National Press Club

Newsmaker: Did Wall Street Cause the Credit Crises?

September 3, 2008

National Press Club "NEWSMAKER" Media Briefing

September 15

10 a.m.

National Press Club (Lisagor Room)

“Did Wall Street Cause the Mortgage and Credit Crises?”

Paul Muolo, Executive Editor of “National Mortgage News,” and co-author of the book, Chain of Blame: How Wall Street Caused the Mortgage and Credit Crises,

will chronicle what went wrong in the subprime lending market and the major players that contributed to it.

With housing prices in a tailspin, a continuing credit crunch and looming bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the horizon, who is to blame? Highly acclaimed financial reporter Paul Muolo will make the case that Wall Street’s established investment banks are largely responsible for the chain of events leading to millions of housing foreclosures in the United States. Although there is no single individual or entity to blame for the implosion of the housing and credit markets, Muolo argues that actions taken by the world’s largest investment bankers, credit rating agencies, underwriters, lenders, investors and homeowners helped to precipitate the current subprime fiasco.

Muolo will discuss several revelations in the book he co-authored with Mathew Padilla, a business reporter for “The Orange County Register” and Pulitzer Prize nominee for his work on the subprime mortgage crises in California. Among the most startling findings are: Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns, used “sweat shop” contract underwriting firms to review billions of dollars worth of mortgages from 2004 to 2007. Some workers interviewed by Muolo and Padilla said they were required to review one loan an hour or else they would never be called back for a job. Muolo also will explain why it could take a full decade before the U.S. housing market recovers.

CONTACT: National Press Club: Paula Cruickshank (202) 498-6856