The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do about It
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do about It

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  7 reviews
How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it?

In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads,...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Chelsea Green Publishing (first published May 11th 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 119)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dan Petegorsky
Read this book. Soon! Here's what Steelworkers President Leo Gerard says about it: "Leopold's account of the economic crisis is the clearest and most accessible that I have seen. It gives a reader with little economic or financial background a riveting description of how Wall Street tore down our economy...."

I agree - and I've been reading a lot on the topic. The amazing part is, Leopold does this without in any way avoiding discussion of the kinds of arcane financial products that brought the e...more
DoctorM
A quick and easy read about the financial instruments behind the Global Economic Meltdown of the Year Eight. Leopold grew up in the labour movement, and his focus is on how what he calls "fantasy finance" has affected workers ("nonsupervisory personnel", as the BoL says). Leopold writes in a conversational style, and while he sometimes lapses into cynicism, he does give clear, concise, and acerbic definitions and examples about the instruments behind the financial crisis--- credit default swaps...more
Paul
With America in the economic doldrums, a lot of attention has been paid to artificial financial instruments, called derivatives, created by Wall Street. No one has tried to explain them in plain English, until now.

Your local bank puts together a financial security pooling 10,000 debts (mortgages, credit card debt, car loans, etc.). That is a collateralized debt obligation, or CDO. An investor would get a portion of the interest owed by those 10,000 borrowers. There is always a risk that some bor...more
Robert
Short, but very informative, this book has demystified a lot of the financial crisis for me. It hasn't made me less angry, but I feel like I understand more.

What's a credit default swap? A CDO? And why on earth did we bail out these giant banks? You may not like the answers, but at least there are answers.

Les Leopold writes this book with a nicely conversational tone, which makes it easy to digest. It's hard to not like a book whose introduction ends with "In short, if I can understand this crap...more
Ryan Olson
This was a very quick read that takes the maze of finances and economics and "dumbs" it down for the layperson. If you're like me and get confused about all the economic terms that describe the meltdown, this book is your key. It's dry and not for everyone, but if you want further clarification about what happened, this is the key. Great book.
Steve
I'd probably rate it higher if the subject matter didn't make me so crazy. It's a very good description of what happened to our economy, including understandable explanations of CDOs, synthetic CDOs, and all the other crap that got us into this mess. Infuriating, but a good read.
Derek Markham
Wow! I learned a lot from this book - about the crap shoot that is our 'high finance'.
Dustin
Dustin marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2014
Nate
Nate marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2014
Marc
Marc marked it as to-read
Mar 06, 2014
Damon
Damon added it
Jan 24, 2014
Celeste Halko
Celeste Halko marked it as to-read
Oct 27, 2013
Lovejoie
Lovejoie marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2013
Chris
Chris marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2013
Carl White
Carl White marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2013
Calypso
Calypso marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2013
Trina
Trina marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2013
Glenn
Glenn marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2013
Jeremy Russell
Jeremy Russell marked it as to-read
May 31, 2013
Martin Read
Martin Read marked it as to-read
May 24, 2013
Eddie
Eddie marked it as to-read
Jun 03, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Hedge Funds Are Siphoning Away America's Wealth--And You Can, Too How to Win at Rotisserie Baseball, 1993 Ed

Share This Book