• The Lords of Easy Money

  • How the Federal Reserve Broke the American Economy
  • By: Christopher Leonard
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (696 ratings)

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The Lords of Easy Money

By: Christopher Leonard
Narrated by: Jacques Roy
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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The New York Times bestselling business journalist Christopher Leonard infiltrates one of America’s most mysterious institutions—the Federal Reserve—to show how its policies​ ​spearheaded by Chairman Jerome Powell over the past ten years have accelerated income inequality and put our country’s economic stability at risk.

If you asked most people what forces led to today’s unprecedented income inequality and financial crashes, no one would say the Federal Reserve. For most of its history, the Fed has enjoyed the fawning adoration of the press. When the economy grew, it was credited to the Fed. When the economy imploded in 2008, the Fed got credit for rescuing us.

But the Fed also has a unique power to reshape the American economy for the worse, which it did, fatefully, on November 4, 2010 through a radical intervention called quantitative easing. In just a few short years, the Fed more than quadrupled the money supply with one goal: to encourage banks and other investors to extend more risky debt. Leaders at the Fed knew that they were undertaking a bold experiment that would produce few real jobs, with long-term risks that were hard to measure. But the Fed proceeded anyway...and then found itself trapped. Once it printed all that money, there was no way to withdraw it from circulation. The Fed tried several times, only to see the market start to crash, at which point the Fed turned the money spigot back on. That’s what it did when COVID hit, printing 300 years’ worth of money in two short months.

Which brings us to now: Ten years on, the gap between the rich and poor has grown dramatically, stock prices are trading far above what’s justified by actual corporate profits, corporate debt in America is at an all-time high, and this debt is being traded by big banks on Wall Street, leaving them vulnerable—just as they were during the mortgage boom. Middle-class wages have barely budged in a decade, and consumers are buried under credit card debt, car loan debt, and student debt.

The Lords of Easy Money tells the shocking, riveting tale of how quantitative easing is imperiling the American economy through the story of the one man who tried to warn us. This will be the first inside story of how we really got here—and why we face a frightening future.

©2022 Christopher Leonard. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Lords of Easy Money

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nothing actionable.

It’s an interesting story if you like financial current events and recent history. However, there is nothing actionable. This will not help with your investments. The author is an anti-Trumper and an establishment guy. He seems shocked that the easy money policies of the Fed for decades has caused a widening of the inequality gap, yet he defines Fed credit like Ron Paul as cranks.

I wanted to quit the book many times, but I kept going as it seemed that the author was almost about to “get it”, but he never does.

14 people found this helpful

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Pointless book

The Fed printed too much money. That’s not good. No proposals or potential solutions. Republicans bad - Democrats good. I just saved you hours of reading this pointless book.

12 people found this helpful

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Thrilling, Terrifying, Thought-Provoking

The book is almost told like a spy thriller novel. Mr. Leonard does a great job of weaving interesting facts, figures and explanations in a way that is both engaging to listen to and horrifying in it's scope.

Mr. Leonard does a fantastic job of conveying difficult terms and processes such as corporate debt packaging and quantitative easing with a flair but also putting it in easy to understand language. Very little FED speak.

I highly recommend anyone who is interested in discovering one of the main drivers of economic problems and policy read/listen to this book.

Hold on, grab a snack, and be ready to ride the search for yeild curve!

4 people found this helpful

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complex topics made understandable

all excellent explanation of topics such as the repo market. he shows the appropriate amount of sympathy for central bankers who are given difficult choices, as well as criticism for their choices which disproportionately benefit the rich.

4 people found this helpful

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Eye opener and chilling

This is the most important, up to date, book of recent behind the scene explanation of what is going on in the most powerful , secretive and influential agency in the world.

It is an eye opener and a monumental warning sign to the public to become less greedy and more fearful.


This book is THE "red pill" for the public and retail investors that underestimate, sometimes unaware of, the powerfull and destructive forces that will change the life of the generations to come.

I wish it was just a dystopian fiction.

3 people found this helpful

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Meh….

Chapter 16 will age VERY poorly. Although recommended by war room, the book is too left leaning and written to enjoy. It is a good history, however, so I’ll still give two stars.

2 people found this helpful

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Just wow.

Hard to comprehend the level of criminality on display from the FED and the disasters it’s caused. So reckless and so futile. This book lays it all out. There’s no way out for the FED and this epic everything bubble.

2 people found this helpful

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Big story important, level of detail a slog

This is an important book about a little known topic. But the level of Fed-speak and array of details makes it hard to take in. Perhaps that's the point -that the Fed obfuscates its dramatic impact on all of us, using concepts and programs few can understand.

2 people found this helpful

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The Fed made fascinating

This book literally blew me away. It is the Big Short of monetary policy. The Fed is funding trillions of initiatives that make up for the ineptitude of fiscal policy (congress). But their programs are designed to prop up mostly assets, creating the massive income inequality we have today. They have created the mother of all bubbles, which will pop disastrously in the future. It informed me, it scared me, it entertained me. What a book!

2 people found this helpful

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Learn about the otherwise unknown Tom Hoenig

Well-written! Interesting blend of story-telling that provides backgrounds into the different characters, most notably, Tom Hoenig and Jerome Powell.

The format makes this an easy read or listen. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about the history of the federal reserve, it’s inner-workings, and how they respond to crises.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brian B.
  • 01-17-22

A revelation

I had a vague idea of the Fed and how it acted, but was shocked to find the amounts of money involved. If you have any interest in economics this is a must read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Marius
  • 04-18-22

hmmm not what i expected

first half , booring . The 2nd half had some good info, yet this book could have bern 4hor less

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  • Brian P Harvey
  • 03-21-22

excellent analysis for the comman man

brilliant book about the corruption of the modern economy. The Fed directly elected Donald Trump

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  • Jack
  • 02-23-22

no risk for wall street

Endless bailouts for wall street. while the average citizen goes broke. This is not capitalism

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  • DrHoward
  • 02-08-22

Excellent

Great book if you want to understand how central bank interventions have shaped markets - so well written and narrated