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It Takes a Pillage: An Epic Tale of Power, Deceit, and Untold Trillions

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  142 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
A former Wall Street manager turned muckraking journalist gets inside how the banks looted the Treasury, stole the bailout, and continued with business as usual We all watched as packs of former Big Financiers commandeered posts in Washington and lavished trillions in bailouts to "save" big Wall Street firms that used that money for anything and everything except to fill i ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 2009)
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I originally picked this book up because of a quote Matt Taibbi included in his blog:

Here are some numbers for you. There were approximtely $1.4 trillion worth of subprime loans outstanding in the United States by the end of 2007. By the first quarter of 2009, there were forclosure filings against approximately 4.4 million properties. If it was only the subprime market's fault, $1.4 trillion would have covered the entire problem, right?

Yet the Federal Reserve, the treasury, and the FDIC forked o
Diane C.
Feb 24, 2010 Diane C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

For anyone who wishes to understand in detail what led up to our latest financial crash (and why we will have another one), this is a must read.

Prins' previous book, Other People's Money, was excellent, but dense with financial biz terms and too much minutae.

This one is written for the rest of us, not dumbed down, but making clear exactly how Wall Street held us up at gun point and changed the laws allowing them to do it. And are still doing it.
Brian Stillman
Between Prins and Taibbi I don't see how you can really think of the new boss as being much different than the old boss.
May 20, 2012 Lanier rated it it was amazing
I've only just started this book, but it's fascinating to see still more about how we've been screwed by Wall Street and the govenment.

pg 3-4
A former partner a Goldman Sachs, once commented that finance is one of the few disciplines ‘based on the creation of absolutely nothing.’ And that’s very true. Finance is based on the principle of continuously pushing nothing for something throughout the system as long as someone else is around to pay for it. Passing the buck comes in the form of extreme p
Jun 05, 2014 Gwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, money
This was great. I learned a hell of a lot about what caused the 2008 crash and how the bailouts were run, as well as various financial terms that I hadn't understood before. There's a ton of really good background here. It's one of those books that has left me more knowledgeable, and looking up other books that can fill in the gaps in my knowledge I didn't realize I had before. Pretty much the best thing I can say about any work of non-fiction.

Style-wise, it's pretty good. Prins is knowledgeable
Apr 23, 2012 Ob-jonny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few completely sincere and direct accounts of the true nature of the 2008 bank bailouts. The main point is that TARP was only a tiny piece of the overall size of the bailout dominated by the Fed printing trillions of dollars and giving it to banks all over the world. This book was written in 2009 but the money is still going out even in 2012. It is true that the banks pay most of the money back but there is still over a trillion dollars outstanding much of which was loaned to ...more
Dec 18, 2011 Jw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a while now I sort of stepped back from the collective outrage at Wall Street. I did not participate in as many Occupy events and sort of had optimism in human nature to pull itself out of the economic crisis. Prins' book laid out the whole before-during and after effects of the economic crash of 2008. Unfortunately her warnings were extremely prescient, her recommendations largely ignored by President Obama, and her observations relevant even in 2012. The same players in Washington and on W ...more
Jun 15, 2012 Anthony rated it it was amazing
Another great compilation of the news and under-the-table facts the media never present about the so-called "free and open market" that masquerades as capitalism. Nomi Prins dishes out the facts, the $$$ in the trillions as well as the culture and the extent of the deceptions and machinations the US government (SEC, Treasury and Fed. Reserve) use to empower a "Royal Monetarchy" The handouts haven't stopped. I cite Prins facts and numbers copiously through out my own book "Dioxinomics: The Myth o ...more
Harry Barnett
Jun 20, 2010 Harry Barnett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
Naomi Prins is a former Goldman Sachs employee who has turned muckraker. Her book explains how trillions were handed out to the big investment banks after the Second Great Banking Crisis. She also details the alphabet soup of funding facilities that were created to move toxic assets off the banks' balance sheets at taxpayers expense. After reading this book you will understand how Wall Street battles against regulation when the profits are rolling in and how the same crony capitalists conspire t ...more
Dec 28, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
Brilliant, well-researched and well-documented (though also enraging) account of the so-called "bailouts" of financial/political elites who used a corrupt system to steal from the nations citizens and the need for systems overhauls (NOT a hope to just "get the system back on its feet again) to avoid continuous repeats.
May 31, 2010 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prins's analysis doesn't go as deep into the structure of the monopoly capitalist economy as, say, the Baran/Sweezy-inspired analysis of Foster and Magdoff in their recent "The Great Financial Crisis," but she does go into searing detail about the banking industry, resulting in a solidly well-informed populist tract.
Jan 07, 2010 Jrohde rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never got through this book when I bought it as it was so horrifying and outrageous - but Rick read it through and thought it informative so I am starting again - sure i will be angry when done at what these financiers have gotten away with
Apr 23, 2011 Idfaciamus marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Looks good. This is one of the many books that documents the general avarice and stupidity of the
financial sector. We must educate ourselves because it appears that very little is being done to insure that a financial disaster doesn't happen again.
Dec 08, 2009 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not fun to read; it was composed too quickly. But overall it tells a compelling story about how financialization imperils the US economy.
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Nomi Prins is a journalist, speaker and Senior Fellow at Demos. Her new book All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power is out April 8, 2014. She is also the author of It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street, Other People's Money: The Corporate Mugging of America, a devastating expose into corporate co ...more
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