KQED and Books Inc. present Peabody Award-winning journalist for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting Aaron Glantz for a discussion of his heart-wrenching new work, Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out. Aaron will be in conversation with Erika Aguilar, KQED's Housing Affordability Editor.
Two years before the housing market collapsed in 2008, Donald Trump looked forward to a crash: "I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy," he said. But our future president wasn't alone. While millions of Americans suffered financial loss, tycoons pounced to heartlessly seize thousands of homes--their profiteering made even easier because, as prize-winning investigative reporter Aaron Glantz reveals in Homewreckers, they often used taxpayer money--and the Obama administration's promise to cover their losses.
In Homewreckers, Glantz recounts the transformation of straightforward lending into a morass of slivered and combined mortgage "products" that could be bought and sold, accompanied by a shift in priorities and a loosening of regulations and laws that made it good business to lend money to those who wouldn't be able to repay. Among the men who laughed their way to the bank: Trump cabinet members Steve Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, Trump pal and confidant Tom Barrack, and billionaire Republican cash cow Steve Schwarzman. Homewreckers also brilliantly weaves together the stories of those most ravaged by the housing crisis. The result is an eye-opening expose of the greed that decimated millions and enriched a gluttonous few.