Charles H. Ferguson, who electrified the world with his Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job, now explains how a predator elite took over the country, step by step, and he exposes the networks of academic, financial, and political influence, in all recent administrations, that prepared the predators' path to conquest.
Over the last several decades, the United States has undergone one of the most radical social and economic transformations in its history.
Finance has become America's dominant industry, while manufacturing, even for high technology industries, has nearly disappeared.
The financial sector has become increasingly criminalized, with the widespread fraud that caused the housing bubble going completely unpunished.
Federal tax collections as a share of GDP are at their lowest level in 60 years, with the wealthy and highly profitable corporations enjoying the greatest tax reductions.
Most shockingly, the United States, so long the beacon of opportunity for the ambitious poor, has become one of the world's most unequal and unfair societies.
If you're smart and a hard worker, but your parents aren't rich, you're now better off being born in Munich, Germany, or in Singapore than in Cleveland, Ohio, or New York. This radical shift did not happen by accident. Ferguson shows how, since the Reagan administration in the 1980s, both major political parties have become captives of the moneyed elite. It was the Clinton administration that dismantled the regulatory controls that protected the average citizen from avaricious financiers. It was the Bush team that destroyed the federal revenue base with its grotesquely skewed tax cuts for the rich. And it is the Obama White House that has allowed financial criminals to continue to operate unchecked, even after supposed "reforms" installed after the collapse of 2008.
Predator Nation reveals how once-revered figures like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers became mere courtiers to the elite. Based on many newly released court filings, it details the extent of the crimes - there is no other word for them - committed in the frenzied chase for wealth that caused the financial crisis. And, finally, it lays out a plan of action for how we might take back our country and the American dream.
“With Predator Nation, Charles Ferguson sets out to finish what he started with his Oscar-winning documentary, Inside Job. This take-no-prisoners account of the financial crisis follows the money, connects the dots, names names, and asks the questions our leaders still refuse to answer: how have those responsible for the crisis not been held accountable, and how can we make sure it doesn’t happen again?” (Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group)
“There is fraud at the heart of Wall Street - deliberate intellectual, business, and political deception. Charles Ferguson is in hot pursuit. Inside Job shook up the cozy world of academic finance. Predator Nation should stir prosecutors into action. And if we fail to reform our political system, you can say goodbye to American democracy.” (Simon Johnson, coauthor of White House Burning and MIT Sloan School of Management professor)
“Ferguson presents a fierce indictment of predatory activities of parts of the financial system and of the corruption of democracy that ‘big money’ financial lobbying has caused. A book well worth reading regardless of whether you fully agree or not with all of its arguments.” (Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics and international business at Stern School of Business, New York University, and chairman of Roubini Global Economics)
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- Nelson Alexander
The Best Book on the Financial Collapse