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Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry [Kindle Edition]

Dylan Ratigan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The host of the eponymous MSNBC show, Dylan Ratigan offers a bold and original post-partisan program to resuscitate the American Dream.

At a time of deep concern with the state of America’s economy and government, it seems that all the media can give us is talking (or screaming) heads who revel in partisan brinkmanship. Then there’s Dylan Ratigan—an award-winning journalist respected and admired across the political spectrum. In Greedy Bastards, he rips the lid off of our deeply crooked system—and offers a way out.

Employing the nuanced reporting and critical analysis that have earned him so much respect, Ratigan describes the five “vampires” that are sucking the nation dry, including an educational system that values mediocrity above all else; a healthcare system that is among the priciest and least-effective infrastructures in the industrialized world; a political system in which lobbyists write legislation; a “master-slave” relationship with our Chinese bankers; and an addiction to foreign oil that has sapped our willingness to innovate. In offering solutions to these formidable and entrenched obstacles, he does nothing less than lay the groundwork for a political movement dedicated to tackling the rot at the heart of the country.

In its desperation, America needs more than just endless stock tips and Wall Street navel-gazing. It needs passionate debate and smart policy—and a hero to take on the establishment. Dylan Ratigan is that hero, and this is the book that will rally people behind him.

Editorial Reviews


“This book might be the smelling salts that wake up America.”—Alan Grayson

“Greedy Bastards is superb. Dylan’s policy recommendations track with what the Committee for Economic Development has been saying on: health care, the federal deficit, corporate governance, education, a consumption tax, and campaign finance reform. His explanations are clear, and he nails health care with his criticism of the fee-for-service model. Greedy Bastards deserves wide readership!”—Charles Kolb, President of the Committee on Economic Development

“Some books explain a problem, this book gives you an entire world view. Greedy Bastards, puts everything in context and makes the enormity and entirety of our crises understandable. Dylan, as always, is incisive, sharp and pointed.” —Eliot Spitzer

“Greedy Bastards is a fantastic book! It has the perfect tone and is completely convincing.” —Lawrence Lessig, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

“Exiles on Wall Street like us have a platform and a responsibility to speak out. Dylan's book shows that our problems don't stem from too much capitalism but not enough of it relative to our jerry-rigged system" —Mike Mayo, financial analyst and author of Exile on Wall Street

“Very sharp, funny, and splendidly written, Dylan Ratigan's new book is perfect for Americans disgusted with both our political parties who are trying to understand the roots of our broken economy and political system.” — Thomas Ferguson, University of Massachusetts, Boston and the Roosevelt Institute and author of Golden Rule

"Readers will find a great deal to ponder, as Ratigan covers why and how he's certain the USA is 'going seriously wrong.'"—USA Today

“Ratigan delivers an energetic, powerful, and at times unsettling portrait of America in crisis … And even though his portrait of the U.S. is bleak, he believes we have options.”—Publishers Weekly

Greedy Bastards helps us better understand why we suffer recurrent, intensifying financial crises. First, cheating has become the dominant strategy in finance. Second, cheating is dominant because finance CEOs create such intensely perverse incentives that fraud becomes endemic.”— Bill Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

About the Author

Dylan Ratigan is the host of MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show, one of the highest-rated, daytime shows on the network.  This make-versus-take, analysis-driven daily broadcast fearlessly takes on the world of politics, money, and the unholy alliance between big business and government.

The former global managing editor for corporate finance at Bloomberg News, Ratigan has developed and launched more than half a dozen broadcast and new media properties.  They include CNBC’s Fast Money and Closing Bell, as well as, which is home to his podcast, “Greedy Bastards Antidote.”

Ratigan left as host of Fast Money in 2009, provoked by outrage over the government’s handling of the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, he has dedicated his work to launching platforms that engage and debate the U.S. government on policy, while opening the door for millions to learn more about money’s often poisonous role in our democracy.  His first book, Greedy Bastards, which will be released on January 10, 2012, details this broken system, and more importantly, illustrates how fixing these problems will release a renaissance of growth and innovation.

Since late September 2011, more than 300,000 people have pledged support, millions of dollars have been raised, and an organization with a staff of a dozen people has been formed under Ratigan’s leadership to pursue the singular objective to pass a 28th Constitutional amendment to separate business and state.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
259 of 267 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from someone who actually read the book January 10, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just got the kindle version of this book and read it today. Overall, I thought it was well thought out, clearly displaying the current issues the country faces, providing examples, and offering solutions. I will give you some highlights:

Chapter 2: The Bailout- If you've followed coverage on the bailout, you know what happened- the Federal Reserve essentially handed taxpayer money over to the big banks, no questions asked, in order to bail them out of their bad investments (The Big Short and It Takes a Pillage are two great books that will provide more detail if you're insterested). The solution that Dylan offers here is to institute CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS. He sees this as the only way to ensure that the banks will use their own money for their schemes, rather than depend on the Fed to come along and bail them out with taxpayer money.

Chapter 3: Outsourcing: In an effort to attract foreign investors, China has devalued its own currency and made cheap labor available to US corporations. American corporations (Wal-mart is a big one) have set up shop in China, taken advantage of cheap labor, and shipped their products back to the U.S. (thanks to import taxes of 2.5% in the U.S., this is feasible. The goods don't stay in China, because the tax on U.S. goods there is 25%). Congress enacts trade laws that favor corporations (low import tariffs) rather than protect the American workforce.

