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Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 030795255X, Hardcover)Guest Reviewer: Simon Johnson on Predator Nation by Charles H. Ferguson
Simon Johnson is coauthor of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown and White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters To You.
Predator Nation demolishes the view that the global financial crisis was merely some sort of freak accident. Charles Ferguson makes a convincing case that the world’s banking system was brought to the brink of complete collapse in 2008–09 by a virulent combination of unchecked greed and criminal behavior.
This is an epic crime story with an apparently clean getaway, courtesy of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Both presidents proved unwilling to hold anyone to account—or even to launch meaningful investigations.
Leading bankers walked away with billions of dollars in unjustified compensation. The costs imposed on the rest of us can be measured in the trillions of dollars.
Predator Nation provides a roadmap for prosecution, systematically covering the banks involved, the names of culpable executives, the obvious crimes, the precise laws broken, and the evidence hiding in plain sight. No doubt it will be widely ignored by our legal officials.
Ferguson’s points are also intensely political. Reckless behavior by bankers can be traced back to the bipartisan consensus around deregulating finance in recent decades. This result is a socially destructive industry with immense political power—and capable of defeating all attempts at meaningful reform. The continued predominance of rogue finance is greatly facilitated by its effective corruption of American academia and many so-called “independent experts” (documented in Charles Ferguson’s Oscar-winning movie, Inside Job.)
Big banks hold American politics in a death grip. To understand this—and to start to think about how to break this grip—read Predator Nation and give a copy to everyone you know.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:41 -0400)
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 has nearly disappeared. The financial sector has become increasingly criminalized, with widespread fraud going completely unpunished. Federal tax collections are at their lowest level in sixty years, with the wealthy 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 societies. If you're smart and a hard worker, but your parents aren't rich, you're now better off being born in Munich or Singapore than in Cleveland or New York. This radical shift did not happen by accident. Author Ferguson shows how, since the Reagan administration, both major political parties have become captives of the moneyed elite. The Clinton administration dismantled the regulatory controls that protected the average citizen from avaricious financiers. The Bush team destroyed the federal revenue base with its tax cuts for the rich. And the Obama White House has allowed financial criminals to continue to operate unchecked, even after supposed "reforms" installed after the collapse of 2008.--From publisher description.
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