And Then the Roof Caved In lays bare the truth of the credit crisis, whose defining emotion at every turn has been greed, and whose defining failure is the complicity of the U.S. government in letting that greed rule the day. Faber painstakingly details the truth of what really happened with compelling characters who offer their first-hand accounts of what they did and why they did it.
Faber explains the events of the previous seven years that planted the seeds for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He begins in 2001, when the Federal Reserve embarked on an unprecedented effort to help the economy recover from the attacks of 9/11 by sending interest rates to all-time lows. Faber also provides an up-close look at where the crisis was incubated and unleashed upon the world - Wall Street - and introduces us to insiders, from investment banks and mortgage lenders to ratings agencies, that unwittingly conspired to insure lending standards were abandoned in the head-long rush for profits.
©2009 David Faber; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"CNBC's David Faber delivers a clear-eyed look at the origins of the crisis.... As an anchor of the Faber Report, the author was on the front lines of the financial crisis and spoke with many of its key players. (Fortune)
This is easily the best book to understand the broad range of issues concerning the recent economic meltdown in the US. I have read half a dozen books on these issues and this was the best. The Big Short and The World's Greatest Trade were more interesting but you came away confused on what caused the overall problems. Faber takes you through step by step in a clear and interesting manner.
From complex financial instruments to political climate Mr. Faber writes on of the most balanced and professional explanations for the current financial situation. If you want to know how we got here, this is a "must read."
David's writing and story-telling skills are truly remarkable. He includes real stories throughout the book to keep the reader hooked on does an amazing job at explaining the financial nitty-gritty. This book manages to reach that holy ground of being simple without being simplistic.
Also the narration by Dennis is amazing, this book would have been a bore on audio had it not been for the superb narration and production by Audible.
I live in Thailand, and love to listen to audible.
I loved listening to this book. It is shocking, crazy, and diabolical how the subprime mortgage disaster unfolded. Not only that, the author adds in some real life accounts of families who lost their houses, managers who sold mortgages, smart people and dumb people who lost all, or became rich!!! Fantastic. Loved the narration too.
This is by far the best book I have found on the causes of the 2008 financial meltdown. David Faber has managed to do that concisely (the book is less than 200 pages), and clearly (as befits an able journalist, which he is). This book has it all: it provides a clear explanation of "CDO's", "CDS's", leverage ratios, LTV ratios, and AAA credit ratings, all of which are essential to understanding what happened.
It also makes clear that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand what happened. It was driven by a devil's brew consisting of Wall Street bankers focused on short-term trading profits and bonuses mixed in with unregulated mortgage brokers who were focused on commissions that flowed from the easy money supplied by Wall Street. The brew was seasoned by corrupted rating agencies who allowed the lure of big fees to smudge what had previously been a reputation for professional and objective credit analysis. Congress and the Administration had no clue what was happening except to applaud the expansion of home ownership in the country. The housing market is so big that the fees, commissions, and profits (as well as overlooked risks) generated as the subprime mortgage market grew became enormous; so large that their corrupting influence overcame responsible risk management at most of the major Wall Street firms. Things became so ridiculous that by 2006 all one needed to get a mortgage loan in Orange County, CA was proof that you were a real person and that you were buying a real house. Whether you had the income to pay off your loan over time or a down payment was no longer an issue. Not only ridiculous; it was also disgusting and dangerous.
Semi retired small business person/ college professor/ investor.
I have waited a while before writing the review. I will be more charitable because of the wait. This is the book you would expect from a reporter at MSNBC. It tows the standard media line on the financial crisis and never waivers. The regulators did not have enough power, wall street was greedy, everyone else was a victim. Why this happened now when the regulators have more power than ever and wall street is as greedy as ever is, of course not covered. None the less there is good and interesting information in this book. It has a lot of truth but not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
For the other side read (listen to) Sowell’s book “The Housing boom & Bust”. Listen to them both and then make up your own mind.
Working mom (HRMgr/healthcare) in western Michigan. INTJ. Red Vines. Disneyfreak.
Faber does a pretty decent job attempting to paint the landscape before going into excruciating detail about how the mortgage industry's role in the financial meltdown of 2008.
My degree is in Finance and my husband is in the mortgage industry, but I *still* felt out of my depth when he was describing and defining "synthetic CDO's" and "credit default swaps".No worries. I will likely listen to it again. Narrator is easy to listen to, and although there are better "stories" about the financial crisis, this was to me very clear and straightforward in its attempt to treat me as an adult. I don't think that everyone involved in the financial crisis is completely evil, and this book did not treat everyone that way. This was a comparatively objective view.
It would be a considerable struggle to listen to this in one sitting. There are a host of concepts. However, I did listen to most of it on a five hour road trip, and it make the time FLY. But that is because I was very interested in the subject and this book was trying hard to make it understandable. I did not find my mind wandering... very unusual after four hours of driving!
It gave me the confidence to continue to read about the subject, whetted my appetite for more of the same, and I do think I will go back to re-hear it. Now I feel challenged to understand it all a bit better.
The story detail was great at explaining an often difficult to understand topic. David Faber's insider knowledge allowed him to explain the debacle in easy to understand terms.
It highlights the lengths Wall Street will go to in an effort to continue to feed their greed.
And How The Greedy B@$t@rd$ Got Away With It!
The Sub Prime Disaster has impacted, financially and emotionally, on the entire world. However just how this came about has proved almost inexplicable for the lay person to understand in its complexity. I have worked in banking for 25 of the last forty years, off and on. I had worked with securitisation and understood reverse mortgages but had no understanding of sub prime lending. My Bank didn't do that sort of thing.
This book is written with great clarity by a Newsman, with a Wall Street background, reporting directly on financial matters.
Being a New Zealander I have never seen David Faber's television newscasts. I would like to.
The telling of this story could have been dry and uninteresting. After all it is fact, not fiction and basically has to do with that thorny topic - finance.
The telling was vital and the story alive with interest. Not a dull moment.
When I was finished listening, I listened again and then I was able to discuss the topic intelligaby with family and friends.
Narvick Norway - the town that went bankrupt by buying a CDO that they didn't understand. It took the author to research their loan and discover it was made up of business rather than private mortgages, a fact that Narvick didn't know.
Understanding Sub Primes
They should teach this book in High Schools.
It is also highly recommended for the rest of the world.
American politics, finances and their tax system can be hard for us to follow. This book is written so that an outsider can follow it, with all the terms understood and explained.
Perhaps I should mention here that there are tax breaks for Americans who sell their family home after first living in it, that don't exist for someone buying and selling a rental property. I'm not sure how large the difference is, but I suspect it's vast. This difference is not covered in the book, but helps explain some of the behaviours of the punters whose stories are told.
A story about an interesting time. Sad that those people we held to be experts were found to be no smarter than the rest of us. This is one book that is all the more interesting for being written a couple of years ago as it is easy to see the pattern of greed starting to repeat itself. Sad for those who lost their life's savings but hopefully a warning for everyone else.
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