Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

Matt Taibbi, Random/Spiegel & Grau, $26 (272p) ISBN 9780385529952
Taibbi eviscerates Wall Street for what he considers frauds perpetrated on the American people over the last ten years. Delving into complicated financial history and lingo, Taibbi deftly lays the subject bare, rendering heretofore-dense subject matter simple without being simplistic. Blame for the recent mortgage collapse, commodities bubble, and tech bubble are laid at the feet of a relatively small number of bankers and traders who, in the author's opinion, act without fear of reciprocity from a U.S. government no longer representative of the American people. He begins by awarding the title "Biggest Asshole In The Universe" to former-Fed Chief Alan Greenspan, taking him to task for willfully or stupidly disemboweling what little regulation the financial markets may have had before his tenure. This theme resounds throughout, and Taibbi asserts that the collusion between Wall Street and the White House has effectively turned the United States into a massive casino, in which working Americans are regularly bilked out of their savings and homes while the wealthy are repeatedly rewarded for their graft. It's an important and worthy read, but not for the Randian disciple or Goldman-Sachs alum. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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