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The Monster



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Press Release for The Monster

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               
ON SALE: October 26, 2010                                                                

For More Information Contact:
Melanie DeNardo
646-307-5239
melanie.denardo@hholt.com 

On-Sale: October 26, 2010

WHO KILLED THE ECONOMY?

 THE MONSTER

How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street

Bankers Fleeced America—and Spawned a Global Crisis 

 by Michael W. Hudson


“Reads like chilling and compelling fiction. But the facts are true and the story is all too real.”
Simon Johnson

“Hudson is a master of context, supplying the pre-1990s history within the mortgage-lending business, Wall Street and the government regulation realm. A knowledgeable, clearly written expose.” 
Kirkus Reviews

“With crisp prose and a brisk narrative, Hudson reveals a culture of willful blindness, baldly predatory behavior and evasion of responsibility.”
Publishers Weekly

 

 

 

 

 


“It’s hard to have a guilty conscience if you don’t have a conscience. Anything that benefited production—that benefited me and benefited my wallet—I’d do it.”

The sales force at Ameriquest Mortgage took this philosophy to heart. They watched the Hollywood white-collar-crime flick Boiler Room as a training tape, studying how to pitch overpriced deals to unsuspecting homeowners. They learned how to forge signatures on mortgage paperwork and create fake documents in cut-and-paste operations they dubbed “The Lab” or “The Art Department.” At rival FAMCO, employees memorized “The Monster,” a high-pressure sales tactic crafted to obscure interest rates—and so unscrupulous that one loan officer called his state’s attorney general.

THE MONSTER: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America—and Spawned a Global Crisis (Times Books/on sale: October 26, 2010), by former Wall Street Journal reporter Michael W. Hudson, is a stunning narrative that chronicles the rise and fall of the subprime-mortgage business through the stories of two corporate empires: Ameriquest and Lehman Brothers. As the biggest subprime lender and Wall Street’s biggest patron of subprimes, Ameriquest and Lehman did more than any other institution to create the feeding frenzy that emboldened mortgage pros to flood the nation with high-risk, high-profit home loans.

It’s a history populated by a gang of brazen mavericks: a shadowy billionaire who created the subprime industry out of the ashes of the 1980s S&L scandal; Wall Street executives with an insatiable desire for product; struggling homeowners ensnared in the most ingenious of traps; lawyers and investigators who tried to expose the fraud; politicians and bureaucrats who turned a blind eye; and, most of all, the drug-snorting, high-living salesmen who tell all about the money they made, the lies they told, the deals they closed.

THE MONSTER is a searing tale of a sales culture gone out of control and the bottom-feeding fraud and top-down greed that fueled the financial collapse.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael W. Hudson is a staff writer at the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit journalism organization. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and as an investigator for the Center for Responsible Lending. The winner of a George Polk Award, Hudson has also written for Forbes, The Big Money, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Mother Jones. He edited the award-winning book Merchants of Misery and appeared in the documentary film Maxed Out. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 

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 The Monster

by Michael W. Hudson

On sale: October 26, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9046-8/$26.00/368 pages