The subprime crisis shook the American economy to its core. How did it happen? Where was the government? Did anyone see the crisis coming? Will the new financial reforms avoid a repeat performance?In this lively new book, Kathleen C. Engel and Patricia A. McCoy answer these questions as they tell the story behind the subprime crisis. The authors, experts in the law and the economics of financial regulation and consumer lending, offer a sharply reasoned, but accessible account of the actions that produced the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression. The Subprime Virus reveals how consumer abuses in a once obscure corner of the home mortgage market led to the near meltdown of the world's financial system. The authors also delve into the roles of federal banking and securities regulators, who knew of lenders' hazardous mortgages and of Wall Street's addiction to high stakes financing, but did nothing until the crisis erupted. This is the first book to offer a comprehensive description of the government's failure to act and to analyze the financial reform legislation of 2010.Blending expert analysis, vivid examples, and clear prose, Engel and McCoy offer an informed portrait of the political and financial failures that led to the crisis. Equally important, they show how we can draw lessons from the crisis to inform the building of a new, more stable, prosperous, and just financial order.