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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jeremy on 05-27-12
The Best Book on the Financial Collapse
I have read many of the recently published books on the financial crises over the past few years in an effort to better understand what happened. This book is by far the best that I have read to date. It details not only what happened and how the crises was created but also who was behind it and how they benefited. The most interesting chapters discuss the many laws that were broken by the large financial institutions and complete absence of prosecution by any law enforcement agency in the US.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
By Audiohound on 06-04-12
Informative Companion to "Inside Job"
I've ended up listening to a number of books on the 2008 Financial Crisis including "All the Devils Are Here," "13 Bankers," "Griftopia" and tangentially related "No One Would Listen." I approached "Predator Nation" with the thought that I would not necessarily learn anything new, as I had seen Ferguson's documentary, "Inside Job." I found this an engaging listen although it does retread some of the material in ???Inside Job.??? Ferguson remarks that he wrote the book in order to make a sustained argument for prosecution of financial sector players. This part of the book was informative, but I gained the most insight with Mr. Ferguson???s broader analysis of the financial sector as parasitic and unproductive, and his weaving of issues like corporate governance and (mis)management, education, and money in politics gave significant insight into the past 40 years and the crisis. If you liked ???Inside Job,??? you will learn more. If you want even grander weaving of the ideas, I recommend ???13 Bankers??? and Kevin Phillips??? ???American Theocracy.???
11 of 12 people found this review helpful