Anya Stiglitz’s Latest Book | From Cairo to Wall Street: Lisa Epstein – The Accidental Activist

From Cairo to Wall Street: Lisa Epstein – The Accidental Activist

Anya Stiglitz, who goes by Anya Schiffrin, teaches at Columbia University and is married to Joseph Stiglitz, a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank.

Anya’s recently published book, From Cairo to Wall Street, includes a full chapter on Lisa Epstein’s quest of taking on the fraudulent mortgage foreclosure industry.

Below is a copy of Lisa’s chapter for your reading enjoyment.

But first, here is a blurb from Anya about the book:

My new book “From Cairo to Wall Street: Voices from the Global Spring” is a compilation of essays and interviews from the Occupy and protest movement around the world that I edited with journalist Eamon Kircher-Allen. It includes an introduction by Nobel laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz who puts the movements in a global context.

“From Cairo to Wall Street” tells the stories of the brave young people in New York, Wisconsin, Cairo, Tunis, Greece, Spain, Syria and other countries who took to the streets in 2011 and made history.

The protestors’ inspiring and heartfelt accounts describe how they became radicalized and what it was like in Tahrir Square and the other squares of protest around the world. We found that these very different protests have many points in common: frustration with the lack of jobs, foreclosures (which took place in Spain as well as across the US) and anger because so many of the protestors worked hard at school and were caught in systems where finding meaningful work was impossible. They took to the streets and found that many people felt the way they did.

Through this personal voyage they discovered they are not alone, that their desire for change is shared by millions of others.

One essay from our book From Cairo to Wall Street that sticks with me is the story of Egyptian protestor Jawad Nabulsi, 29, who talked about how reading The Tipping Point and From Good to Great affected his thinking about social change. Nabulsi worked for charities in Upper Egypt that raised money in order to connect poor households to water and electricity.

“I had gone to villages and slums, saw the depth of problems in these places and assumed they could not be fixed. I’d tell myself, “They are too humungous, it’s like throwing something in the sea.” Then I read the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and understood you don’t need to change the whole population. You just need a few people. I realized I needed to bring together a circle of key players who could have an influence. I also read from Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. It reinforced the idea that it’s not about the people in the company; it’s about the right people in the company. I didn’t need to change everything, I just needed to focus on the leaders in the community and work with them.”

Having realized this, Nabulsi began setting up facebook groups in order to connect like-minded people to each other. These groups took on a life of their own; seeing that there were others who felt the same frustrations people began to feel powerful and so were willing to go down to Tahrir Square and make their voices heard in the street. Across the globe, protestors used new technology to connect to each other and to learn from each other.

Their first-hand accounts evoke the excitement and passion of 2011 and show how these movements came about and why they will continue.

And here is the chapter Anya shared about Lisa Epstein, and how she took on mortgage foreclosure fraud.




From Cairo to Wall Street: Lisa Epstein – The Accidental Activist

4 Responses to “Anya Stiglitz’s Latest Book | From Cairo to Wall Street: Lisa Epstein – The Accidental Activist”
  1. talktotennessee says:

    Many of us tried to do he ‘right’ thing exhausting our savings, our 401K or IRAs to make good on our loans. Loans that were predatory in many cases. When gone, no one cared. We learned there was never an intention to modify. I just submitted my 4th or 5th package submission and still nothing. Even the Court challenged the defense and asked why they had not modified my loan. If the Courts can’t gain cooperation or Congressmen, lawyers or financial counselors, none of these people can effect a modification, it isn’t going to happen period…

  2. talktotennessee says:
    Joseph Stiglitz’s book, “Growing Economic Inequality,” is right on target too. Unfortunately those who believe in continuing to reward the wealthy with lower taxes and waiting for it to ‘trickle down’ to the poor, unemployed and middle class are busy selling this spin of lies to the radical Southern tea partiers who will shoot self in the foot supporting the GOP, while they are polishing their firearms . As my granny always said: “Well you can wish in one hand and – – – – in the other and see which is gits full the fastest.” Her pithy wisdom is appropro in today’s economic climate where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I think that was also Biblical.
    Increasingly it is hard to see the difference between the parties in supporting the man on the street as opposed to rewarding Wall Street for taking us for a cleaning!
    We need more voices of reason, like the Stiglitzs with credentials to support. Is anyone listening?

  3. Wayne says:

    First of all, I absolutely agree that this was well written. It hits home on so many levels and makes me feel proud that there are people out there who, not only “get it” but are doing something about it.
    I am a simple person, hard working and I trusted everyone. I knew in the background of everyday living there are Laws and Rights that are not only in place but there are People to enforce and protect us. With that said, I believed in Banks and Lenders and that they would not fraudulently and intentionally hurt me or anyone else for that matter.
    States and state laws vary from state to state and Federal Laws are in place to protect We the People as a whole.
    What I have come to a conclusion of the Foreclosure Crisis is that, everyone knows. The president knows, the Attorney Generals of our states and in the Federal Government knows even the Judges know.
    What confuses everyone is, why nothing has been done to any extent to help people and to adhere to the letter of the law that is in place to protect all of us.
    With that said and to make it brief is that no one found out about all of this till years later. MERS has been in place for over 20 years and frauding the people and even our counties across the United States. Money has been lost everytime a home was sold or a land transaction that did not get recorded in the counties across America.
    It is so wide spread and so deep the Governments, Federal and State does not have the resources to fight this. So like Cancer, it will spread and the week will fall and the Strong and Rich will survive.
    We just don’t have any experiance Doctors in the House to cure this or even want to cure this.


  4. Sam says:

    Very well written. Thank you Lisa-this has come at a tremendous price to you. You are a hero. History will not be kind to those who sold out for a few dollars and a job. There is so much collusion and conflict of interest. Hope this can come to a peaceful end and resolution but I fear it may generate a revolution per Thomas Jefferson’s recommendation to keep government honest-a revolution every 40 years. I wonder if we have the will, as a people in this country, to fight like our forefathers and have the resolve of “Give me Liberty or Give me death”. How much is our freedom worth-freedom of worship, of land/home ownership, economic and travel. Every area is being infringed upon some gradually and others rapidly. This whole mortgage problem I believe was planned from the beginning as a massive wealth confiscation and it is government sponsored that sold out to corporate interests long ago-thinly veiled economic terrorism against it’s own citizens. The government seems to march to corporate special interests and only puts on an aire of concern for public soundbites but with no substance of policy or even an intention to change. Too comfortable. I am still amazed that more people have not been motivated to take action.

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