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Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to… (2011)
by Jeff Madrick
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As Jeff Madrick makes clear, the single-minded pursuit of huge personal wealth has been on the rise in the United States since the 1970s, led by a few individuals who argue that self-interest guides society more effectively than community concerns. In telling the stories of these politicians, economists, and financiers who declared a moral battle for freedom but instead gave rise to an age of greed, Madrick traces the lineage of some of our nation's most pressing economic problems. He begins with Walter Wriston, head of what would become Citicorp, who led the battle against government regulation. He examines the ideas of economist Milton Friedman, who created the plan for an anti-Rooseveltian America; the politically expedient decisions of Richard Nixon that fueled inflation; the philosophy of Alan Greenspan, on whose libertarian ideology a house of cards was built on Wall Street; and Sandy Weill, who constructed the largest financial institution in the world, which would have gone bankrupt in 2008 without a federal bailout.--From publisher description.
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