Reckless Endangerment

Cite this Article
Paul H. Rubin, Reckless Endangerment, Truth on the Market (June 13, 2011),

I just finished reading Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner.  I really enjoyed the book.  It reinforced my prejudices that the crash was caused by government policy overemphasizing home ownership and imposing inefficient goals on private lenders with respect to providing mortgages to low income borrowers.

It is important to note that the first author, Gretchen Morgenson, is a business columnist for the New York Times.  It is no secret that this paper is a shill for the Democratic Party.  But this book blames the entire housing crisis and the subsequent collapse on Democrats.  The lead villain is James Johnson, head of Fannie May and a Minnesota Democrat associated with Mondale and Kerry.  The book begins with a 1994 statement by President Clinton.  Barney Frank (D., Mass.) plays a prominent role, as he should.  Many other democrats (including my non-relative Robert Rubin) play prominent roles.  President Bush is only mentioned a few times, and often as attempting to stop the craziness.  Juen O’Neill (now at Baruch College) is one of the few heroes in the book.

The book is more favorable to regulation than I might be, but there is no doubt that increased regulation in the period before the collapse would have been good.

Overall, the Republican Presidential candidates should use this book as a counterweight whenever President Obama tries to blame the collapse on President Bush