Kirsti's Reviews > Busted: Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown

Busted by Edmund L. Andrews
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Feb 13, 10

bookshelves: anger, business, cake-eaters, history, memoir, nonfiction, waah-waaaah-nobody-loves-me
Recommended to Kirsti by: NYT
Read in February, 2010

Edmund Andrews is an impulsive kind of guy. He buys a house sight unseen. He proposes marriage to a woman he's never even kissed (and he may have proposed before his divorce was final, though that's unclear). He ends up with $50,000 in credit-card debt, a vastly reduced 401(k), a mortgage that he can't come close to paying, and an utterly destroyed credit rating. But he still has a really good job . . . AS A FINANCIAL REPORTER for the New York Times. I'm not kidding. He gets scolded, in person, by Alan Greenspan.

I alternated between shaking my head in despair at how irrational Andrews is and admiring him for his clear, intelligent, lively writing style. Chapter 3 is called "My Lender Drinks the Kool-Aid." He describes the global economic crisis in general as well as his situation in particular. I'm sure he got a substantial payment for this book, and he certainly deserved it.

Andrews is the first to admit that he is a privileged white guy and that others have had it much harder than he has. He also admits that he was a crummy husband--not to the first wife, who I'm sure has a thing or two to say about all this, but to the second wife, whom he quotes as saying, "You are chipping away at my soul" and "I am terrified of you." He seems to think he's a great dad to his three children and four stepchildren. I find that hard to believe, what with the divorce, the rebound marriage, the bitter fights with the second wife, the constant overtime work, and the financial meltdown. You'll be chipping in to pay for nursing-home bills, kids!

I deducted one star because this purports to be a tell-all but is really a tell-some. (More information about that is here: http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/a... )

I would have given the book five stars if it had included a chapter from the first wife (perhaps entitled "Yes, He Was Always Crazy") and a chapter from the second wife (she could call it "I Don't Care What The Atlantic Says, I Am Not a Money-Grubbing Harpy").

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! Don't spend too much on those presents!!

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