain of Blame ultimately reveals how human behavior and greed drove the demand, supply, and the investor appetite for these types of loans—and how Wall Street was all too willing to satisfy the desires of those who should have known better.</p>
<p><b>BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS/FINANCE</b> <p><i>PRAISE FOR</i> CHAIN OF BLAME <p>AN UPDATED AND EXPANDED LOOK AT THE TRUTH BEHIND AMERICA'S HOUSING AND MORTGAGE BUBBLES <p>"A ripping piece of reporting."</br> <b>—Bloomberg</b> <p>"A juicy, name-dropping read."</br> <b>—BusinessWeek</b> <p><b></b> "Two of the smartest, most entertaining investigative reporters alive describe one of the most important financial stories of our time. If you had any skin at all in the housing boom, you've got to read the story of exactly how that boom went bust."</br> <b>—David Asman, Host, America's Nightly Scoreboard</b> <p>"Paul Muolo and Mathew Padilla display their deep knowledge of the mortgage industry and all its players. <i>Chain of Blame</i> is a comprehensive examination of a crisis that affects us all."</br> <b>—Scott Cohn, Correspondent, CNBC</b> <p>In the summer of 2007, the subprime empire that Wall Street had built all came crashing down. On average, fifty lenders a month were going bust—and the people responsible for the crisis included not just unregulated loan brokers and con artists, but also investment bankers and home loan institutions traditionally perceived as completely trustworthy. <p><i>Chain of Blame</i> chronicles this incredible disaster, with a specific focus on the players who participated in such a flawed fiasco. The authors reveal the truth behind how this crisis occurred, what individuals and institutions were doing during this critical time, and who is ultimately responsible.
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