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The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street
     

The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street

by Robert Scheer
 

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In The Great American Stickup, celebrated journalist Robert Scheer uncovers the hidden story behind one of the greatest financial crimes of our time: the Wall Street financial crash of 2008 and the consequent global recession. Instead of going where other journalists have gone in search of this story—the board rooms and trading floors of the big

Overview

In The Great American Stickup, celebrated journalist Robert Scheer uncovers the hidden story behind one of the greatest financial crimes of our time: the Wall Street financial crash of 2008 and the consequent global recession. Instead of going where other journalists have gone in search of this story—the board rooms and trading floors of the big Wall Street firms—Scheer goes back to Washington, D.C., a veritable crime scene, beginning in the 1980s, where the captains of the finance industry, their lobbyists and allies among leading politicians destroyed an American regulatory system that had been functioning effectively since the era of the New Deal.

This is a story largely forgotten or overlooked by the mainstream media, who wasted more than two decades with their boosterish coverage of Wall Street. Scheer argues that the roots of the disaster go back to the free-market propaganda of the Reagan years and, most damagingly, to the bipartisan deregulation of the banking industry undertaken with the full support of “progressive” Bill Clinton.

In fact, if this debacle has a name, Scheer suggests, it is the “Clinton Bubble,” that era when the administration let its friends on Wall Street write legislation that razed decades of robust financial regulation. It was Wall Street and Democratic Party darling Robert Rubin along with his clique of economist super-friends—Alan Greenspan, Lawrence Summers, and a few others—who inflated a giant real estate bubble by purposely not regulating the derivatives market, resulting in the pain and hardship millions are experiencing now.

The Great American Stickup is both a brilliant telling of the story of the Clinton financial clique and the havoc it wrought—informed by whistleblowers such as Brooksley Born, who goes on the record for Scheer—and an unsparing anatomy of the American business and political class. It is also a cautionary tale: those who form the nucleus of the Clinton clique are now advising the Obama administration.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Following Ronald Reagan’s obsession with the “radical deregulation” of financial markets through its apotheosis under the Clinton administration to Obama’s reform efforts--which rely, oddly enough, on Clinton cronies to clean up (and profit from) the mess they made--Scheer (The Pornography of Power) proves that, when it comes to the ruling sway of money power, Democrats and Republicans, Wall Street and Washington make very agreeable bedfellows. Scheer names names (Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Alan Greenspan), while praising those who sounded the alarm and underscoring the foreseeable results of putting Wall Street in the driver’s seat. What grew in this regulatory vacuum, Scheer shows, was a global “casino,” a mind-bendingly enormous and arcane system of gambling on new financial products worth hundreds of trillions of dollars. By 2007, when the house of cards collapsed, Wall Street alone understood what it had wrought while its government partners remained clueless. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

REPRESENTATIVE HENRY WAXMAN, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
“Robert Scheer has used his skills as one of the best investigative reporters to show that the deregulation philosophy from Reagan to Clinton and both Bushes led to the near collapse of our financial institutions and the Great Recession from which we are still suffering.”

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post
The Great American Stickup exposes the ugly truth behind the economic meltdown: the fix is in. Seduced by campaign cash and hordes of lobbyists, political leaders of both parties regularly do Wall Street's bidding--leaving Main Street to fend for itself. Even worse, Scheer shows that the people that nearly drove our economy over the cliff still have their hands on the wheel.”

MATT WELCH, editor-in-chief of Reason magazine
“Robert Scheer is among the vanishing breed of journalists who take it as a patriotic duty to criticize power no matter who wields it. Whatever your views on financial regulation, The Great American Stickup makes nauseatingly clear that both major parties—including the current and former president—colluded with banks ‘and left the rest of us holding the bag”

CHRIS HEDGES, Senior fellow of The Nation Institute and author of

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568584348
Publisher:
Nation Books
Publication date:
09/07/2010
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
909,259
Product dimensions:
6.96(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author


Robert Scheer, former foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, is Editor-in-Chief of Truthdig and a senior lecturer at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. He lives in Los Angeles.

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