A House Doomed to Fall

In The Big Short, Michael Lewis provides an investigative approach to explaining the involvement of those in Wall Street and the implications of fraudulent behavior that caused the 2008 financial crisis. The story leaves off with an uncertainty as to how everyday people would be affected by the crisis. The Turner House gives a much deeper insight into the lives of a family that were personally touched by the crisis. Having a background knowledge of the members involved, financial concepts such as home mortgages, defaulting, and short selling made understanding The Turner House much smoother of a transition. From understanding the incentives that caused major players to profit off the housing bubble to the story of a family who were expelled from their home as a result of the actions from those who benefited off loss. After the implosion of the bubble, we realized just how big the crash was. It was the cause of many bankers’ decisions and a lack of concern for the lower and middle class. The Turner House shines a light on how the crisis affected the lives of everyday people that The Big Short does not. 

Angela Flourney’s The Turner House follows how the financial crisis parallels multiple ongoing personal crises in each individual’s life. The diminishing status of Detroit during the time of the financial crisis is evident throughout the novel. Viola and Francis moved into Yarrow Street in a booming suburb, celebrating the start of a family. At the time of the crisis, those dreams were crushed. Violet owed forty thousand despite the house being valued at only four thousand dollars. The actions of corruption and greed are clear even to the family as they talk about short-selling the house. Netti says “We sell it today and in ten years Donald Trump or somebody will buy it, build a townhouse, and sell it to some white folks for two hundred grand..” They want nothing but to keep the home that they have grown up. While reading The Big Short, it was clear that the cause and effects of the financial crisis were disastrous. After reading The Turner House, we are left with nothing but sympathy and anger for those who have been on the other end of the corruption. 

As someone from New York City, you can still see unrest between the “everyday people” and those who work in finance. Occupy Wall Street is a movement that started on September 17, 2011. I went to high school in the financial district and was able to witness the yearly protest against economic inequality. There was and always will be a power dynamic that is shifted towards those on top. It is of most importance to hold members of the upper class accountable and share a conversation about social/economic inequality.

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