Forbidden Bookshelf - The Looting of America's Savings and Loans
Stephen Pizzo and Others
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
New York Times Bestseller: A history of the S&L scandal that caused a financial disaster for American taxpayers: “Hard to put down” (Library Journal).
For most of the 20th century, savings and loans were an invaluable thread of the American economy. But in the 1970s, Congress passed sweeping financial deregulation at the insistence of industry insiders that allowed these once quaint and useful institutions to spread their taxpayer-insured assets into new and risky investments.
The looser regulations and reduced federal oversight also opened the industry to an army of shady characters, white-collar criminals, and organized crime groups. Less than 10 years later, half the nation’s savings and loans were insolvent, leaving the American taxpayer on the hook for a large hunk of the nearly half a trillion dollars that had gone missing.
The authors of Inside Job saw signs of danger long before the scandal hit nationwide. Decades after the savings and loan collapse, Inside Job remains a thrilling read and a sobering reminder that our financial institutions are more fragile than they appear.
“A chilling account, cast almost in cinematic terms, of greed and criminality.” —The New York Times
“Inside Job is the All the President's Men of the savings and loan crisis.” —Jack Anderson, author of Confessions of a Muckraker
“Like a good mystery, this is hard to put down.” —Library Journal
Stephen P. Pizzo is a former real estate broker who, in 1982, purchased a small-town newspaper called the Russian River News in Northern California. Stephen did not have any journalistic experience or training, but intended to revitalize the failing publication and resell it. Instead, he discovered that the local savings and loan, which had been deregulated along with the rest of the nation’s thrift institutions, was making risky loans to out-of-town borrowers with shady pasts. His investigations led to a network of crooked contractors, grifters, and organized crime figures that stretched from coast to coast. After national newspapers did not show interest in picking up the story, he decided to begin work on a book, which became Inside Job: The Looting of America’s Savings and Loans. Stephen is also the coauthor of The Ethic Gap: Crisis of Ethics in the Professions and Profiting from the Bank and S&L Crisis. His investigative reporting has won the Lincoln Steffens Award for Journalism, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Book of the Year Award, the Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award, the Sonoma State University Project Censored Award, and the Sail America Southam Award. Pizzo is now retired and living in Sebastopol, California, with his wife Susan.
Mary Fricker was working as the lone reporter for the Russian River News when Stephen Pizzo purchased the paper. She took a keen interest in the savings and loan stories and agreed to collaborate on Inside Job. After the book was published, Fricker became an independent journalist. She spent the next twenty years as a business reporter for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, a New York Times publication. Currently, she publishes www.repowatch.org, which tracks the repurchase market and shadow banking; the site won the 2012 Best in Business Award for Digital Blogs from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. In 2010, she received the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage from the University of Georgia for her work with the Chauncey Bailey Project in Oakland, California. Among her other awards are three Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, the UCLA Gerald Loeb Award, the George Polk Award, several New York Times Chairman’s Awards, the National Headliner Award, and an Associated Press award for best business reporting on the mortgage crisis. Mary is now retired and living in Sebastopol, California.
Paul Muolo was a lead reporter based in New York for the savings and loan industry paper National Thrift News. When word of Pizzo’s stories in the Russian River News reached Muolo’s paper, he was sent to California to see if there was more to report. After two meetings with Pizzo and Fricker, Muolo agreed that the subject was of national importance, and the three began working together on what became Inside Job. Muolo is also the coauthor of Chain of Blame, which was named one of the ten best business books of 2008 by BusinessWeek. He also serves as executive editor of National Mortgage News, the leading independent trade publication of the residential finance industry. He is a member of the NMN staff that received the 1990 Polk Award for its coverage of the savings and loan crisis, and his weekly web column, “What We’re Hearing,” is one of the most popular in the mortgage industry. Muolo’s freelance work has appeared in Barron’s, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Euromoney, Playboy, and other publications.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly