Paul rated it 5 star: "The Mortgage Wars" tells the important story of what happened to Fannie Mae during the financial crisis that the world is still suffering through. This topic has been discussed in other books, but not with this level of detail and not by someone with a front row seat to the entire thing. As the former CFO of Fannie Mae, Mr. Howard was able to understand and experience firsthand what happened - that alone is great, but it is combined with a compelling storyline (lots of financial and political intrigue) and is well-written (something you don't always get from insiders.) This book covers the political, financial, and accounting issues in tremendous detail - it is rare to see all three topics addressed at all, much less with this much clarity. The author doesn't shy away from naming names in the political arena, provides very good explanations of complicated financial assets (including synthetic CDOs!), and covers how FAS 133 contributed to the downfall of Fannie Mae (not because it's a problem by itself, but as a tool of political enemies). It does get very technical at times, but I found that this enhanced the story instead of taking away from it. The book is important and excellent - I highly recommend it for anyone wanting more insight into how our political and financial systems work together (or not), how the mortgage industry worked up to and during the subprime crisis, and to fill in the gaps in an important part of US (and world) financial history.