The Midmorning Refill: New book looks at the underbelly of the sub-prime mortgage beast
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If you read one thing today . . .
There are a lot of books and movies popping up about the causes and consequences of the 2008 financial meltdown but, apparently, there aren’t many that look at the sub-prime mortgage racket the way Michael W. Hudson does in his book, The Monster: How A Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Lenders Fleeced America—And Spawned A Global Crisis. Hudson talks to Mother Jones about how the sub-prime market began in Southern California:
If you had to pick one figure that did more than anyone else to grow the subprime market, and grow it into the monster that it became, it would be Roland Arnall. Now, Countrywide and Angelo Mozilo played a big role, but they were very late to the game. Mozilo, especially in the ’90s, was nervous about subprime, and worried about getting into it. It wasn’t until Ameriquest and a few other Orange County-based subprime outfits really showed that you could make lots and lots of money, and really started threatening Countrywide’s market share, that Countrywide got into it.
Monday kicked off Jon Stewart’s week in Washington, D.C., which ends, of course, with the mother of all rallies, the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on Saturday. In a segment about NPR’s firing of Juan Willliams, Stewart tosses to Jason Jones who is driving around, lost, looking for the Supreme Court. Anyone who has tried to drive in the nation’s capitol will get this:
“I’m in a six-lane traffic circle that leads to an underpass . . . and that leads to another goddamn traffic circle. This Frenchified city layout makes no freaking sense. How hard is it to lay out a grid?”