Cover: The Great American Housing Bubble: What Went Wrong and How We Can Protect Ourselves in the Future, from Harvard University PressCover: The Great American Housing Bubble in HARDCOVER

The Great American Housing Bubble

What Went Wrong and How We Can Protect Ourselves in the Future

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Product Details


$45.00 • £36.95 • €40.50

ISBN 9780674979659

Publication Date: 06/09/2020


400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

64 illus., 5 tables


Impressive.—Robert J. Shiller, The New York Times

Nothing is more important to developing community wealth and narrowing disparities than access to homeownership; this book shows a path toward establishing a sustainable and fair housing finance system, improving opportunity for all.—Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League

With its combination of legal and economic expertise, The Great American Housing Bubble makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the complexities of the housing finance system. Levitin and Wachter write with an eye towards the future of housing policy, connecting their analysis of ‘what happened’ to ‘what it means.’ Their insights will be invaluable when the federal government takes on housing finance reform in earnest.—Carolina Reid, Faculty Research Advisor, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, University of California, Berkeley

Levitin is one of the unsung heroes of the financial crisis of 2008. In this book, he and Susan Wachter share with the reader the invaluable advice they gave so many policy makers and advocates at the time—advice that, had it been listened to, would have kept millions of families in their homes and would have brought justice to those who brought our economy to the edge of destruction.—Damon Silvers, Policy Director and Special Counsel, AFL-CIO, and former Deputy Chair, Congressional Oversight Panel

A brilliant book by two of the deepest thinkers on housing and housing finance. As we move forward, it is essential that we incorporate this insight and perspective into our redesign of how Americans live. In the post-virus world, there are few things more important than listening to careful analysis and reflecting on how to turn that into robust policy.—Simon Johnson, Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management, and cochair, COVID-19 Policy Alliance

I watched the housing market implode and the still-unfinished policy reforms unfold by comparing notes each week with these two superb analysts. Economist and lawyer, Wachter and Levitin followed every policy, legal, and market development in detail and their complementary perspectives brought unique insight. You could have no better, more evidence-based chroniclers of this painful period. And, agree or disagree, all serious policy makers must reckon with their analysis of the many policy options and their own proposal for ensuring we never see such a housing bubble again.—Sarah Rosen Wartell, President, Urban Institute

Levitin and Wachter deploy their formidable expertise to analyze the biggest housing policy issues left in the wake of the 2008 housing bubble. Their insights on the bubble’s causes are fresh, compelling, and informed by newly-mined data. Their recommendations for preventing a future housing bubble reflect deep sophistication as well as wisdom and humanity. A must-read for anyone who cares about housing policy or equality.—Patricia A. McCoy, former Assistant Director of Mortgage Markets, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Liberty Mutual Insurance Professor, Boston College Law School

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