Reckless Endangerment

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New York Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner discuss how the financial meltdown resulted from the toxic interplay of Washington, Wall Street, and corrupt mortgage lenders. Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon reveals how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect us from financial harm were actually complicit in creating the financial crisis. Drawing on previously untapped sources and building on original research from Rosner—who raised early warnings with the public and investors, and kept detailed records—Morgenson connects the dots that led to this fiasco.


Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner

Comments [15]

My feelings about no prosecutions are outrage. Here we have the biggest heist in history, with banks now conglomerated in spite of the too big to fail mantra. Talk abut retarded logic.

As Gretchen Morgenson herself said, it's remarkable that people aren't rioting in the streets.

May. 25 2011 06:11 PM
Fuva from Harlemworld

Granted, the real problem here is the lack of information and clarity amongst the citzenry -- about this and many other critical issues....But, LORDONLOW, the consensus from many sources, including that recent Financial Crisis Inquiry Report [], is that the mortgage guarantee system was faulty, but its pimping by Wall Street was most operative in the crisis, by a long shot. That report also said the majority of defaults weren't low income homebuyers, that Fannie and Freddie didn't start with the subprimes, etc. But, what do they know? And are they saying what they really know? Who knows...

May. 25 2011 01:57 PM
Sara from New Jersey

My elderly father both gained and lost from the lax mortgage regulation. He bought a beautiful condo by supplying unverified and unverifiable income. He lost the same condo and the money he had paid into it in a short sale for a third of what he had paid. Now my sister and I have to pick up the slack in his living expenses because of a sale that should never have been allowed to go ahead.

May. 25 2011 01:46 PM


Boy, that's an understatement!!!

Why does Geithner have a job???

May. 25 2011 01:43 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I saw the housing crisis coming back in 1991. The only thing that shocked me is that it took so long to come to a head. I was sure it was going to crash by 2000 at the latest.

How can you build oversized, energy wasteful homes, and essentially let anyone who can sign his or her name get a mortgage and expect the darn thing not to crash and burn??? It never made any sense to me, not from day one. I knew the herd was going to go over the cliff, but I never expected it to take so long until they did.

May. 25 2011 01:42 PM

Go Josh!

May. 25 2011 01:42 PM

for FUVA:

You're simply wrong. Fannie was a HUGE player in the meltdown. Conflicts of interest abound, not the least of which both former ceos Jim johnson and franklin raines had conflict of interest deals with countrywide.

the amount of bad paper they took on is, of course, the most glaring problem. they are major - make no mistake.

May. 25 2011 01:40 PM
Bob from Huntington

At some level, all of this avarice has its roots in the Reagan/Bush era. Not coincidentally, this was also a time when no one went to college to pursue liberal arts; everyone wanted an MBA. And look what that generation of financial service industry wizards has given us.

May. 25 2011 01:28 PM

i've heard endless yarns about congress arm-twisting fanny and freddy into well intentioned but imprudent policies. given the mostly-private nature of fanny and freddy, how much pressure could congress apply to their polies? what would the consequences of resisting have been?

May. 25 2011 01:26 PM

it's a rewrite of history.
i guess in the new history big business had nothing to do with the credit crisis. they just cashed the checks, but not their fault , even npr agrees

May. 25 2011 01:26 PM
Fuva from Harlem

Why is this discussion focused on Fannie and Freddie? This is not where most malfeasance took place. How misleading...

May. 25 2011 01:14 PM
guy from Nolita

Please ask about the total cost of the bank bailout. Most commentators often refer to the the first TARP, $700Billion. But thanks to Bloomberg News Service and Senator Bernie Sanders, we know the actual total: 12.3 TRILLION, and that was 1 year ago, its probably more now. That's 3.3 Trillion in cash, and 9 Trillion in tax credits, subsidies, and low-low interest loans...with NO STRINGS ATTACHED! This is the greatest transfer of wealth in recorded human history. The amount leaves one numb....

May. 25 2011 12:43 PM

Patrick, the "feelings" question should have been directed to Barry Manilow in the first hour of the show.

As to a very popular question of why there has not been any criminal prosecution for the wide-spread multi-faceted financial fraud, everybody should know by now that the financial elites are running this country and, as a rule, sovereign does not go to jail.

We can talk and talk about it, write and read books, but, in reality, nothing will change...

So, enjoy the feeling of helplessness. Or try to make some money on it. This is the American Way!!!

May. 25 2011 12:33 PM

I can't wait; Morgenson is one of the *very* few msm journalists who is on the econ meltdown in the right way. She correctly pointed out Fannie's trillion plus in bad paper and the implications over a year ago as I recall. I heard her yesterday on "Fresh Air" and her work, along with Matt Taibbi, Nomi Prins and John Gillespie/David Zweig in regards to the econ meltdown is about the only thing positive in this monumental disaster.

May. 25 2011 12:09 PM
Patrick from Bronx

There have been no real criminal prosecutions stemming from the financial meltdown. What are your feelings about that?

May. 25 2011 09:59 AM

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