Here at Marketplace, we're doing a yearlong project on the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis called Divided Decade. At the center of it, of course, were dodgy housing loans that were packaged and resold as seemingly solid investments. They were known as mortgage-backed securities. Here's where the tech comes in: Back in the '90s, a guy named Michael Osinski and his wife, Isabel, wrote software that made it super simple to bundle loans into a security. Osinski retired from Wall Street eight years before the recession to farm oysters on Long Island, where he rode out the financial collapse with hardly any ill effects.
Marketplace producer Eliza Mills met up with him at his oyster beds for an extended video interview about the tools he created and how they were used. She shared some of Osinski's story with Molly Wood, including the extent to which he felt responsible for his software's role in the subprime mortgage-fueled crisis. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.