Kirkus Reviews Calls 'Shaky Ground' a 'Maddening, Sharp Report'

Columbia Global Reports
August 12, 2015

The advance reviews are in for Columbia Global Reports' inaugural book, Bethany McLean's Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants. We are overjoyed to read Kirkus Reviews' enthusiastic appraisal of the work:

The housing sector is a house of cards. So economics writer Bethany McLean—who, having covered Enron and the financial meltdown of 2008, knows a thing or two about such constructs—reveals in this report from the trenches. ... Readers of this maddening, sharp report will rightly wonder why Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been allowed to survive and why we can’t do better.

Publishers Weekly is no less approving and encouraging in its early review:

McLean ably describes a situation where, seven years past the brink of economic collapse, Fannie and Freddie are severely undercapitalized, faced with investor lawsuits, and caught up in political infighting that prevents either comprehensive reform or their ultimate abolition. It’s a complex story with no apparent solution, as even longstanding critics of the agencies have, in McLean’s words, concluded that sticking with “the devil you sort of know” is preferable to upending a still shaken domestic economy. McLean makes a convoluted tale, far removed from most people’s day-to-day economic lives, as clear as it can be made.

The book is beautifully designed by the firm Strick&Williams. Pre-order it now and it will arrive on your doorsteps Sept. 15.

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Bethany McLean: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants

Bethany McLean: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants

In 2008, the U.S. Treasury put Fannie and Freddie into a life-support state known as “conservatorship” to prevent their failure—and worldwide economic chaos. The two companies, which were always controversial, have become a battleground. Today, Fannie and Freddie are profitable again but still in conservatorship. Their profits are being redirected toward reducing the federal deficit,… more