Maxed Out: Hard Times in the Age of Easy Credit

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Scribner, Dec 26, 2007 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
44 Reviews
In this shocking and illuminating road trip through an America ravaged by debt, award-winning film director James Scurlock examines our multitrillion-dollar addiction to easy credit in all of its absurdities and contradictions.

Maxed Out ventures beyond the mind-numbing statistics to expose a financial industry spinning wildly out of control. From the gilded master-planned communities of Northern Las Vegas to the shotgun shacks of the Deep South, the world's largest financial institutions are trolling for customers, hooking the nouveau riche and the poor alike with promises of cheap and easy credit. Maxed Out exposes how Wall Street and Congress spawned the subprime mortgage crisis and reveals how credit card issuers form multimillion-dollar partnerships with universities -- paying them millions for access to their students' personal information, setting kids up for financial ruin before their first job. The industry's final frontier, "debt buying," is a veritable Wild West in which ambitious young men make quick fortunes off the misery and misfortune of others.

Hilarious, fascinating, and deeply disturbing, Maxed Out is one man's answer to modern America's most pressing question, "Why can't we get out of debt?"

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Review: Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit, and the Era of Predatory Lenders

User Review  - Goodreads

A fantastically-written look at how the credit industry was formed and how it affects the economy and people of today. It at times made me angry to see how some of my financial views were formed by ... Read full review

Review: Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit, and the Era of Predatory Lenders

User Review  - Mindi Beal - Goodreads

A fantastically-written look at how the credit industry was formed and how it affects the economy and people of today. It at times made me angry to see how some of my financial views were formed by ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

James D. Scurlock studied at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania before dropping out to pursue an entrepreneurial venture and later a documentary film career. His first film, Parents of the Year, won numerous awards and was an official selection of more than twenty-five film festivals. His first feature-length documentary, Maxed Out, explored our culture of debt and won the Special Jury Prize at South by Southwest. His first book, a companion to the award-winning documentary, was nominated for the National MS Society's "Books for a Better Life" Award. He has written, primarily about the impending (and now realized) financial crisis, for Slate, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, and AARP Magazine, among others. He has also appeared on numerous programs, including Nightline, The Today Show, and CNBC’s Power Lunch. Scurlock lives in Santa Monica, California.

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