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The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn’t past but prologue. The stunning rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street in the bubble-and-bailout era was the coming-out party for the network of looters who sit at the nexus of American political and economic power. The grifter class - made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding - has been growing in power for a generation, transferring wealth upward through increasingly complex financial mechanisms and political maneuvers.
Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi here unravels the whole fiendish story, digging beyond the headlines to get into the deeper roots and wider implications of the rise of the grifters. He traces the movement’s origins to the cult of Ayn Rand and her most influential - and possibly weirdest - acolyte, Alan Greenspan, and offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals that decided the winners and losers in the government bailouts. He uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world, and he shows how finance dominates politics, from the story of investment bankers auctioning off America’s infrastructure to an inside account of the high-stakes battle for health-care reform - a battle the true reformers lost.
Finally, he tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”.
Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing, and scathingly funny account yet written of the ongoing political and financial crisis in America. This is essential listening for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of politics and finance in this country, and the profound consequences for us all.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jerome on 11-23-10
News In America
While some people will take issue with the first chapter; I think Taibbi hits on something I've suspected for some time now. The fact that our mainstream news and debates are more or less meaningless or nonsense. Many people like to focus on Fox News as being so biased, but really they are just the logical progression of what most of the news has become.
To this point, I found the chapters about the commodity bubble the most interesting and revealing of how much we are all suckers. I don't remember any debate from Obama or McCain about the issue of speculation in regard to the price of gas during their campaigns.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 01-10-11
This book added to my understanding of what is happening to America, like Todo pulling back the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, but it also organized and expressed many of the thoughts that have been dancing around at the back of my head about our political system in a irreverent, witty, and coherent fashion. Thank you, Mr. Taibbi for saying f***k you, when I can not.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Charlie on 04-05-11
The joy of being scared
This book is brilliant. Matt Taibbi's rants directred toward Alan Greenspan was one of my favorite sections of the book. The further you go in this book, the more it reminds me of a well staged horror film. You're terrified by the greedy hacks that control our economic and social life, but you can't turn away, you're forced to listen to the unraveling of a once great nation. But don't get me wrong, this is a very funny book and anyone who's interested in the 2008 meltdown should read this. (or listen).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Lord Peridot on 07-16-18
More books like this please
Taibbi is a great communicator and does an excellent job here of translating all the confusing & misleading jargon we hear about economics & finance into language that the public can understand. In each chapter he focuses on one of the different ways in which the American public are ripped off by their friends on Wall St. This includes the bank bailouts of the 07/08 crash, the mortgage scams which contributed to the crisis in the first place, commodities trading & the insurance industry. Special scorn & attention is reserved for Goldman Sachs & the one time Federal reserve chairman Alan Geenspan. Not many people have Taibbi's ability to research a complicated serious subject and make it interesting & comprehensible to the public and entertaining where possible. He doesn't come up with solutions to the underlying problems of corrupted, ineffective democracy. But to be fair to him he doesn't set out to do so. Reporting the world as it is, is a most valuable service in itself.