David Faber hits home run
with ‘House of Cards’

          Posted Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009

(Note: For our review of David Faber's "House of Cards" companion book, And Then the Roof Caved In, click here.)

In his new documentary "House of Cards," David Faber knocks one out of the park.

He might've even hit a grand slam.

Faber, known for exceptional reporting and with a string of highly acclaimed CNBC documentaries to his credit, raises his own bar even higher with this step-by-step trip through the rise and fall of America's mortgage empire.

The program, written and produced by James Jacoby, is a great success in telling the story authoritatively but in terms that are easily understood by the layman. Banking experts will see it and be impressed, and so will people who struggle with finance who might've been caught with a devastating mortgage.

One beef: Faber gives little or no time to the concept of buyer beware, and puts virtually zero blame on the regular folks who bought more home than they can afford and didn't bother to learn what they could really afford or what they were actually signing. Their stories are sad, but getting close to these people shouldn't have compromised Faber's objectivity.

Much of the program involves office types looking at numbers on a computer screen. This would seem to be boring television, but Faber's team makes it watchable. The most powerful clips are probably the ones showing mortgage dealer Dan Sadek and his film project. This is not Faber's own footage, but acquired from others. To see the type of operator that Wall Street was bankrolling in the mortgage craze is very telling.

Other reviews are highly positive: Among the ones in cyberspace:

Boston Globe: "You don't need to understand CDOs to appreciate"
Tulsa World: "CNBC now puts out the best news on TV"
SouthCoast Massachusetts: "Impressive," but only "so-so job of explaining just how these horrible loans were 'packaged' "
Hollywood Reporter: "Some unusually raw television that's more bracing than reality shows"
New Haven Register: "A deeper understanding of how this financial storm developed"
Newsday: "Superb piece of explanatory journalism"

"House of Cards" (2009)

Featuring: Cynthia Simons, Michael Francis, Lou Pacific, Kyle Bass, Daniel Sadek, Ira Wagner, Alan Greenspan

Anchor and reporter: David Faber

Written and produced by: James Jacoby

Producer: Jill Landes
Senior producer: James Segelstein
Executive producer: Mitch Weitzner
Associate producer: Morgan Downs
Associate producer: Lauren Farrelly
Associate producer: Ola Haram
Associate producer: Mary Catherine Wellons

Editors: Patrick Ahearn, Lisa Orlando
Additional editing: Mary Helen Doyle, David Gross, Michael Sheehan
Director of photography: Marco Mastrorilli
Camera: Jerry Frasier, Bill Irmscher, Leroy Jackson, Raul Marin, Gerard Miller
Audio: David Grogan, David Schumacher
Creative director: Victoria Todis
Lead animator: Wale Adekanbi
Senior animator: Jackie Dessel
Original music: Nicholas Kitsopoulos
Archivist: David Evans
Chief photographer: Angel Perez
Manager of digital post-production: Vito Tattoli
Jib operator: Mike Milia
Assistant jib operator: Michele Schianodicola
Lighting: Jonathan Stevens
Unit manager: Pamela Gaskins
Interns: Michael O'Shea, Kenneth Whitebloom
Broadcast associates: Joanne Denyeau, Fatima Fashihuddin, Kerri Kearns
Special thanks: Chart House Weehawken
Executive producer: Josh Howard
Senior vice president, business news: Jonathan Wald

E-mail: comments@cnbcfix.com

Back to CNBCfix home

CNBCfix home

CNBCfix review:
Maria Bartiromo’s
‘Inside Google’

CNBCfix review:
Scott Wapner’s

CNBCfix review:
Regan the star
of ‘Marijuana Inc.’

CNBCfix review:
‘Untold Wealth’ a
bit soft for Faber

CNBCfix review:
Burnett’s hour on
Africa not enough

CNBCfix review:
‘Oprah Effect’ is
missing Oprah

CNBCfix review:
‘Run for Roses’
is one-trick pony

CNBCfix review:
‘As Seen’ leaves us
waiting for more

CNBCfix review:
‘Cruise Inc.’ not just
for ‘nearly dead’

Fast Money review

FM Viewers Guide

Why we don’t
review Mad Money

Movie review:
‘Wall Street’

Masterful Gordon Gekko

CNBC/cable TV
star bios

♦ Jim Cramer
♦ Dylan Ratigan
♦ Charles Gasparino
♦ Maria Bartiromo
♦ Lawrence Kudlow
♦ Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
♦ Jane Wells
♦ Erin Burnett
♦ David Faber
♦ Karen Finerman
♦ Guy Adami
♦ Jeff Macke
♦ Pete Najarian
♦ Jon Najarian
♦ Tim Seymour
♦ Becky Quick
♦ Joe Kernen
♦ John Harwood
♦ Steve Liesman
♦ Margaret Brennan
♦ Bertha Coombs
♦ Mary Thompson
♦ Trish Regan
♦ Melissa Francis
♦ Rebecca Jarvis
♦ Darren Rovell
♦ Carl Quintanilla
♦ Diana Olick
♦ Anderson Cooper
♦ Neil Cavuto
♦ Monica Crowley
♦ Bill O'Reilly
♦ Rachel Maddow
♦ Susie Gharib
♦ Jane Skinner
♦ Kimberly Guilfoyle
♦ Martha MacCallum
♦ Courtney Friel
♦ Uma Pemmaraju
♦ Joe Scarborough
♦ Terry Keenan
♦ Chrystia Freeland
♦ Christine Romans

CNBC guest bios

♦ Meredith Whitney
♦ Dennis Gartman
♦ Bill Gross
♦ Diane Swonk
♦ Meredith Whitney
♦ Richard X. Bove
♦ Arthur Laffer
♦ Jared Bernstein
♦ Doug Kass
♦ David Malpass
♦ Donald Luskin
♦ Herb Greenberg
♦ Robert Reich
♦ Steve Moore
♦ Vince Farrell
♦ Joe LaVorgna
♦ A. Gary Shilling
♦ Joe Battipaglia
♦ Addison Armstrong
♦ Jack Bouroudjian
♦ Stefan Abrams
♦ Warren Buffett