Busted by Edmund L. Andrews
Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown

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The fiasco that sank millions of Americans, including one journalist, who thought he knew better.

A veteran New York Times economics reporter, Ed Andrews was intimately aware of the dangers posed by easy mortgages from fast-buck lenders. Yet, at the promise of a second chance at love, he succumbed to the temptation of subprime lending and became part of the economic catastrophe he was covering. In surprisingly short order, he amassed a staggering amount of debt and reached the edge of bankruptcy.

In Busted, Andrew bluntly recounts his misadventures in mortgages and goes one step further to describe the brokers, lenders, Wall Street players, and Washington policymakers who helped bring that money to his door. The result is a penetrating and often acerbic look at the binge and bust that nearly bankrupted the United States.

Enabled by know-nothing complacency in Washington, Wall Street wizards used "collateralized debt obligations," "conduits," and other inscrutable financial "innovations" to put American home financing into hyperdrive. Millions of Americans abandoned the safety of thirty-year, fixed-rate mortgages and loaded up on debt. While regulators insisted that the markets knew best, Wall Street firms fragmented and repackaged unsound loans into securities that the rating agencies stamped with triple-A seals of approval.

Andrews describes a remarkably democratic debacle that made fools out of people up and down the financial food chain. From a confessional meeting with Alan Greenspan to a trek through the McMansion bubble of the OC, he maps the arc of the Frankenstein loans that brought the American economy to the brink.

With on-the-ground reporting from the frothiest quarters of the crisis, Andrews locates what is likely to be the high-water mark in America's long-term embrace of higher borrowing, higher risk-taking, and the fervent belief in the possibility of easy profits.

About Edmund L. Andrews

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Edmund L. Andrews is an economics reporter. A contributor to the New York Times for sixteen years, he is currently a senior Washington writer for the Fiscal Times. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Published May 7, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company. 237 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Busted

The New York Times

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In “Busted,” The Times’s Edmund L. Andrews explains why he bought a house he couldn’t afford. In “Our Lot,” Alyssa Katz chronicles how home lending was upended in the first place.

Jul 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Busted: Life Inside the Great...

New York Journal of Books

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The refinancing proceeds would then be used to pay off his credit card debt and to cover the negative mortgage amortization resulting from mortgage debt service payments being less than the actual interest rate charged.This rolling mortgage refi strategy, of course, depended on the combination of...

May 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Busted: Life Inside the Great...

Huntington News

The story began almost five years ago, in August 2004, and Andrews writes in his book that it's still up in the air whether or not he and his wife will be able to avoid foreclosure on the house they bought for $460,000 in 2004.

Jul 09 2009 | Read Full Review of Busted: Life Inside the Great...

Ford Literary Blog

He claims responsibility, but he also blames the mortgage brokers and real estate appraisers, money lenders and Wall Street players, credit rating agencies, institutional investors and Washington policymakers.

Mar 30 2010 | Read Full Review of Busted: Life Inside the Great...


24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell — February 4, 2013: Markets Slump on Europe Mess (YHOO, MRK, GOOG, CVX, BRCM, CYOU, GCI, HUM, GOLD, RCL, SPG, CLX, APC, BIDU, EW, YUM, AGCO, AGN, ACI, ADM, ARMH, BP, ETN, EL, K, SIRI, BBRY, APKT, ORCL, MHP) S&P Tries To Fight Back Against DOJ Ratings Suit Has Wa...

Jun 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Busted: Life Inside the Great...

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