New York Times writer/subprime victim draws fire for what his memoir left out

New York Times

(NYT) economics reporter Edmund L. Andrews shocked his readers recently by revealing that he was on the verge of losing his house due to an ill-considered subprime mortgage. In his upcoming book Busted: Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown, he details how he was sucked into buying more house than he could afford for his soon-to-be wife and her family. He also exposes the Wild West mentality that led to this disaster.

Last week, however, The Atlantic's Megan McArdle called his account into question, because Andrews failed to mention that his new wife, Patty Barreiro, had declared bankruptcy twice in the years before they hooked up. McArdle contends that this represents a pattern of financial irresponsibility that would color the perceptions of a reader of his book. "I think this matters," she writes, "because the story Andrews told was basically about the subprime crisis, and the book casts him as a sort of everyman, lured in by cheap credit and a likable scoundrel of a mortgage broker."