Neighbors. In so many ways Ed Andrews’ personal story of mortgage disaster was both more and less than I expected. Busted: Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown presents the embarrassing story of a New York Times economic reporter’s personal financial and personal crises of the last few years. One would expect that an educated and informed person would have averted predatory loans and would not have spent so far beyond one’s means, but we humans are complicated, and Andrews’ story is like that of many others. He divorced, and faced increased expenses by adding his own housing expenses. He remarried, and his costs increased further. Both he and his new wife were reckless with spending and never quite found a productive way of talking about money and spending. For readers who love schadenfreude, Busted will be very satisfying. For fans of reality television, this print version of Cribs might be entertaining. For any reader who wonders about what kind of people get themselves into financial muddles, Andrews and his wife offer some answers but little sympathy because of their selfishness, immaturity and overall recklessness. If these people are our neighbors, the neighborhood is in trouble.
Rating: Two-star (Mildly Recommended)