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Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians,…
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Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power… (udgave 2011)

af Matt Taibbi

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7043524,050 (4.17)16
The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 only prologue. The 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. The crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they've hijacked America's political and economic life. Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi here unravels the story, digging beyond the headlines to get into the deeper roots and wider implications. He traces the movement's origins to Ayn Rand and her most influential acolyte, Alan Greenspan; 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 with an inside account of the high-stakes battle for health-care reform--a battle the true reformers lost.--From publisher description.… (mere)
Medlem:KilroyWasHere
Titel:Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History
Forfattere:Matt Taibbi
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2011), Paperback, 320 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America af Matt Taibbi

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There was a lot going through my head when I was reading Taibbi's latest must-read book: disgust, anger, wonder, even laughter at his still-incredible powers of description, but at the very end, after I'd finished and had to take a minute to absorb what I'd just read, what I felt most was sadness. More than anything else, this is a book about a country in decline, a country that can't even recognize what its problems are, let alone try to fix them; instead feverishly running through one fraudulent get-rich-quick scheme after another. If you've been paying attention to the news at all for the last few years, you know that the American economy is not exactly in peak health. This is what happens when both the financial sector and government officials decide that the country is more profitable to loot than to invest in, and use their time to convert money from America's decaying physical assets into NoVa chalets. The chapter on how state and local governments nationwide have started selling off infrastructure to shady megabank investors at fire-sale prices to temporarily plug budget holes is stunning in its depiction of short-term thinking, but it's not like they have any options. Meanwhile, the saying that the easiest way to rob a bank is to own one is still true; it's pretty clear that not only do the lucky recipients of the trillions of dollars of free bailout money not have to worry about continuing to own their banks, they don't have to worry about the robbery either since they've paid people to make their crimes perfectly legal, and, as Tea Party cheerleaders like Rick Santelli repeatedly insist, even noble and laudable. Our entire national dialogue is broken. We've become so used to open corruption and kindergarten-level debates that even after the should-have-been-seismic event of the 2008 election, the same groups of Wall Street criminals continued their business of looting the country practically undisturbed by politicians like Obama who were eager to water down even the most timid reforms in exchange for money. Memories of eras like the New Deal and the Great Society have faded to the point where even suggesting that the government should maybe ask health insurance companies to be slightly less sociopathic puts you in the company of Stalin. PJ O'Rourke had a great line: "When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." Unfortunately, he might be right. This is an excellent polemical counterpart to the nerdier Hacker & Pierson book, but be warned that you won't walk away from this one feeling very good about America. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
by Matt Taibbi
I read this book a long time ago but it is still relevant today. The book is not about you or me but about the con men and women behind the scenes. (Well, some are right there in our faces just lying to us!)
This book covers the right, left, and everyone in between. No one is left out. The many ways people have had the screws put to us and gotten away with it. The author pulls no punches!
He makes even the most complex scams easy to understand.
I forgot how good this book was! Definitely need to get one of his newer books! ( )
  MontzaleeW | Feb 3, 2021 |
Pretty good book by an author who is best at long-form investigative/issue journalism. Book was a series of chapters on distinct topics linked by the theme of corruption in the economy, facilitated by the government. The "vampire squid" Goldman article is probably his best known piece in this area, published separately but updated here. The CDO/CMO debt crisis was a particularly large part of the book, but medical/insurance billing issues, Obamacare's failure to reform the most broken parts of the system, etc. were also addressed.

One issue is the author is basically a leftist at heart. When the problem is companies behave badly and capture government regulators to enhance their own monopoly position, and government meddling in the financial system causes problems directly, the common element here is unrestrained government power, not malevolent companies. While there is probably a role for government in ensuring a fair marketplace, and potentially in supporting non-economic aims like fairness of access, some basic safety net, etc., government as a flexible entity which can be used by companies and lobbies to entrench monopolies and act anti-competitively seems more common. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
This book does such a good job of laying out what happened in the housing bubble, the 2008 financial meltdown, and the ongoing political and corporate screw-job being laid at the feet any American who isn't part of the obscenely wealthy uberclass! Highly recommended to *everyone*. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
This book does such a good job of laying out what happened in the housing bubble, the 2008 financial meltdown, and the ongoing political and corporate screw-job being laid at the feet any American who isn't part of the obscenely wealthy uberclass! Highly recommended to *everyone*. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 35 (næste | vis alle)
The shelves are full of books describing how Wall Street turned mortgage markets into a casino. Goldman’s dealings with A.I.G. have been probed in the pages of this newspaper, among others. What Taibbi brings is a broader context and his trademark snarky prose. He has written a polemic, a full-scale indictment of Wall Street and Washington, one that sometimes veers toward ranting, yet serves as a needed antidote to the more even-tempered but fatuous accounts already available.
 
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The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 only prologue. The 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. The crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they've hijacked America's political and economic life. Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi here unravels the story, digging beyond the headlines to get into the deeper roots and wider implications. He traces the movement's origins to Ayn Rand and her most influential acolyte, Alan Greenspan; 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 with an inside account of the high-stakes battle for health-care reform--a battle the true reformers lost.--From publisher description.

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