How a piece of software helped fuel the 2008 financial crash
Sep 17, 2018

How a piece of software helped fuel the 2008 financial crash

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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 few ill effects on his life. Marketplace producer Eliza Mills met Osinski at his oyster beds to hear his story of making a tool that bankers used to bundle bad loans. She shares what she learned with Molly Wood. (09/17/18)

Segments From this episode

How a piece of software helped fuel the 2008 financial crash

Sep 17, 2018
The seeds of the Great Recession included a lot of greed, fraud ... and some technology.
Michael Osinski developed software that turned mortgages into securities for Wall Street banks. He retired years before the 2008 crash and now farms oysters on Long Island.
Tavner Murphy/Marketplace

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 few ill effects on his life. Marketplace producer Eliza Mills met Osinski at his oyster beds to hear his story of making a tool that bankers used to bundle bad loans. She shares what she learned with Molly Wood. (09/17/18)

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