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Smartest Ones Looking Less Smart

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Remember Edmund Andrews, that New York Times economic reporter who chronicled his financial downfall in that recent New York Times magazine story (and book)? Turns out there's more to his story, according to the The Atlantic's Megan McCardle. You'll remember that Andrews and Patty Barreiro, his second wife, had a lot in common (including a love of khakis). According to Andrews, "Patty was brainy, regal, sexy, fiery and eclectic," but when it came to finances, she was far more willing to spend; he wasn't. Digging through Patty's records, McCardle finds that Andrews' wife has declared for personal bankruptcy twice (most recently in 2007), which, according to McCardle, is pretty rare for someone in her income bracket. McCardle calls Andrews for a comment, but he doesn't return her call, so who knows if there's more to Patty's financial history (illness, etc). But painting Patty as being irresponsible about her finances, McCardle writes: "Andrews has been admirably open about many of the poor decisions and the wishful thinking that led him deep into debt. Nonetheless, he has laid much of the blame onto irresponsible bankers and mortgage brokers. The missing bankruptcies substantially undermine this basic narrative arc of Andrews' story. Particularly in his book, the bankers are the villains, America's current troubles are the inevitable denouement of their maniacal greed, and the Andrews household stands in for an American public led, by their own greed and longing and hopeful trust, into the money pit." [The Atlantic] Image via the NY Times