Inside the Doomsday Machine with the outsider who predicted and profited from America’s financial Armageddon.

Monday, October 10, 2011
By Paul Martin

Missteps to Mayhem

BY MICHAEL BURRY
Vanderbilt.edu

In predicting when and how America’s financial collapse would occur, my focus was on the growing importance of the housing sector, the actions of our government, and the response of the private sector. This was not simply a case in which a few early adopters made a lot of money or a few venture capitalists acted badly. The entire economy — consumer spending, jobs, securities market — all depended on home price appreciation.
The amount and types of leverage, the generations-old assumption that housing prices always went up, and broad societal participation in home ownership (with greater than 60 percent of Americans owning a home) all called out to me. Soon I would see financial Armageddon with housing as its trigger point.

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