How We Got Here From There
Editor's note: This story appears in the current issue of HousingWire Magazine, hitting subscribers' mailboxes this week. Compared to the breaking-news and opinions on HW online, HousingWire Magazine provides a more in-depth look at the issues, data and people that live in the unique space where finance meets mortgage banking.
Click here to subscribe to HW Magazine.Most action-packed thrillers tend to have their fair share of villains, and the bigger-than-life egos, fast cars, expensive clothes that tend to accompany ill-gotten gains. But usually, these same stories have a hero — a paragon of virtue and possessing other-worldly strength, not to mention some dashing good looks — that can fend off the forces of evil, and save a helpless world from an unfathomable doom. But what happens if there is no hero? What if nobody ever comes riding in on that white horse? What if everyone ends up being a villain? Well, in that case, you don’t need to look much further than the current financial mess, where an unregulated mortgage lending and funding field essentially ran roughshod over morality in the name of market share and profit. And no hero emerged to stop it. The current crisis has grown to become much larger than just mortgage lending, to be sure, but to understand where it all began, Paul Muolo and Mathew Padilla’s Chain of Blame (Wiley, July 2008) is a scintillating account of the personalities — some might even say villains — that drove subprime mortgage lending into the very heart of the nation’s financial system.