Summary

The dramatic story behind the most audacious power grab in American history.
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.
©2010 Matt Taibbi (P)2010 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Charlie on 05-04-11

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).

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mr. P. Crouch on 04-02-16

Essential listening

Essential listening for anyone who really wants to know who and what caused the financial crisis of 2008. Lifts the lid on who really runs the show in the US (clue - its not the Government) and why they continue to get away with it.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jerome on 23-11-10

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.

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Nichelle on 08-01-11

Funny and Depressing

I've read many books on the financial crisis and so far, this one has been the most interesting.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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