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The Escape Artists

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  98 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Deeply sourced within Obama's economic team, Noam Scheiber is uniquely qualified to profile the squad of elite administration insiders who have set and managed the president's economic policies from before the start of his term in office, through the crisis, and into our current prolonged recovery. These are people we know—or think we know: Obama, Geithner, Summers, Orszag ...more
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Published February 28th 2012 by Tantor Media
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Neil Purcell
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book focuses on President Obama's first term and the decisions he and his team made in response to the economic challenges he inherited from his predecessor. The political considerations and implications, and the personal strengths and weaknesses of the members of the president's economic team, are examined with lots of interesting details and loads of insightful observation by Mr. Scheiber. Although I am generally a supporter of President Obama, and will be very sorry to see him go in Janua ...more
Jeff Raymond
While this book pegs itself as "how Obama's team fumbled the recovery," the book is primarily concerned with quick biographies of the economic team that was put together during and following Obama's election. Thus, the actual how takes a backseat to the who.

This is not to say that the who is unimportant, as there's a lot of detail in place as to how such an illustrious team was able to get so much so wrong. The book misses the mark in a way because it simply accepts the Obama team's arguments re
Jeff Hauser
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent--lucid, well-informed, and gets at the failure of the Obama team to rethink their political or economic worldview in light of the collapse of any reason to believe that the post-1970 growth in financial sector was a good thing for America.

If anything, I wish the book were longer, but for what it covers... the degree of sophistication on politics and economics is unmatched among recent treatments of DC. And impressively up to date through late 2011 for a book published in February or so
Matt Zeitlin
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm thanked in the acknowledgements, so obviously this is the greatest book about the Obama administration ever written. Scratch that. Greatest book ever written.
Brad Culwell
Interesting to see some covers use the subtitle "How Obama's Team Fumbled the Recovery" while other covers merely state "Inside Obama's Economic Team." The latter is much more appropriate for this book. It definitely spends more time on the who than the how. It really doesn't go much into the how at all. It talks about the fact that TARP existed and that the HAMP efforts weren't successful at keeping people in their homes (and maybe were never intended to be), but doesn't go into much detail. A ...more
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the subtitle suggests, Scheiber offers a skeptic's take of Obama's first three years in office. He argues that while Obama may have prevented a second Great Depression, he made a series of preventable mistakes and political miscalculations that prevented the economy from truly recovering. Scheiber is too good of a reporter to offer a simple narrative of good guys and bad guys, but he provides a compelling portrait of a Democratic establishment divided by a financial crisis that their fundamen ...more
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Linda by: Ohio e-book project audio
Well researched book about the Obama economic team. After seeing Timothy Geitner on The Daily Show last night, I can better understand some of the disruptions within this segment of the administration.
I really appreciated the author's notation of the electorate unfortunately misunderstanding the juxtaposition of the release of TARP funds followed by a deepening recession. The two were not contingent on the other. In fact, TARP funds were too few to solve the problems which Obama inherited accord
Ashley Clark
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Interesting book about Obama's economic team. I bought some of the arguments Scheiber makes (Obama should have appealed to voters, shouldn't have expected republicans to bargain bc they didn't time and again, Geithner's buddy-ness with banks was asset during crisis and draw-back during regulation setting time). Some of the arguments are more of "well, we never will know" type arguments (was stimulus too small? COULD Obama have gotten a bigger stimulus? should he have leveraged tax cuts for incre ...more
Oct 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Easy reading, paints informative and colorful picture of key Obama Administration economic aides struggling with the financial drama of the first term. Geithner, Summers, Romer, and lesser known experts come alive. I hurried to finish the book before the 2012 election because I feared it would become out of date. Lo and behold, the faces and the issues are still with us. I recommend the book to Washington junkies, students of politics and personalities, and those interested in economic policy.
E. Scott Harvey
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Noam is a good writer and I appreciate the inside insights he reveals in this book. And yet, I fundementally disagree with Noam's overall economic philosphy. Once again it's not a matter of intelligence but worldview. Noam is a bright guy, no doubt about it. But we fundamentally see the world different and therefore come to very different conclusions as to what works economically. VIVA REAGAN!!
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
You'll learn something new on Obama's economic team on how they contributed and what they didn't contribute to the economic crisis. Just like you see in the news, there is a huge political tug of war not only in Obama's own party, but the opposing party as well. The biographies on Obama's economic team members is what makes this book worth reading in my opinion.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Accessible and engaging analysis of the Obama administration's economic policies. It was both illuminating and infuriating.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Excellent. And super factually correct.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Another kiss and tell.
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
How can this ragtag gang be so inept?????????
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't really learn anything new about the 2008 financial crisis or the politics surrounding it.
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Joel Sanchez
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