Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy--and How They Will Do It Again If No One Stops Them

Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy--and How They Will Do It Again If No One Stops Them

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by Peter Schweizer
     
 

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Was the financial collapse caused by free-market capitalism and deregulation run amok, as liberals claim?

Not on your life, says Peter Schweizer. What we are really witnessing is a massive failure of social engineering by liberals.

Architects of Ruin, bestselling author Peter Schweizer describes in riveting detail how a

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Overview

Was the financial collapse caused by free-market capitalism and deregulation run amok, as liberals claim?

Not on your life, says Peter Schweizer. What we are really witnessing is a massive failure of social engineering by liberals.

Architects of Ruin, bestselling author Peter Schweizer describes in riveting detail how a coalition of left-wing activists, liberal politicians, and "do-good capitalists" on Wall Street leveraged government power to achieve their goal of broadening homeownership among minorities and the poor. The results were not only devastating to the economy, but hurt the very people they were supposedly trying to help.

The story begins in the 1960s with Saul Alinsky, the legendary Chicago rabble-rouser who trained his acolytes in highly aggressive techniques of community activism. Alinsky's disciples—along with race-baiting activists like Jesse Jackson—seized on the "redlining" controversy of those years to argue that banks were guilty of racial discrimination. In the 1970s, with the help of liberal senators like Ted Kennedy and William Proxmire, legislation was passed that put bankers under the thumb of local activists.

In the Clinton years, a new generation of liberal technocrats came to power in Washington and on Wall Street. Schweizer describes how a powerful phalanx of elite liberals, including Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, Andrew Cuomo, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Janet Reno, Deval Patrick, Henry Cisneros, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Charles Schumer, and many others, aggressively pushed banks to make trillions of dollars in loans to individuals who should never have received them.

Meanwhile, Clinton forged a new form of state capitalism in which the big Wall Street financial companies were repeatedly bailed out—with their profits intact—from a series of costly errors, leading them to take ever larger risks. Both financial policies had profoundly distorting effects. The result was the bursting of twin bubbles in mortgages and mortgage-backed derivatives, in turn leading to a global economic collapse.

This tale of liberal "Robin Hood capitalism run wild" has never been told. But more than just a story about the past, it is also an urgent warning about the future. For today, the very same people who planted the seeds of the collapse are back in Washington, tasked with cleaning up the mess and determined to use the crisis they caused as cover for a massive overhaul of the American economic system.

These people have learned nothing from their past mistakes and are busy applying the same methods to other sectors of the economy—health care, the auto industry, real estate (again!), and above all the promotion of "green" technologies—inflating bubbles that are sure to bring about another crisis. Ordinary Americans who foot the bill for the last state-capitalist bubble have reason to be afraid—very afraid—of the inevitable result.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Praise for DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO:“A spirited attack on lefty icons.”
Weekly Standard
“An entertaining exposure . . . In a series of 11 profiles on leftist icons from Noam Chomsky and Al Franken to Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, Schweizer reveals that the most vocal liberals do not practice what they preach.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061976308
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
319,397
File size:
340 KB

Meet the Author

Peter Schweizer is the author of Extortion, Throw Them All Out, Architects of Ruin, and other books that have revealed political wrongdoing, and has been featured on 60 Minutes, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. He is the cofounder and president of the Government Accountability Institute, a team of investigative researchers and journalists committed to exposing crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance.

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Architects of Ruin 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
mavsrcheap More than 1 year ago
I haven't found any other book that thoroughly discusses the roots of the Great Recession of 2008. The evening news says, "it's the result of the 8 failed years of the Bush administration...giving a pass to the Wall Street 'fat cats'". I knew the housing bubble had to be the result of some long building systemic problem. Finally, a book that puts the whole picture together. There is plenty of blame to go around to everyone. However, today's biggest blamers are the people who have the most culpability. The book is well documented and footnoted. I am very anxious to read the other side's fact check on any assertions in the book that may be incorrect.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
The financial meltdown of 2008 has turned into one of the greatest economic crisis in history. Like most other economic crisis of that magnitude, it seemed to have come practically out of nowhere, and it will be analyzed and discussed by the historians, political scientists and economists for the decades to come. For all of us who have to live with its consequences it matters very little in the short run what really caused this crisis. However, it would be good to know with some level of certainty what major miscalculations lead to this unraveling of the global financial system, so hopefully we can avoid a similar fate in the future. The two main culprits have emerged for this latest economic catastrophe: the government-subsidized and controlled mortgage industry, and the Wall Street investment banks. Those on the political right had vilified the former ones, while the political left reserved all of its contempt for those "greedy" capitalist bankers. It turns, according to this book, that both sides are right. The mortgage industry has been systematically under the assault of various "community" organizations for almost half a century, and in that process it had been gradually forced to abandon many of its core landing standards in order to appease various activist interests groups. One of the more valuable qualities of this book is the very detailed reconstruction of the architecture of this process. In particular Schweizer claims that most of the rationale and the methods for the shakedown of banks can be traced to Chicago activist Saul Alinsky. I not knowledgeable enough on this subject to ascertain its veracity, but the fact remains that a significant number of high-ranking Democratic politicians and activists are the product of the "Chicago school." Schweizer does not refrain from naming names and this book is a much more ground-level description of the unsavory housing regulations and mortgage industry practices than for instance Thomas Sowell's The Housing Boom and Bust: Revised Edition. For me at least, the real eye-openers were the chapters that dealt with the financial industry. Far from being a bastion of pure capitalism, the Wall Street according to Schweizer had over the years become increasingly reliant on governmental support. The massive seven hundred billion dollars bailout in the fall of 2008 was only the latest instance of the federal government having to bail out the financial sector in recent decades. In effect, these large banks have come to expect that if anything were ever to happen to them they could rely on public money to get them out of the sticky situation. In a phrase that had since become widely used, they were "too large to fail." As in the case of the mortgage industry, I am far from being an expert in these matters, but the claims that Schweizer is making seem eminently plausible. This is an important book that reveals some startling facts about the interplay between the activist community organizers, banking industry and politics. As far as I am concerned, this is the most plausible and comprehensive explanation of the 2008 financial crisis. I hope as wide of an audience as possible gets to read it.
jwtimekeep More than 1 year ago
When I started this book, I didn't trust our politicians...now I really don't....Peter's book is very informative and names names...it shows where the politicians loyality really lies...yes I said lies...they are in it for themselves and their cronies....for power and money....Washington is broken...it needs steam cleaning....you won't be able to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to have pro market biases re afffirmed look no further... if you want critical aalysis of the crisis please avoid this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book takes the reader back 30 years when the seeds of our economic ruin were sown. Liberal activists pushed the notion that home ownership was a civil right and through legislation and under the watchful eye of activist organizations, forced banks to make risky loans to people who were not credit worthy. The result was the subprime debacle and billions paid to the "too big to fail" crowd. This book is a fact-based eye-opener that needs to be read by anyone who clings to the notion that it's all Bush's fault.
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Knuckledragger More than 1 year ago
Schweitzer chronicles how greed and mendacity nearly destroyed our banking system. The villains include the community activists including a young Barack Obama who were blackmailing banks to force them to make loans to people who could not or would not repay them, the politicians who wrote the laws that enabled this extortion, and the executives at Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac who conspired to spread the toxic debt throughout the financial system. Unfortunately; the book does not document the recent revelations about the involvement of Newt Gingrich who took over a million dollars to give the executives at Freddie Mac "history lessons."
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