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It Takes a Pillage
by Nomi Prins
We all watched as packs of former Big Financiers commandeered posts in Washington and lavished trillions in bailouts to “save” big Wall Street firms that used that money for anything and everything except to fill in Main Street’s potholes. We all watched as Wall Street heavyweights fought tooth and nail to declaw financial reform and won.
Former Wall Streeter Nomi Prins has been watching, too, and she is not going to let them get away with it. More than just an angry populist, commentator stuck on the sidelines, Prins understand Big Finance and big money and big schemes-and in this book she exposes the fundamental follies of our economic system and the schemes of the bigwigs who have no intention of letting it change.
- Remarkably combines detail, clarity, and narrative momentum, revealing all the ways in banks gamed the system to get the most money with the least oversight.
- Exposes the power-bankers who bagged more than $5 billion in compensation before and after their companies grabbed more than a trillion dollars in federal bailout subsidies-and how the government’s indignation at this didn’t lead to change.
- Shows how the most egregious pillagers work at the Fed and Treasury department, detailing how Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and Tim Geithner siphoned off $10.7 trillion from the public’s future for Big Finance’s present, all the while telling us it was for our own good.
- Slams a financial system that will not change, if our government doesn’t force it to change, no matter what happens in the so-called free market and why the ‘sweeping’ financial reform bill passed after Wall Street reconsolidated its power, is anything but sweeping or reformative.
- Written by a former managing director at Goldman Sachs, now a senior fellow at Demos, who writes regularly on corruption in Washington and Wall Street for news outlets ranging from Fortune to Mother Jones.
If you’re still enraged and frustrated with how the bank bailout went bust for the American people, or how Wall Street continues to operate as if the rest of the world doesn’t matter, or how the banks are once again rolling in outsized profits and obscene bonuses while average Americans continue to struggle through a bleak landscape of foreclosures and job loss, It Takes a Pillage gives voice to your outrage, and provides a deeper insight into what we really have to be angry about and how we can fight for some real change.
by Neil Barofsky
by Barry Ritholtz
Bailout Nation offers one of the clearest looks at the financial lenders, regulators, and politicians responsible for the financial crisis of 2008. Written by Barry Ritholtz, one of today’s most popular economic bloggers and a well-established industry pundit, this book skillfully explores how the United States evolved from a rugged independent nation to a soft Bailout Nation-where financial firms are allowed to self-regulate in good times, but are bailed out by taxpayers in bad times.
Entertaining and informative, this book clearly shows you how years of trying to control the economy with easy money has finally caught up with the federal government and how its practice of repeatedly rescuing Wall Street has come back to bite them.
- The definitive book on the financial crisis of 2008
- Names the culprits responsible for this tragedy-from financial regulators to politicians
- Shows how each bailout throughout modern history has impacted what happened in the future
- Examines why the consumer/taxpayer is left suffering in an economy of bubbles, bailouts, and possible inflation
- Ritholtz operates a hugely popular blog, www.ritholtz.com/blog
Scathing, but fair, Bailout Nation is a voice of reason in these uncertain economic times.
The Fed and Lehman Brothers
by Laurence M. Ball
by James Freeman, Vern McKinley
The disturbing, untold story of one of the largest financial institutions in the world, Citigroup—one of the ” too big to fail” banks—from its founding in 1812 to its role in the 2008 financial crisis, and the many disasters in between.
During the 2008 financial crisis, Citi was presented as the victim of events beyond its control—the larger financial panic, unforeseen economic disruptions, and a perfect storm of credit expansion, private greed, and public incompetence. To save the economy and keep the bank afloat, the government provided huge infusions of cash through multiple bailouts that frustrated and angered the American public.
But, as financial experts James Freeman and Vern McKinley reveal, the 2008 crisis was just one of many disasters Citi has experienced since its founding more than two hundred years ago. In Borrowed Time, they reveal Citi’s history of instability and government support. It’s not a story that either Citi or Washington wants told.
From its founding in 1812 and through much of its history the bank has been tied to the federal government—a relationship that has benefited both. Many of its initial stockholders had owned stock in the Bank of the United States, and its first president, Samuel Osgood, had been a member of the Continental Congress and America’s first Postmaster General. From its earliest years, Citi took massive risks that led to crisis. But thanks to private investors, including John Jacob Astor, they survived throughout the nineteenth century.
In the twentieth century, Senator Carter Glass blamed Citi CEO “Sunshine Charlie” Mitchell for the 1929 stock market crash, and the bank was actually in violation of the senator’s signature achievement, the Glass-Steagall law, in the late 1990s until then U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin engineered the law’s repeal. Rubin later became the chairman of the executive committee of Citigroup, helping to oversee the bank as it ramped up its increasing mortgage risks before the 2008 crash.
The scale of the financial panic of 2008 was not, as the media and experts claim, unprecedented. As Borrowed Time shows, disasters have been relatively frequent during the century of government-protected banking—especially at Citi.
by Kathleen Day
In the 1930s, battered and humbled by the Great Depression, the U.S. financial sector struck a grand bargain with the federal government. Bankers gained a safety net in exchange for certain curbs on their freedom: transparency rules, record-keeping and antifraud measures, and fiduciary responsibilities. Despite subsequent periodic changes in these regulations, the underlying bargain played a major role in preserving the stability of the financial markets as well as the larger economy. By the free-market era of the 1980s and 90s, however, Wall Street argued that rules embodied in New Deal-era regulations to protect consumers and ultimately taxpayers were no longer needed–and government agreed.
This engaging history documents the country’s financial crises, focusing on those of the 1920s, the 1980s, and the 2000s, and reveals how the two more recent crises arose from the neglect of this fundamental bargain, and how taxpayers have been left with the bill.
Excessive Lending, Leverage, and Risk-Taking in the Presence of Bailout Expectations
by Mr. Andréas Georgiou
The U.S. Economy
by Debra A. Miller
by Christopher Foote
$700 Billion Bailout
by Paul Muolo
- What does the bill say, exactly?
- Who is making decisions about how the $700 billion will be spent, and what does it mean now that the government is investing directly in our banks?
- Who’s footing the bill?
- What is the impact on homeowners, businesses, retirement, and taxes?
- Where do I put my money in the meantime?
Veteran reporter Paul Muolo shows both the challenges and opportunities of the credit crisis and proposed bailout, including its impact on:
- Mortgages: While rates may be lower, there will be more fees imposed on mortgages. Lenders will be far more cautious in lending, and people who cannot meet their mortgages are likely to lose these homes. This may create a “contrarian” plays in foreclosures and vacation homes..
- Stocks and Other Investments: Is now the time to get into the stock market or is it safer to stick with CDs, bonds, and gold?
- Taxes: With the tax breaks, there will be less tax revenue leading to a huge shortfall to the government over the next few years.
He will offer insight into these areas and many others, including how the structure of the bailout bill allows for unprecedented authority that has altered the financial landscape, perhaps permanently. Will the plan work, and how we can prevent this from happening again remains to be seen, but with $700 Billion Bailout Paul Muolo gives us a critical tool for deciphering perhaps the most sweeping piece of legislation since the Patriot Act.
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