Houses of Cards
The Foreclosure of America:
The Inside Story of the Rise and Fall of Countrywide Home Loans, the Mortgage Crisis, and the Default of the American Dream
by Adam Michaelson
$25.95 List Price
Since I’ve spent much of this decade inveighing against the debt-driven housing bubble in reports, columns, and other venues, I welcomed the chance to read The Foreclosure of America. As one of the first insider accounts of Countrywide Financial, the mortgage giant at the center of the mania, Adam Michaelson’s book gave me the illicit feeling that I had stormed enemy headquarters and found its battle plan. Not surprisingly, that plan was not terribly impressive.
Michaelson was in middle management at Countrywide through the peak years of the housing boom. He started in 2003 and was given his walking papers as the bubble began to burst in 2006. He was not a numbers guy, as he repeatedly tells us; he was a vice president in the marketing division. His job was to find effective ways to sell Countrywide loans to a
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