As the recession continues, President Barack Obama has chastised the "fat cats" who feast off government bailout money while unemployment remains high and smaller businesses struggle.
But according to business reporter Charles Gasparino, Obama is faking his outrage, and his calls for new policies to rein in banks that are "too big to fail" are just pabulum. In reality, Obama has climbed into bed with Wall Street CEOs, giving them what they want so they will support his liberal, big-government agenda. As a result, the big banks responsible for the credit crisis get rescued, while small businesses and ordinary Americans get crushed by higher taxes and irresponsible spending.
Gasparino draws on interviews with dozens of key CEOs and political players to trace the roots of Wall Street's twisted love affair with one of the most liberal presidents in American history. He shows how, for decades, big banks and big business have colluded with big government, thereby laying the groundwork for today's shady dealings, and how the same bankers Obama now publically reprimands have supported him - not because he promises change, but because he promises business.
Written in Gasparino's characteristic no-nonsense style, this book is a wake-up call to all Americans to strike back against the people and policies that are ruining our country.
This is not what you'd call a "fun" read. It is serious reporting about the political and financial shenanigans that culminated in and followed the big collapse of 2008. Gasparino is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and the book is based on his extensive investigations of just what happened to create this crisis. There is inside information here based on interviews with many of the key players, as well as a careful reading of a lot of documentation that most of us would never have the patience to wade through. The story of utter corruption it tells -- on the part of both political parties -- is enough to drive a person into either despair, or heart-stopping anger, or both, but it is important information to have. I have recommended this book to more people than I can count any longer, of all political persuasions, and every one I know who has read it has become much less complacent and much more skeptical about the ability of politicians to solve these problems. The one downside of the book is that Gasparino stitched together many of his WSJ pieces without as much editing as would have been desirable (no doubt under pressure of time), so there are redundancies and repetitions in many places. It is also worth noting that the book was published in 2010 before the mid-term elections, and a lot has happened since then that is not covered here. However, if you want a great book to prepare you to keep up with events as they unfold from here on out, this is it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Bought and Paid For to be better than the print version?
In the interests of full disclosure, I am a conservative tea bagger Republican. I have never voted for a democrat and probably never will.
This informative book details how large Wall Street firms like Goldman, Bear Sterns, et. al. have turned away from financing businesses and have exclusively underwritten debts of several governments. That is a rather devastating realization. As a republican, I defend business - even big business like Wall Street. Gasparino's testimony is very damning. He impeaches some of the myths about the Clinton prosperity as well. It tells a different story than that propagandist HBO mini-series Too Big Too Fail.
It is not an enjoyable book the way that listening to the Olympics is, but it is a necessary book and yes I would recommend it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This book remains the most convincing explanation I've seen of the background behind the Obama Administration's economic policies and decisions.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Read this book and you will understand how Wall Street views regulation and uses big government for profit.
Narration was not great, not a strong voice that could truly speak like Gasparino. Lloyd James should not read for The great Charlie Gasparino
Mr. Gasparino, irritatingly points out that both Republicans and Democrats are out to suck the life force out of us all. If you are having any money troubles don’t listen, it will drive you crazy. God help us all.