Introduction

“Why,” particularly in the world of investing, is a very lonely place. Most analysts and research firms are so focused on “immediately actionable” buy and sell recommendations and the onslaught of quarterly earnings that they can barely keep up with the “who,” “what,” and “when” of an industry. Few have time for “how,” and even fewer have the energy to figure out “why.”

As I looked around the financial services industry in 2007, very few analysts understood the “how” and “why” of what was about to happen. With nearly 25 years in a career in financial services, I was able to explain the “why” relatively easily. As a pioneer in asset-securitization back in the mid-1980s, I had helped companies such as Capital One, Ford, and Chrysler ...

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