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The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Streetby Robert Scheer
Synopses & Reviews
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.
A muckraking exposé of the bipartisan origins of our greatest financial scandal
A legendary journalist exposes how the very architects of our financial calamity now engineer the recovery program
In The Great American Stick-Up, long-time Los Angeles Times columnist and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer has a controversial thesis: the great financial meltdown, the crash widely regarded as the result of extraordinary circumstances, is, at its heart, an old-fashioned swindle. The architects of our financial calamity knew what they were doing, and now they are the figures anointed with the task of repairing the damage by the Obama administration.
A veteran reporter with exclusive access to whistleblowers, Scheer reveals how Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, Phil Gramm, and others colluded in the fundamental corruption of our economic system. The shocking twist is that the prelude to the meltdown was not due to astonishing misuses of power—but rather the clandestine business of business as usual—and these are the figures still in charge of our financial destiny.
The Great American Stick-Up exposes the bipartisan group who have played a formative role in shaping the financial collapse, yet still remain below the media radar for the part they played. They are the ultra-power couple of Phil and Wendy Gramm, whose roles in the private sector and government have pushed for the wholesale deregulation of the banking sector for two decades; two former leaders of Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson; and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. These figures paved the way for the great banking meltdown of 2008.
The story of this group provides a vivid framework to understand the web of moneyed influence that threatens Americas future. It shows that the events of the previous year could have been anticipated, and that there are culprits responsible who continue to wield enormous power over our lives.
About the Author
Robert Scheer is the editor of TruthDig (www.truthdig.com). He was a national correspondent and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. His last book is entitled The Pornography of Power. Scheer lives in Los Angeles.
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