And Then the Roof Caved In: How Wall Street's Greed and Stupidity Brought Capitalism to Its Knees

Overview

And Then the Roof Caved In skillfully explores the causes and consequences of the financial collapse that has affected us all. Written by David Faber-the award-winning CNBC correspondent-this compelling account is filled with the candid reflections of the people who brought the crisis to life. Expanded from the CNBC documentary that the New York Times called "broad, comprehensive, and compelling," and that Frank Rich noted as "Superbly done," this book is a must-read.

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Overview

And Then the Roof Caved In skillfully explores the causes and consequences of the financial collapse that has affected us all. Written by David Faber-the award-winning CNBC correspondent-this compelling account is filled with the candid reflections of the people who brought the crisis to life. Expanded from the CNBC documentary that the New York Times called "broad, comprehensive, and compelling," and that Frank Rich noted as "Superbly done," this book is a must-read.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"David Faber is known as one of the cooler heads on financial news channel CNBC… True to his reputation, calm prevails through most of the book... Faber explains rather than rants about these mortgages, as well as securitizations and bogus credit ratings, making the case that greed and stupidity caused the financial crisis…"
—Lisa Von Ahn, Reuters

a" fantastic book on the housing meltdown . . .
—The Motley Fool

“CNBC’s David Faber delivers a clear-eyed look at the origins of the crisis. . . As an anchor of the Faber Report, the author was on the front lines of the financial crisis and spoke with many of its key players.
—Fortune magazine

"A slim yet substantial book based on Faber's riveting (and horrifying) CNBC special "House of Cards" that takes readers from the mosquito-ridden swimming pools of option-ARM ghost towns to a Norwegian town bankrupted by ill-advised investments in "synthetic" bonds on the mortgages left behind."
NY Mag, Daily Intel

"…we wound up liking Faber’s book. He writes simply and well. He also uses real people to demonstrate the insanity of the housing boom. While this may not be the deepest book about the crash, it could be the most accessible."
MoneySense magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470607381
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/24/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,522,482
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Faber

DAVID FABER, an Emmy, Peabody, and duPont Award winner, is the anchor and coproducer of CNBC's acclaimed original documentaries and long-form programming as well as a contributor to CNBC's Squawk on the Street. He has been reporting on Wall Street and corporate America for over twenty-two years, sixteen of them as the foremost reporter at CNBC. Faber has broken numerous stories including the massive fraud at WorldCom and News Corp.'s hostile bid for Dow Jones. He was a founding member of CNBC's signature morning show, Squawk Box. Faber also blogs at FaberReport.cnbc.com.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Prologue: "On the Verge" 1

Chapter 1 Bubble to Bubble 11

Greenspan's Shock and Awe 13

Houses Built on Cow Dung 19

Chapter 2 Home Sweet Home 23

Opening Doors 24

An Industry Is Born 27

Subprime Returns 29

Chapter 3 The Subprime Machine 33

From Delivering Pizza to Delivering Mortgages 41

Living the Dream 44

Diving into Deep Trouble 45

Chapter 4 Eyes Wide Shut 49

A Warning Unheeded 50

A Dream No More 55

Chapter 5 The Great Enabler 57

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Hit the Scene 61

Fannie and Freddie Get a Timeout 63

Wall Street Takes Over 66

A Tsunami of Mortgages 71

From Ownit to Out of It 74

Back from the Grave 77

Chapter 6 Complicity 81

Moody's the Money Maker 85

Repeat Customers 88

Chapter 7 The Securitization from Hell 95

The Making of a CDO 96

Tough to Kill 98

Turning "Crap into Triple-A" 101

From CDS to CDO 103

Insanity Sets In 106

Chapter 8 Narvik and Me 111

CDOs: An American Export 113

The Truth Revealed-But Does It Matter? 118

Chapter 9 Mortgaging Merrill's Future 121

Climbing Out of Poverty 122

A Strong Start 124

The Secret Weapon 125

Raking It In 127

Taking Big Risks 130

Chapter 10 A House of Cards 135

Digging for God 136

Building a Case 139

The Investment of a Lifetime 147

Chapter 11 And Then the Roof Caved In 155

The Wheels Coming Off 157

The Call 159

A Crisis Begins 161

The CDO Blues 165

Lights Out 167

Epilogue 171

A Note on Sources 181

Resources from CNBC 183

Index 187

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2009

    I Finally Understand!

