Join our email listserv and receive monthly updates on the latest titles.

Hopkins Fulfillment Services

Days of Slaughter

, 304 pages
February 2017



Availability Text

Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

Days of Slaughter

Inside the Fall of Freddie Mac and Why It Could Happen Again



In September 2008, beset by mounting losses on high-risk mortgages and mortgage securities, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation teetered on the brink of insolvency. Fearing that confidence in the housing market would collapse completely if Freddie Mac and its competitor Fannie Mae failed, the US government made the difficult decision to place the two firms into conservatorship, taking control away from shareholders. Although the taxpayer commitment of hundreds of billions was meant to stabilize the housing finance system, Freddie’s fall at the start of the financial crisis set off shockwaves around the world.

In Days of Slaughter, Susan Wharton Gates, a former 19-year Freddie Mac employee and vice president of public policy, provides a vivid eyewitness account of the competing economic and political forces that led to massive losses for shareholders, investors, homeowners—and taxpayers. With a keen eye to the policy landscape, Gates relates the fateful decisions that led to Freddie Mac’s downfall and desperate rescue. She also examines today’s worrisome headlines about potential future bailouts, the uneven housing recovery, and stymied congressional reform efforts. Throughout the book, Gates argues convincingly that policymakers will be unable to safely reform the massive housing finance system that currently rests squarely on taxpayer shoulders without addressing deeper issues of ideology, moral hazard, and interest group politics.

The first book to tell the story of Freddie Mac from an insider perspective—while casting a prophetic eye to the future—this first-hand account of housing policies, complex financial transactions, and the crazy quilt of federal and state actors involved in the Great Recession is a must-read. A cautionary tale of failed policies and corporate mismanagement that compellingly addresses previously unexplored issues of political ideology, organizational dynamics, and ethics, Days of Slaughter will appeal to readers everywhere who want a fuller explanation of what went awry in the US housing market.

Susan Wharton Gates, the founder of the Wharton Policy Group, LLC, teaches at Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy and the Pamplin School of Business. She is also a capstone advisor for Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate program.

"This detailed, thoughtful examination of the GSEs before, during, and after the crisis is a welcome contribution to the historical record of a turbulent time."

"A truly excellent book that makes an important contribution to the historical record of the financial crisis, fleshing out key details of what happened during the meltdown of the housing finance system, Days of Slaughter is a balanced discussion of the tensions between Freddie Mac's two business sides. Gates blends analysis and anecdotes from her time at Freddie Mac to keep the pages turning."

"Balanced and fair-minded, Days of Slaughter provides a clear and engaging insider’s analysis of what happened at Freddie Mac—and why. Full of fresh and important insights, Gates’s account illuminates the players and the politics, the competing policies and ideologies, and the moral failures that combined to bring down Freddie Mac."

"Highly recommended."

"[Gates] accurately portrays the dysfunctional policies advocated by rapacious industry trade groups, self-styled "consumer advocates," and politicians of all persuasions."

Related Books