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
Taibbi proved himself to be one of the best journalist to cover the 2008 collapse. This is particularly amazing when you consider that he wasn't really an economics/financial guy before that. He learned as he went along, and learned fairly well. Or maybe it's more of a condemnation of the mainstream press, I'm not sure.
Either way, Taibbi has a razor sharp whit and covers this mess with good clarity. It would be more funny if it wasn't so maddening. There are quite a few books on this subject, but Taibbi does a great job of breaking down complex financial follies into language that you can understand and putting the whole thing in perspective.
The best chapter in the book has to be the Greenspan chapter. Absolutely hilarious.
This is better researched and argued than any of Michael Moore's works. An extremely hard-hitting book that also has humor and wit (eXile readers will know what I am talking about). Taibbi at his best. A must listen.
Enjoyed this book very much, made what could have been dull into an interesting and insightful experience.
Very entertaining and even funny at times but scary as hell. If what Mr. Tabbai purports is true, the United States as we "know" it is already dead.
Great information that the general public isn't often privy to. And Taibbi doesn't slant left or right..he names names..putting blame where it belongs. Narrator was perfect.
Matt Taibbi does a great job explaining and discussing the events and the key characters surrounding the 2008 Financial Crisis. He meticulously explains very convoluted financial concepts and terms in a clear, and often, hilarious manner.
I enjoyed this book overall but I do have a couple gripes about it. Most notably, I think Matt Taibbi paints a very bleak (and most likely true) image of our capitalist society. However, I felt like he didn't really present any solutions as to how to improve or to prevent something like this from occurring again. Reading the book makes one very worried about the future of America but at the same time, one feels disempowered to take action.
Overall, however, I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand the basics of this important issue before they delve into the more sophisticated elements.
I've read many books about the financial collapse. This one was by far the most entertaining-perhaps because it didn't hold onto some sort of reverence for the financial elite while discussing the topic.
Facts, humor and an awesome narrator make Griftopia an awesome read/listen. Tiabbi deftly navigates America's new age financial labyrinth to explain in layman's terms how bankers, politicians and plutocrats are literally "making" a fortune on the backs of everyday people.
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