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.
Aaron Glantz is a Peabody Award-winning investigative reporter who produces journalism with impact. His work has sparked more than a dozen Congressional hearings, the signing of new laws, and criminal probes by the DEA, FBI, Pentagon and Federal Trade Commission. Because of his reporting, 500,000 fewer U.S. military veterans face long waits for disability compensation, while 100,000 fewer veterans are prescribed highly addictive narcotics by the government. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America and the PBS NewsHour, where he has twice been nominated for a national Emmy Award. A senior reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and a recent JSK Fellow at Stanford University, Glantz’s previous books include How America Lost, The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans, and Winter Solider Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations, which he coauthored with Iraq Veterans Against the War.