Why no one won a Pulitzer for covering the financial crisis

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2 Responses

  1. required says:

    So why didn’t Barry Ritholtz win a Pulitzer? He reported on the housing scams, mortgage scams, and CDS scams continually for two years before the crash.

  2. Terry Sheridan says:

    And I started writing about mortgage fraud a decade ago, exposing how lenders knowingly cover it up and, yes, encourage it.
    The stories launched federal investigations in South Florida, helped change state law, spurred public-private partnerships between lenders and regulators — and for what? Look where we are now.
    As one lender told me at the time, “Your stories will have a great impact for maybe a couple of years. And then it will be back to the usual.”
    My work was entered in the 1999 Pulitzer competition but, as some colleagues have told me, mortgage fraud doesn’t particularly resonate with judges.
    Try telling that to the victims in the current financial debacle. Fraud is behind much of this mess.
    I think part of the reason for the lack of enough financial reporting on some of this lies in trying to juice it up enough to get readers — and editors — intrigued.
    Prosecutors, too, will tell you that trying to present a mortgage fraud case to a jury is incredibly difficult because of the labyrinthine paper trail it requires.
    Going forward, we all need to better watch over the real estate and financial industries — whose workers don’t get paid until deals close — instead of regurgitating home sale stats they release, fawning over luxury home deals and otherwise swallowing what they choose to serve up.
    Delving into appraisal management companies, how real estate salespeople “represent” (not) buyers and sellers, the changes to RESPA, subprime and Alt A and option ARM mortgages, etc. etc. is tough to make sexy.
    And the industry is taking that to the bank.
    There are any number of next-generation stories emerging from all this. Let’s go get ’em.

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