Chapter 4: High Healthcare Costs: the U.S. has one of the highest healthcare costs and a lower life expectancy than other countries. The massive amounts we spend in healthcare detract from other important areas like education. We focus on illness, not prevention, not health.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive coverage of our current crises January 14, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As fans of Dylan's daily TV show will know, he's passionate about the five pillars of failure in the US: energy policy, healthcare, banking, defense, the extraction of money from the US and the bought politicians who enable the entire circus to continue. Between his campaign to Get Money Out of politics, his daily tirade against the draining of this country's resources, and this roadmap to fixing the problems, there is hardly anyone else in the media spotlight who works as tirelessly in propagating the message to people to do something.

Given the gravity of the subject, you'd expect this to read like a sermon whereas the style is far more like a Rolling Stone magazine piece. There's good use of supporting statistics and evidence (without getting too dry), some interesting synonyms and diagrams and most importantly each chapter ends with recommendations about what can be done to fix these massive problems.

Overall, this is a first-class book that should be at the top of reading list for Americans in 2012. My only caveat is that I wish I'd bought the hardback rather than the Kindle version, since the diagrams can be hard to see fully on screen compared with the print version.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Money and Politics just don't mix! January 13, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you've been following Dylan Ratigan's journalism recently you know he is on a crusade to separate money and politics.

This book is the most cogent argument he has come up with yet, detailing how special interests own every aspect of our government. His analysis is so spot on that I can't even think of how someone against getting money out of politics would argue against it.

Not only does Dylan explain what the problems facing American society are, he comes offers explanations of how these problems can be fixed along with explanations of how his plans would work. Of course, as long as our politicians are bought by "corporate vampires," as he calls them, things will never change.

The right has done a great job convincing people that government is evil and government is the problem not the solution, but Dylan fights back hard proving that simply turning over complex societal problems to businesspeople who are out only to make money for themselves and their investors is a truly bad idea.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economic activity versus quality growth January 13, 2012
Ratigan addresses the nature of the economic growth our country is experiencing. He points to the drop in social mobility in the U.S. as an important indicator. He says we have an illusion of growth from broad financial indicators such as GDP. GDP numbers don't tell anything about current investments in education, for example.

The book discusses "misaligned interests" that create waste in the greater economic system. I'm not sure I agree with all the points of this book, but I appreciate its systems approach in evaluating the economy.

I think we should give Ratigan credit for efforts to bring issues in the financial system into the public debate. No politician seems able to do this without a lot of rhetoric and risk to their own careers. Some of these are hot button issues that raise emotions when discussed.

Because the book examines the heart of our financial system in a very critical way, I advise caution for sensitive readers.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Populist Manifesto? January 22, 2012
Not being a TV watcher, I didn't know anything about Dylan Ratigan when I started this book. After reading awhile, it seemed appropriate to check the reviews here and see if there was a debunker backlash. What Ratigan was saying seemed logical to me, not to mention "preaching to the choir," but still, in fairness, is he being tabloid in his caricaturing and catastrophism?

Maybe it's early, but we're not getting much objection from the advocates of the 1% here. Ratigan has the ability to simplify the seeming chaos of the current economic picture, with skill and no-nonsense. Although offensive, the title magnetizes, and let's face it: we've all said it, under our breath at least. So while some who SHOULD read it, will never pick it up based on the title, the book will gain much more attention than it loses by the former.

Even smart people have trouble following the machinations of the economic drama unfolding around us. Usually described in intricate terminology worthy of a legal text, explanations abound, but are mind-boggling at best, and boring at worst. Ratigan helps us here by creating a quick and engaging (albeit depressing) way to understand what so many banksters and other corporate plutocrats would vastly prefer to hide.

One would hope that GB becomes a populist manifesto for the times. Polarizing it is, and as Martha would say, it's "A Good Thing."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars How The Greedy Bastards Are Sapping The Life Out of Us
I don't think it is any secret that "Big Money" is running this country now and buying whatever it is that they want, including elections. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Frederick S. Goethel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book- everyone should read it-
Published 18 days ago by Flavio Cornejo
5.0 out of 5 stars Ratigan brilliantly explained the 2007 banking crisis so anyone can...
Wish everyone would read this book so they understand what is happening to our country. Ratigan brilliantly explained the 2007 banking crisis so anyone can understand it, and that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nikki Hanna
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book very interesting
Published 5 months ago by Edward L. Drum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Outstanding and not afraid to bring these issues into the open. I wonder what has happened to him?
Published 6 months ago by Diane Steiner
5.0 out of 5 stars a Great read for the young
Greedy Bastards is a novel filled with a lot of Wisdom ... I had to wait a Life time to Learn the info in this novel ... a Great read for the young.
Published 8 months ago by Adrienne Bertrand
5.0 out of 5 stars I think Dylan has done great things with the writing of this book
I think Dylan has done great things with the writing of this book. He's exposed the bowels of Wall Street where all the "looting goes on with our monies".
Published 8 months ago by C. Kern
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 months ago by CYNTHIA FORBES
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Disappointing. . .
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL BOOK!!!! (hate the title)
Finally, someone that isn't afraid to speak the truth in this corrupt country we now live in, where everything is fixed against the working class ever having anything,except a... Read more
Published 10 months ago by dennis
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