The 2008 housing meltdown that effectively busted the American dream of home ownership has morphed into a new heist based on corporate rental empires with all the same culprits. The answer to the question of who these profiteers are is written out in the title of journalist Aaron Glantz’s book “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.” In the latest installment of Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer’s podcast, Glantz explains why he wanted to look at the root of the housing crisis that left so many American lives in tatters.
“I started thinking about this in 2016, when Donald Trump was running for president [when] I asked myself, ‘How could it be that people feel so insecure at a time when the economy is supposedly going great?’” says Glantz on a new episode of “Scheer Intelligence.” “So that's when I decided to look at housing.”
Through his research the investigative journalist discovered a series of decisions made by both Republican and Democratic administrations which consistently prioritized Wall Street banks over working people at some of the most decisive moments in recent history.
“When you read Aaron Glantz’s book,” Scheer tells his listeners, “you're forced to the conclusion: Trump is the pus in the wound. But Barack Obama, and George Bush before him, did nothing to heal the wound. And Bill Clinton, in my estimation, opened that wound.”
While there are some surprising liberal culprits caught up in the housing mess, such as billionaire George Soros and California Sen. Kamala Harris, Glantz notes one alarming development under the Trump administration that has opened the public up to even more dangerous predatory financial schemes.
“What you have [now] is not just Wall Street in the White House, you have the vulture capitalists of Wall Street in the White House,” Glantz tells Scheer. “And that is what is new and different under Trump than the Obama period.”
The festering wound that the Truthdig Editor in Chief points out has remained unaddressed and therefore impossible to mend. The “Homewreckers” author, however, says there’s still reason to be hopeful.
“After all of this, I see so much hope,” Glantz concludes. “I saw so many good people coming forward with good ideas at every step of the process over the last 10 years. And those ideas are still there.
“I see a possibility that some of [the ideas explored in my book] could take hold over the next period of time,” he goes on. “I feel like the fact that we don't need to reinvent the wheel here, the wheel already exists, that there are things we can do that will make this better---I find it very empowering.”
Listen to the full discussion between Scheer and Glantz as the two point fingers at the people who most benefited from the detriment of working Americans, and those who helped hand them the U.S. economy on a silver platter.