Other People's Money
Critical, independent voices are seldom found within the citadels of international finance. That’s what makes Nomi Prins unique. Through a decade in the upper flights of banks like Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, Prins never lost her ability to see the broader picture. Furthermore, as this eye-opening book testifies, she lived to tell the tale.
The result is an insider’s account of the big banks’ giddy ride through the boom economy. Prins provides fascinating first hand detail of day-to-day life in the financial leviathans, with all its rich absurdities and ceaseless power plays. Uncovering the old-boy networks and hot-money flows between Wall Street, Corporate America, and Capitol Hill, she also exposes the whitewash reforms brought in to control them.
In the first years of the Bush administration some of America’s most prominent corporate executives cashed out billions of dollars in stock options before driving their companies to ruin through fraud and bankruptcy. In their wake they left a tangle of lost jobs, depleted pensions, and shattered lives.
Yet, to write off this corruption as the unbridled greed of a select few is an oversimplification. As Prins shows in this devastating exposé, the much-publicized corporate malfeasance of recent years resulted from deregulation that trashed the rules of responsible corporate behavior. Faced with increasingly absent regulatory agencies, toothless legislation, and an utter lack of accountability, the stock market roared on the back of phony balance sheets while the executives made out like bandits and Congress looked the other way. Worse yet, everything remains in place for a repeat performance.