Synopses & Reviews
Who rules America?
All the Presidentsand#8217; Bankers is a groundbreaking narrative of how an elite group of men transformed the American economy and government, dictated foreign and domestic policy, and shaped world history.
Culled from original presidential archival documents, All the Presidentsand#8217; Bankers delivers an explosive account of the hundred-year interdependence between the White House and Wall Street that transcends a simple analysis of money driving politicsand#151;or greed driving bankers.
Prins ushers us into the intimate world of exclusive clubs, vacation spots, and Ivy League universities that binds presidents and financiers. She unravels the multi-generational blood, intermarriage, and protand#233;gand#233; relationships that have confined national influence to a privileged cluster of people. These families and individuals recycle their power through elected office and private channels in Washington, DC.
All the Presidentsand#8217; Bankers sheds new light on pivotal historic eventsand#151;such as why, after the Panic of 1907, Americaand#8217;s dominant bankers convened to fashion the Federal Reserve System; how J. P. Morganand#8217;s ambitions motivated President Wilson during World War I; how Chase and National City Bank chairmen worked secretly with President Roosevelt to rescue capitalism during the Great Depression while J.P. Morgan Jr. invited Rooseveltand#8217;s son yachting; and how American financiers collaborated with President Truman to construct the World Bank and IMF after World War II.
Prins divulges how, through the Cold War and Vietnam era, presidents and bankers pushed Americaand#8217;s superpower status and expansion abroad, while promoting broadly democratic values and social welfare at home. But from the 1970s, Wall Streetand#8217;s rush to secure Middle East oil profits altered the nature of political-financial alliances. Bankersand#8217; profit motive trumped heritage and allegiance to public service, while presidents lost control over the economyand#151;as was dramatically evident in the financial crisis of 2008.
This unprecedented history of American power illuminates how the same financiers retained their authoritative position through history, swaying presidents regardless of party affiliation. All the Presidentsand#8217; Bankers explores the alarming global repercussions of a system lacking barriers between public office and private power. Prins leaves us with an ominous choice: either we break the alliances of the power elite, or they will break us.
and#147;All the Presidents' Bankers
spins an enormous amount of research into a coherent, readable narrative. Even her frequent kvetches about the lifestyles of rich and famous bankers are entertainingand#133;.There is always room for criticism, and Ms. Prins does it rather well. Banking was her first career before taking up journalism. She can talk the talk and is knowledgeable about the many points where banking and public policy intersect...Give her creditand#133; for seeing through the faand#231;ade of Dodd-Frank into the danger of another meltdown that lurks in our day of quasi-nationalized banking.and#8221;and#151;George Melloan, Wall Street Journal
and#147;A calm, authoritative elucidation of verifiable historyand#8221;and#151;Financial Times
and#147;Even those who have read Secrets of the Temple, William Greiderand#8217;s massive and brilliant 1987 exposand#233; of the Federal Reserve, will find Prinsand#8217;s book worth their time. She presents a new narrative, one that shows how the changing cast of six has shaped Americaand#8217;s fortunes under presidents in both parties.and#8221;and#151;American Prospect
"Prins divides her justifiably long text into digestible one- to three-page segments and seamlessly incorporates dozens of prominent banker profiles. Her work is highly recommended both to general readers and to students of financial history."and#151;Library Journal
and#147;A revealing look at the often symbiotic, sometimes-adversarial relationship between the White House and Wall Street... [A] sweeping history of bank presidents and their relationships with the nationand#8217;s chief executives"and#151;Kirkus Reviews
"The relationship between Washington and Wall Street isn't really a revolving door. Its a merry-go-round. And, as Prins shows, the merriest of all are the bankers and financiers that get rich off the relationship, using their public offices and access to build private wealth and power. Disturbing and important." and#151;Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley
"Nomi Prins follows the money. She used to work on Wall Street. And now she has written a seminal history of Americaand#8217;s bankers and their symbiotic relationship with all the presidents from Teddy Roosevelt through Barack Obama. It is an astonishing tale. All the Presidentsand#8217; Bankers relies on the presidential archives to reveal how power works in this American democracy. Prins writes in the tradition of C. Wright Mills, Richard Rovere and William Greider. Her book is a stunning contribution to the history of the American Establishment." and#151;Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and author of The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames
