I always promise my students that I will never assign them difficult readings that don't 'pay off'. That is, if the writing seems 'hard' then that's because the thought is itself complex, or otherwise attempting to reveal something about the world that's not just obvious. (Side note: because of my fidelity to this law, I have never assigned Sedgwick.)
So here's a piece I recommend everyone read, but first let me tell you what the payoff is:
1. Restores some faith in the news media – there still is rigorous investigative journalism alive in this country (you just have to go to local City Papers to find it).
2. Helps explain the Real Estate bubble, and shows why its bursting is still going to be really messy.
3. Demonstrates in powerful terms that bailing out bad mortgages does NOT necessarily mean helping out 'average Americans'. And shows that the housing crisis has not emerged simply because of predatory lenders (and surely not because of lending to poor people!)
Here you go