    Although I tried to make sense of it (read articles, watched news specials, talked to friends) many aspects of the current financial crisis remained very confusing to me. David Faber's, "And Then The Roof Caved In" finally changed that.

    Faber explains the causes and the consequences of what we have been living through with amazing clarity. He sheds a bright light on our culture's greed and offers insights from some of the most prominent front line players.

    If you want to understand what happened and why, this is the book for you. I could not put it down!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    And then the roof caved in: How Wall Street Greed and Stupidity brought Capitalizm to its Knees.

    I found this book to be interesting and thought provoking. It took a rather complicated subject and explained it step by step from the standpoint of an outside observer who had no axe to grind. He mentions many of the people, the companies, and the government agencies and the actions they took that led to our current economic problems. I found it helpful and would recommend it to anyone interested in learning what led up to our problems.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2009

    An eye opening lesson in human nature and greed

    This book is written in a way that makes a complex subject easy to read and understand. The only negative is once you have read the book you will realize the greed that is engrained in human nature and how it has to potential to ruin a global society. Hopefully this is a wake up call so history never repeats itself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

    Excellent, Everyone should read.

    This is an easy to read, enlightening book on a contemporary subject. It is a great companion to a CNBC special that continues to be rerun on this business channel.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    A review of what happened in the meltdown

    Although short and somewhat lacking in details the author writes very well. He really makes clear distinctions as to the various securities that created the problem in 2007-2008. This was a sorry time in financial circles because of too much liquidity in the markets. The experts created vehicles to invest money in hot air-- and returning to them vast commissions.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Get a Tivo

    This book was a regurjitation of the CNBS special hosted by the author. For those watch CNBC and/or read the Journal or Business Week regularly there was no "gotcha" or insights that make the book worth reading.

    Overall very disappointing :-(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    The title is great.

    We were impressed with the book. We loved the book and thought it was true to the rating online. The research done by the publisher was accurate. Thank you for your online services.

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  • Posted July 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Trustworthy Reporting

    David Faber is one of the most trustworthy financial reporters around. It's tough enough to simply get the facts straight on a complicated subject without selecting and coloring the facts with one's own position on the spectrum between total laissez faire capitalism and absolute Marxism. So Faber doesn't try. The result is that his reporting can be depended upon without having to filter it through one's own "universal translator." That's kind of nice.

    "And Then the Roof Caved In" is written in very readable language. You don't need a financial background to understand it and value it. However, if you DO have a financial background, you can understand the book on a deeper level, and it will answer many nagging questions you may still have even if you have been closely following the current real estate/credit crash. Faber consistently explains the many financial terms and acronyms that must come up when trying to explain such an esoteric subject, and at less than 200 pages of actual text, it's a quick read.

    Faber's approach is from the bottom up. His interviews of the "big boys" are not as important as his interviews of ordinary people closer to the bottom of the "food chain." We may not like it, but we understand the primal greed and/or short-sightedness of some of the worst actors on the scene, so Faber's exploration as to why ordinary people, the "noble savages," would accept mortgages that they "obviously" could not afford is of greater importance sociologically.

    If I have a criticism, it would be that by limiting the text to 180 pages, Faber was able to give an understandable description of the mortgage crash, but he does not go into much depth as to how firms like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, The U.S. Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Bank sent us to the "event horizon" of the worldwide credit "black hole" that followed the real estate crash.

    Faber is a great REPORTER, and you may read "And Then the Roof Caved In" with your left brain for understanding, but if you want a delicious soap opera for your right brain in which the toughest and most influential "alpha males" in the financial world are literally reduced to public tears, you will have to follow your read of Faber's book with "House of Cards," by William Cohan. You will need more financial savy to "feel" the full effect of the Cohan book, so I recommend the Faber book first.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    absolutly amazing

    i'm trying to understand how the economy failed and this gave me a great picture.

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