In Baker’s retelling, the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department, specifically Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson (featured on the cover as the “false profits” of the title), allowed the housing bubble to grow unchecked, ignored and even encouraged the reckless mortgages that intensified risk, and were caught completely off-guard by the eventual meltdown. Stripped of their home equity wealth, consumers could not ring up the purchases that fed the national economy. Foreclosures and a glut of vacant housing on the market devastated the construction industry. The write-offs and toxic securities at the banks brought them to their knees. Baker says this was completely predictable: