Barry Ritholtz’s Bailout Nation, which was written for but canceled in early February by McGraw Hill over a disagreement about its contents, has a new publisher in John Wiley & Sons.
Mr. Ritholtz has said that McGraw Hill canceled Bailout Nation out of a desire to protect the reputation of the company’s credit rating division, Standard & Poor’s, which Mr. Ritholtz criticized severely in the book. A spokesman for the publisher denied this, telling Portfolio’s Jesse Eisinger that the problem was that parts of the book could not be corroborated and that a “unified approach with the author for resolving the issues” could not be found.
The original version of Mr. Ritholtz’s manuscript, which he submitted to his editors in December, accused S&P and the other major ratings agencies of conducting “a form of ‘payola’,” thereby enabling the mortgage crisis. “They were the pimps to the fixed-income fund managers’ johns,” Mr. Ritholtz wrote. “The investment banks whored out junk paper, and the ratings agencies were extremely well compensated for their role in helping to create the entire subprime fiasco.”
Upon reading that first draft, editors at McGraw Hill reportedly asked Mr. Ritholtz to make stylistic changes, which the author agreed to do as long as it didn’t mean altering the substance of what he was saying. But when Mr. Ritholtz came back to his editors with a revision—“The newly edited version was far more factual, detailed,” he later wrote on his blog, “and in my opinion, more damning”—they still weren’t pleased, and pretty soon the contract was canceled and Mr. Ritholtz started showing the book to other publishers.
A spokeswoman for Wiley & Sons said details on their deal with Mr. Ritholtz would not be available until tomorrow. Neither Mr. Ritholtz nor his representative, Lloyd Jassin, immediately returned calls seeking comment.
A more complete account of Mr. Ritholtz’s wrangling with McGraw Hill can be found in this blog post, which he wrote immediately after it was reported that the company had canceled its plans to publish Bailout Nation.