and#147;Nomi Prins takes us on a brisk, panoramic, and eye-opening tour of more than a centuryand#8217;s interplay between Americaand#8217;s government and its major banks and#150; exposing the remarkable dominance of six major banks, and for most of the period, the same families, over U.S. financial policy.and#8221; and#151;Charles R. Morris, author of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown
"Nomi Prins has written a big book you just wish was bigger: page after page of killer stories of bank robbers who've owned the banksand#151;and owned the White House. Prins is a born story-teller. She turns the history of the moneyed class into a breathless, page-turning romanceand#151;the tawdry affairs of bankers and the presidents who love them. It's brilliant inside stuff on unforgettable, and unforgivable, scoundrels." and#151;Greg Palast, Investigative reporter for BBC Television and author of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits
"In this riveting, definitive history, Nomi Prins reveals how US policy has been largely dominated by a circle of the same banking and political dynasties. For more than a century, Presidents often acquiesced or participated as bankers subverted democracy, neglected the public interest, and stole power from the American people." and#151;Paul Craig Roberts, former Wall Street Journal editor and Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury
and#147;Nomi Prins has done it again and#150; this time with a must read, a gripping, historical story on the first corporate staters and#150; the handful of powerful bankers and their decisive influence over the White House and the Treasury Department from the inside and from the outside to the detriment of the people. All the Presidentsand#8217; Bankers speaks to the raw truth today of what Louis D. Brandeis said a hundred years ago: and#145;We must break the Money Trust or the Money Trust will break us.and#8217;and#8221; and#151;Ralph Nader
and#147;Required reading for anyone who wants a realistic explanation of how the economic system in the United States is increasingly tilted in favor of those who move in the right circles and#150; and why, as a nation, we are very much on the verge of going from great to good. I encourage everyone to read this book and reflect deeply on the wake-up call Prins is desperately trying to get us to hear.and#8221;and#151;Bowling Green Daily News
"Money has been the common denominator in American politics for the last 115 years, as Nomi Prins admirably points out. All the Presidents' Bankers is an excellent survey of how money influences power and comes dangerously close to threatening democracy." and#151;Charles Geisst, author of Wall Street: A History
"All the Presidents' Bankers is gracefully written, carefully researched, and accessible. It is a must read for anyone concerned with politics and economics and#151; in other words, just about everybody." and#151;Thomas Ferguson, Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute
Prins shows how powerful Wall Street bankers partnered with presidents to became the unelected leaders of the 20th century.
A groundbreaking narrative of how an elite group of men transformed the American economy and government, dictated foreign and domestic policy, and shaped world history.
Culled from original presidential archival documents, All the Presidents' Bankers delivers an explosive account of the hundred-year interdependence between the White House and Wall Street that transcends a simple analysis of money driving politics-or greed driving bankers.
Nomi Prins ushers us into the intimate world of exclusive clubs, vacation spots, and Ivy League universities that binds presidents and financiers. She unravels the multi-generational blood, intermarriage, and prot g relationships that have confined national influence to a privileged cluster of people. These families and individuals recycle their power through elected office and private channels in Washington, DC.
From the Panic of 1907 to the financial crisis of 2008, this unprecedented history of American power illuminates how the same financiers retained their authoritative position through history, swaying presidents regardless of party affiliation. All the Presidents' Bankers explores the alarming global repercussions of a system lacking barriers between public office and private power. Prins leaves us with an ominous choice: either we break the alliances of the power elite, or they will break us.
About the Author
Nomi Prins is a journalist, speaker, respected TV and radio commentator, and former Wall Street executive. Author of five other books, including Other Peopleand#8217;s Money
and It Takes a Pillage
, her writing has been featured in the New York Times
, Mother Jones
, the Guardian
, the Nation
, and other publications. She is a senior fellow at Demos. Follow her on Twitter @NomiPrins