Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, And the Long Con That Is Breaking America (Unabridged)
by Matt Taibbi
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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.
A seven course meal in a time of drive through dinner diets
In a time of 24 hour opinion piece news minus the relevant facts, this is a wonderful read. You could re-watch the last two years of media coverage of our financial collapse and gain an actual feel for the facts and players involved within the first few chapters of this book that were (somehow) omitted in the media. The superhero capes wrapped over the shoulders of the financial 'genius' that led us to this point are ripped off by Taibbi and thrown into the dumpster unapologetically, along with their economic models that the media and our elected officials continue to champion. Mr Taibbi gives a glimse and proscecution simultaneously into the man with the big S on his cape, Alan Greenspan. He does so with such wit and a sharp tongue that this chapter alone makes the book worth purchasing. In wanting to know more about what is being done to us, I found this an even better read than Nouriel Roubini's 'Crisis Economics' which is a wonderfull read of its own but is more textbook to the layman. Taibbi, in his trademark fashion, gives us the terrible detail along with the simple mans analogy to understand this complex mess we are in. We are in it for some time to come it appears. Griftopia is a great book to help us cut through the nonsense debate currently playing now on our network tv. It is the written proscecution that should be drumbeat media.
Well thought, engaging analysis
I bought several copies of this book and gave them to my freinds and family. This book is critical of both sides in what is accurately described by the author as the raping of our nation. The illegal profiteering that lead to several destructive investment schemes are well articulated here and should provide a strong understanding as to what markets are doing and why. I am a soldier of over two decades and have been troubled, yet enlightened by explanations provided in this book. I bought it after stumbling across an interview with the author and was pleased to see his engaging style come across well in his writing.