When Barack Obama took office in January 2009, he had an unprecedented chance to do what no other recent president could: seize the nation's financial reins from the corporate elite and return them to the American people. Progressives everywhere held out hope that their new leader would take advantage of the economic crisis he stepped into and enact bold policies that would evoke real financial reforms-putting Main Street in front of Wall Street, at last.
But that, writes Robert Kuttner, is not the way things turned out. Instead, America's best chance for radical financial reform turned into Wall Street's greatest victory. Obama filled his administration with allies of financial elites who were more interested in business as usual than in transformative change. As a consequence, Main Street remained mired in deep recession. Instead of being the instrument of economic renewal, Obama became the target of economic frustration.
In this hard-hitting, incisive account, Kuttner shares his unique, insider view of how the Obama administration not only missed its moment to turn our economy around-but deepened Wall Street's risky grip on America's future. Carefully constructing a one-year history of the problem, the players, and the outcome, Kuttner gives readers an unparalleled account of the president's first year. More importantly, though, Kuttner shows how we could-with swift, decisive action-still enact real reforms. This is a book not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand exactly how Wall Street won, and how Main Street can still fight back.
|Publisher:||Chelsea Green Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Robert Kuttner is the New York Times bestselling author of Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency, is cofounder and coeditor of The American Prospect magazine, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist for BusinessWeek, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe.
His previous and widely praised books include The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity; Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets (about which Robert Heilbroner wrote, "I have never seen the market system better described, more intelligently appreciated, or more trenchantly criticized than in Everything for Sale"); The End of Laissez-Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy After the Cold War; and The Economic Illusion: False Choices Between Prosperity and Social Justice.
Kuttner"s magazine writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Dissent, Columbia Journalism Review, and Harvard Business Review. He has contributed major articles to The New England Journal of Medicine as a national policy correspondent. Formerly an assistant to the legendary I.F. Stone, chief investigator for the Senate Banking Committee, Washington Post staff writer, economics editor for The New Republic, and university lecturer, Kuttner's decades-long intellectual and political project has been to revive the politics and economics of harnessing capitalism to serve a broad public interest.
Table of Contents
1. The man and the moment
2. The politics of capture
3. Continuity and collusion
4. Missing a rendezvous with reform
5. Crony capitalism
6. Obama's loyal opposition
7. Political malpractice
8. Change we can believe in