GUEST: Aaron Glantz, Senior Reporter at Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, two-time Peabody Award winner, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, PBS NewsHour and more. His new book is called Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream.
BACKGROUND: There have been many books written about the financial recession of 2008 and the mortgage crisis that caused so many Americans to lose their homes. But what happened after the crash? A new book exposes how hedge fund investors and Wall Street executives took advantage of the crash and swooped in, with government backing, to scoop up hundreds of thousands of homes and rent them back to the public.
That phenomenon was not just a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary Americans to the wealthy and powerful, but it led to the lowest levels of homeownership in decades, in a country that prides itself on individuals owning property as a form of wealth creation. Many of the villains in that story – who my guest calls “homewreckers” are part of Donald Trump’s administration.