Book Review: Confessions of a Subprime Lender

Confessions Interesting looking book flagged by the WSJ, called Confessions of a Subprime Lender.

The story is told by Richard Bitner, who founded his own subprime mortgage company right as the industry was taking off. Over five years, the company boomed.

Confessions of a Subprime Lender is his insider story — disillusionment, fraud, greed, ignorance. A year after he gets out and leaves the industry, sub-prime imploded.

From the publisher: "Woven throughout his
personal industry experiences is the fascinating story of how an
industry started out helping disadvantaged customers buy houses, but
soon lost its way due to greed, lack of financial control, and willful
ignorance.  This book reveals the truth about how various parts of the
mortgage business yielded to the temptation to maximize profits,
weakening the chain that held the system together."

The book covers:

  • Why nearly three out of every four mortgages were misleading or fraudulent;

  • How unscrupulous brokers tricked lenders and gullible borrowers;

  • How brokers and lenders turned unqualified applicants into "qualified borrowers";

  • Why Wall Street and the rating agencies are largely to blame for the collapse;


Funny, nothing mentioned in the book about Predatory Borrowing.


"Bitner’s thorough review of the subprime lending industry provides
a behind-the-scenes look at the mortgage mess. From the broker on Main
Street to the investor on Wall Street, it’s an unabridged version of
what went wrong and how it needs to be fixed."  —Bill Dallas, founder, First Franklin Mortgage, one of America’s largest subprime lenders, before it collapsed      

"This is an in-depth, eye-opening examination of the problems impacting the housing and mortgage markets."  —Matthew McIntyre, CEO, Puritan Financial Group, Inc.

This is definitely on my shortlist of Housing books to read . . . 


Confessions of a Subprime Lender
Richard Bitner
Wiley, 186 pages, $19.95

Money for Nothing
WSJ June 25, 2008; Page A13   

Category: Books, Real Estate

Lehman Brothers $20 Price Target Complete

Category: Quantitative, Short Selling, Trading

Why the Disconnect: Population vs Pros, part II

Category: Commodities, Inflation, Psychology

Who Killed Bear Stearns?

Category: Credit, Derivatives, Financial Press

Who is Right: Professionals or the Populace ?

Portfolio has an interesting discussion on what they term the “He-Said-She-Said” economy: “Inflation, energy, home prices, and tax rebates. Ordinary Americans and Wall Street professionals are at odds on issues like these and others at the center of the current economic malaise, according to the CNBC/Portfolio Wealth in America survey. And these differences have implications…Read More

Category: Credit, Economy, Employment, Energy, Investing, Psychology

Crude Oil = $143+

Category: Energy, Trading

Chinese Oil Conundrum

China’s subsidized fuel prices worked miracles in the past, but because they hurt energy stocks, they are now a major policy concern.   

click for video




For Chinese, the Reality of Higher Gas Prices   
NYT, June 21, 2008

Category: Commodities, Energy, Markets, Trading, Video

Should Congress Let Home Prices Fall ?

Category: Credit, Economy, Real Estate, Taxes and Policy

Why Does -20% = Bear Market?

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Financial Press, Markets, Technical Analysis

Reshaping of Wall Street

Mike Santoli on the Reshaping of a newer, smaller Wall Street:

click for Video

This is based on the article in this week’s cover story in Barron’s, Future of the Street.

Future of the Street
BARRON’S June 30, 2008


Category: Corporate Management, Credit, Derivatives, Finance, Video