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Publisher's Summary

In this searing exposé, former Wall Street insider Nomi Prins shows how the 2007-2008 financial crisis turbo-boosted the influence of central bankers and triggered a massive shift in the world order.

Central banks and international institutions like the IMF have overstepped their traditional mandates by directing the flow of epic sums of fabricated money without any checks or balances. Meanwhile, the open door between private and central banking has ensured endless opportunities for market manipulation and asset bubbles - with government support. 

Through on-the-ground reporting, Prins reveals how five regions and their central banks reshaped economics and geopolitics. She discloses how Mexico navigated its relationship with the US while striving for independence and how Brazil led the BRICS countries to challenge the US dollar's hegemony. She explains how China's retaliation against the Fed's supremacy is aiding its ongoing ascent as a global superpower and how Japan is negotiating the power shift from the West to the East. And she illustrates how the European response to the financial crisis fueled instability that manifests itself in everything from rising populism to the shocking Brexit vote. 

Packed with tantalizing details about the elite players orchestrating the world economy - from Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi to Ben Bernanke and Christine Lagarde - Collusion takes the listener inside the most discreet conversations at exclusive retreats like Jackson Hole and Davos. A work of meticulous reporting and bracing analysis, Collusion will change the way we understand the new world of international finance.

©2018 Nomi Prins (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Central banks, led by the Federal Reserve, are the opioids for private banks addicted to being reckless with other people's money. Prins, drawing from her previous work in Wall Street firms and her present field research around the world, says, 'We are headed for another epic fall.' Taxpayers, workers and consumers who will suffer from another bailout, all better read this clear, concise, compelling book." (Ralph Nader)

"A somber, important warning that's likely to cause readers to wonder about the safety of their assets, if not fear for the near-term future." (Kirkus Reviews)

"[An] unflinching, troubling exposé... well worth a close read by anyone looking to understand the roots of the last crash and prepare for the next." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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Long on detail short on meaning

If you are buying this book to understand the ethics of central banking move on. It's an important string of details that build an argument for, as the title says "Collusion" among central bankers. However Prins avoids an examination of the moral hazard of self interested private bankers determining our monetary policy and much of the world economy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A clear insightful narrative of monetary collusion

Greatly enjoyed book and insightful narrative of monetary collusion as it delved into the role big banks played in its aftermath.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Philo
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 05-09-18

Fair history survey, lazy characterizations

Why do I read a book -- "hire" an author? To get unique value. Here, I had trailed off on the central bank story some in recent years, so a survey of the recent history would have some value. This work, on its facts, was mostly content I could get from a google search of key headline articles over the same time span. No, we are not made privy to these whispered confidential insider conversations, as the publisher's teaser hints. Mostly we get the basic facts alongside public PR press releases of the top central bankers and finance ministers. This recounting was worthwhile but not standout; it was useful to see a compendium of the rhetoric of these officials and nations, back and forth. That is the better aspect and value of this book: it is pretty good as a basic history recital.

How about the analysis, then? Instantly, peeves jumped out here. One was the repetition of certain trademark phrases, murky and ill-defined. Collusion was one. How is it distinguished from cooperation? Well, if one accepts the (not thoroughly historically grounded) evil bankers subtext, then I guess we could use that term carelessly thereafter. But that narrative, often some sort of faintly leftish populist whining to my ears, isn't neatly pinned to the history and facts. We just need to swallow the author's POV. A better book, IMO, would elevate the discussion by explicating the nuances, dilemmas, trade-offs and alternatives faced by these actors in those times. Instead, we have simplistic breezy passages skipping by these matters, and too much of a tone of resentful sniping (expressed in simplistic, overused catch-phrases). I guess I should be satisfied with these cues for what I should uncritically conclude alongside this author. Of course elitist bankers who go to Davos are wrecking our lives and crushing the noble aspirations of emerging economies, right? (I do agree with her point that the Fed fumbled subprime regulation pre-crisis. OK, there is a whole history there, written up elsewhere, not explicated here, but then? What new insights are to be found? Once the edifice was in collapse, after centuries of a buildup of this semi-private weird banking system, AT THAT JUNCTURE, what tools were at hand, what alternative risks? Eternal resentment is the cheap shot for a thinker and author, I believe.) How, for example, would things be different if the (supposedly) noble Joe Six-Packs of the world (who had just themselves heedlessly plunged off a cliff into subprime home loans they signed) had been simply handed wads of money? That is impliedly (I think? I am left to conjecture in this murk) suggested as a better thing, but not explored. What might have happened without these bankers' machinations? We simply get recrimination here, mostly. This same casual tossing about of words and assumptions surrounds the oft-used (and useless, and carelessly constructed, and pejorative) term money-conjuring. Hello: we got a central bank to get elasticity in currency aggregates when needed. But none of that (troublingly nuanced and complex stuff, though not beyond the reach of this book's audience) is here. Instead, we can take a sniping tone to suggest these Davos elites are some sort of malevolent witches, cackling and conjuring money as if around a cartoon cauldron. So too, this author in any situation of ambiguity invariably defaults to criticizing US financial elites, versus any of the other (I will say, at least equally greedy, scheming, self-interested) players and I think she tends to laud others in other nations who are playing the same games, usually less aptly (IMO).

Finally, the excessive casualness appears in imputing intentions and motives to people and whole nations unsupported by the data points provided. Several times we are told what Ben Bernanke's aims were, alongside his quotes that are more intelligent and nuanced than the author tried to nudge us to believe. And, I recall a phrase, not unusual in its style in this book, of the sort, "the United States believed ...." That is absurd on its face. The USA is not a monolithic entity that believes some simple linear thing. Some person(s) within the USA took a position, yes. It would be more accurate to call the USA completely schizophrenic than to impute such a narrow belief. I.e., this has low information content.
I would, if editing this, have, I believe, helped push this author harder point by point to produce a far more justifiably penetrating and influential work. The promise is here, the framework is here, the execution falls short. I think All the President's Bankers by her had almost identical issues.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 09-20-18

Great piece of work, Nomi Prins

A forensic account of central banks' policies and operations since the GFC. The concluding chapter pulls no punches but it is hard to resist Nomi Prins' thesis on the back of the historical account of the last decade of 'money conjuring'.

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  • Robert Barwick
  • 06-18-18

Overwhelming evidence

Nomi Prins has amassed the evidence to prove that, since the 2008 crash, most of the world's central banks, except China's, have colluded to prop up the private banks that caused the crisis, at the expense of the public who were the victims of the crisis. Collusion proves the system needs a major overhaul, beginning with a Glass-Steagall separation of banking that serves the real economy, from the mess of speculation and derivatives that is the cancer in the global financial system.

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Gene W
  • 06-16-18

Not Comprehensive

This book is striking in as that it leaves out all of the Espionage that is shown to have happened between the Russians and the Chinese government and attacks on the financial institutions 2008. Also I did not much care for the Miss quotations of political statements regarding Mexico it was unnecessary and not a further the story at all.