Reckless Endangerment by Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner

Reckless Endangerment

By Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner

  • Release Date: 2011-05-24
  • Genre: Finance
Score: 4
From 294 Ratings
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A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year

The New York Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist reveals how the financial meltdown emerged from the toxic interplay of Washington, Wall Street, and corrupt mortgage lenders

In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson, the star business columnist of The New York Times, exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy.

Drawing on previously untapped sources and building on original research from coauthor Joshua Rosner—who himself raised early warnings with the public and investors, and kept detailed records—Morgenson connects the dots that led to this fiasco.

Morgenson and Rosner draw back the curtain on Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance giant that grew, with the support of the Clinton administration, through the 1990s, becoming a major opponent of government oversight even as it was benefiting from public subsidies. They expose the role played not only by Fannie Mae executives but also by enablers at Countrywide Financial, Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, HUD, Congress, the FDIC, and the biggest players on Wall Street, to show how greed, aggression, and fear led countless officials to ignore warning signs of an imminent disaster.

Character-rich and definitive in its analysis, this is the one account of the financial crisis you must read.


  • Reckless endangerment

    By Me741
    I don't know this Gretchen chick, but the fact that she has worked for years at the new York times tells me she is a screaming leftist. What really impressed me about this book is that a screaming leftist was willing to point the finger of blame at fellow screaming leftists. She is honest which is rare these days. This book details the sickness and incompetence of those who presume to rule us. The fact that none of these criminals will ever receive even a slight reprimand for destroying our economy is frustrating. Read this book and you just might be ready to help me overthrow our sick government.
  • Superior Effort

    By lugnut
    I wanted to know, and these authors did the heavy lifting to put the facts in order to tell us all what happened and is still happening. As a conservative, I say "hats off" to these two NYT reporters for doing the job that needed to be done. I am elated that they do work for the NYT, as this allows the book not to be summarily dismissed by those offended and frankly thosae nailed by their work as just a conservative hack job. The facts are the facts - spin them as you wish, but what happened should sicken all those that love this country, from all political stripes. It is yet another crime that we haven't seen multiple perp walks on the evening news. Perhaps this book will cause a demand for justice to be administered. Ms. Morgensen and Mr. Rosner are the modern day equivalent of Paul Revere and Samuel Adams - all true patriots.
  • Reckless Endangerment

    By LeoBurns
    If you have ever worked in the financial services sector as a licensed professional where compliance officers scrutinize everything, read this book. Then ask; "How could so many people make that many immoral and borderline criminal decisions and get away with it"?
  • Sick

    By gtbp51
    This book documents crime in government with self serving interest so well that I have lost all faith in people holding high. government offices. The fact that no government official is now in jail makes me realize they protect each other to the detriment of the people. The writers of the Constitution would want all these people banned from government service. I will never be able to think of my government as honest; a very depressing feeling. GT Behm, San Diego
  • Reckless Endangerment

    By IntdatsysBill
    A must read if you want to understand the complexity behind the meltdown. I was struck by the wide ranging amoral behavior of so many leaders within our important institutions. Hats off to the authors for a truly great piece of work.
  • Reckless endangerment

    An eyeopener that should be on every red blooded Americans reading list. Why do we let these people tear apart our country and then walk away with no punishment?
  • Illuminating

    By S. Millar
    As just an average guy on a below average street in a city ravaged by foreclosures, this book has opened my eyes as to the circumstances involved that made it possible for me to get a $500 down mortgage in 1998 at only 25 years old with hardly any income. Now after 13 years of paying my mortgage, and finding I owe more than my house is worth, I can't help but be filled with anger towards the people who made tens of millions of dollars on our backs. Although I've always tended to be a fiscal conservative, this book has opened my eyes to the collusion that ran rampant among liberal politicians and conservative bankers creating a wave of euphoria which in the end damaged more people than it proposed to help. This book takes both sides to task for their responsibilities in creating this current economic disaster, and I would highly recommend that everyone give this a good read. After reading it, you should tell your friends to read it, too. Most won't bother, but it can't hurt to try and spread this knowledge around.
  • Accountability

    By slowpitch
    Hard to believe there had to be so many sweet hearth back room deals where no one goes to jail. It does not seem to matter what party is in power they all come out the same as crooks. Is there any honest people left in politics???
  • Actually Lays the blame where it's deserved!

    By Cody1163
    I have done my research on what really happened and I can tell you, you are not getting the truth from most of the media. This well researched book gives real answers as to what really happened. It started in housing! Hint,'s not wall street, although they had a part, it's not the bankers, they were forced to make home loans to people that could not repay by the community reinvestment act and community organizers. Fannie Mae and Frannie Mac were huge players, the truth is out there if you wish to see it!