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.
Book of Job