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Griftopia

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Griftopia

Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
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A brilliantly illuminating and darkly comic tale of the ongoing financial and political crisis in AmericaThe financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn't past but prologue. The grifter class--made up...
A brilliantly illuminating and darkly comic tale of the ongoing financial and political crisis in AmericaThe financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn't past but prologue. The grifter class--made up...
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Description-
  • A brilliantly illuminating and darkly comic tale of the ongoing financial and political crisis in America

    The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn't past but prologue. The grifter class--made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding--has been growing in power, and the crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they've hijacked America's political and economic life.

    Matt Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing account yet written of this ongoing American crisis. He offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals of the bailout; tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the "vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity"; and uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world.

    This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of this country, and the profound consequences for us all.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    The Grifter Archipelago;

    or, Why the Tea Party

    Doesn't Matter

    "Mr Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens ."

    The roar of the crowd is deafening Arms flailing spastically as the crowd pushes and shoves in violent excitement, I manage to scribble in my notebook: Place going absolutely apeshit?

    It's September 3, 2008 I'm at the Xcel Center in St Paul, Minnesota, listening to the acceptance speech by the new Republican vice- presidential nominee, Sarah Palin The speech is the emotional climax of the entire 2008 presidential campaign, a campaign marked by bouts of rage and incoherent tribalism on both sides of the aisle After eighteen long months covering this dreary business, the whole campaign appears in my mind's eye as one long, protracted scratch-fight over Internet-fueled nonsense.

    Like most reporters, I've had to expend all the energy I have just keeping track of who compared whom to Bob Dole, whose minister got caught griping about America on tape, who sent a picture of whom in African ceremonial garb to Matt Drudge and because of this I've made it all the way to this historic Palin speech tonight not having the faintest idea that within two weeks from this evening, the American economy will implode in the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression.

    Like most Americans, I don't know a damn thing about high finance The rumblings of financial doom have been sounding for months now-the first half of 2008 had already seen the death of Bear Stearns, one of America's top five investment banks, and a second, Lehman Brothers, had lost 73 percent of its value in the first six months of the year and was less than two weeks away from a bankruptcy that would trigger the worldwide crisis Within the same two-week time frame, a third top- five investment bank, Merrill Lynch, would sink to the bottom alongside Lehman Brothers thanks to a hole blown in its side by years of reckless gambling debts; Merrill would be swallowed up in a shady state-aided backroom shotgun wedding to Bank of America that would never become anything like a major issue in this presidential race The root cause of all of these disasters was the unraveling of a massive Ponzi scheme centered around the American real estate market, a huge bubble of investment fraud that floated the American economy for the better part of a decade Take it as a powerful indictment of American journalism that I'm far from alone in this among the campaign press corps charged with covering the 2008 election None of us understands this shit We're all way too busy watching to make sure X candidate keeps his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, and Y candidate goes to church as often as he says he does, and so on.

    Just looking at Palin up on the podium doesn't impress me She looks like a chief flight attendant on a Piedmont flight from Winston-Salem to Cleveland, with only the bag of almonds and the polyester kerchief missing from the picture With the Junior Anti-Sex League rimless glasses and a half updo with a Bumpit she comes across like she's wearing a cheap Halloween getup McCain's vice-presidential search party bought in a bag at Walgreens after midnight-?four-piece costume, Pissed-Off White Suburban Female, $19.99 plus tax.

    Just going by the crude sportswriter-think that can get any campaign journalist through a whole presidential race from start to finish if he feels like winging it, my initial conclusion here is that John McCain is desperate and he's taking one last heave at the end zone by serving up this overmatched electoral gimmick in a ploy for . . . what? Women? Extra-horny older married men? Frequent Piedmont fliers?

    I'm not sure...

About the Author-
  • Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and the author of four previous books, including the New York Times bestseller The Great Derangement. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Reviews-
  • The New York Times Book Review "A relentlessly disturbing, penetrating exploration of the root causes of the trauma that upended economic security in millions of American homes . . . a full-scale indictment of Wall Street and Washington."
  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Matt Taibbi is [Hunter S.] Thompson's heir. . . . [Griftopia] is the most lucid, justifiably angry description of what happened and what continues to happen to our nation's economy."
  • Time "Taibbi chronicles the corruption of the political process with indignation and dark humor. The takeaway? Be angry, but blame the right culprits."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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Griftopia
Griftopia
Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
Matt Taibbi
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Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
Matt Taibbi
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