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Throw Them All Out Hardcover – November 15, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 339 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Author Peter Schweizer

Q:When did you realize that so many insider trading and sweetheart land deals were going on?

A: When I first discovered that members of Congress are exempt from insider trading laws, I didn’t believe it. Then, when I started to look at their stock trades and compare them with what they were doing in office, I was stunned.

Q: What do you mean by the "Permanent Political Class"?

A: I think politics in Washington has become a business opportunity. Republicans and Democrats are not so different as you think. They work together to enrich themselves. They have designed the system to work so that they can make lots of money doing things that would get the rest of us sent to jail.

Q: What do you mean by "honest graft"?

A: When people think of politicians making money in Washington, they think of bribery and other illegal activities. That’s small potatoes. The real money is made by doing stuff that’s legal, including insider trading on the stock market and land deals.

Q: Politicians are exempt from insider trading laws? You’re kidding, right?

A: No. They write the rules, and guess what: the rules that apply to us don’t apply to them. By the way, they are also exempt from whistleblower laws. If you see your boss committing a financial crime, you can report them and you will be protected. You can’t be fired. But if your boss is a congressman? You’re toast. You are not protected.

Q: What’s wrong with politicians who trade stock? Don’t we want them involved in the economy?

A: Yes, but they are doing exactly what corporate insiders get sent to jail for doing. It’s a double standard and it’s unfair. If Martha Stewart had been in the U.S. Senate, she would have been protected.


Book Description

HMH hardcover, 2011, Previous ISBN: 978-0-547-57314-4
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547573146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547573144
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Afia TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of this review provides a humorous take on Peter Schweitzer's finding and tone.

This book is organized by methods by which elected officials and others connected to them can legally earn more money. I never imagined anything like this, that's how naive I must be.

Schweizer addresses this question: How do some top politicians exit office with millions more than credible based on their salaries and perhaps some patient investing? Nobody that I know of has taken on this question until Throw Them All Out was published.

Many legally enrich themselves through earmarks, real estate deals, securities violations, trading on inside information, self-dealing with stimulus funds and literally every budget item. That's a brief summary. It's not all politicians though.
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Format: Hardcover
With the big expose on 60 Minutes and interviews all over, this book promises to provide one of the great muckraking stories of our generation, and perhaps of American history. The premise is straightforward and scary: Congressmen and women are exempt from a lot of the laws that restrict the rest of us from financial misdealings such as insider trading. The result, as one could imagine, is that many, perhaps most of the privileged class of senators and congressmen have invested in and then benefited from deals that would have landed the rest of us in jail. Everyone remembers Martha Stewart and how she had to go to prison for her insider trading. What the congressmen and women are doing is pretty much the same thing, and worse since they are actually sometimes involved in the actual deals that send federal grants and loans to the companies they invest in.

To take some examples, the book examines many of the most recent deals that congressmen and women have gotten away with. For instance, About $16 billion of the $20 billion that the Obama administration has doled out has gone to financial backers of the Obama administration. Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi received 5,000 shares of an almost impossible-to-get credit card stock. And 10 members of the national finance committee received Solyndra-type loans.

Perhaps the scariest is when the bureaucrats are also involved in the actual company's success, what is called "pump-and-dump." The book goes into such trades that Al Gore made in which he and a Silicon Valley investor put in $16 million into a company before a $25 million grant was issued by the federal government, after which Gore's initial investment turned into $89 million.
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Format: Hardcover
Here is my review of this outstanding book from the Washington Post:

[...]

Crony Capitalism Exposed

Insider trading is illegal -- except for members of Congress. A Wall Street executive who buys or sells stock based on insider information would face a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and quite possibly a federal prosecutor. But senators and congressmen are free to legally trade stock based on nonpublic information they have obtained through their official positions as elected officials -- and they do so on a regular basis.

On Sunday night, CBS News' "60 Minutes" looked into this form of "lawful graft." The "60 Minutes" story exposed, among others, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for participating in a lucrative initial public offering from Visa in 2008 that was not available to the general public, just as a troublesome piece of legislation that would have hurt credit card companies began making its way through the House (the bill never made it to the floor). And it showed how during the 2008 financial crisis, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) -- then-ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee -- aggressively bought stock options based on apocalyptic briefings he had received the day before from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.

The report was based on an explosive new book by Peter Schweizer that will hit stores on Tuesday. It's called "Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison." (Full disclosure: Schweizer is a close friend, a former White House colleague and my business partner in a speechwriting firm, Oval Office Writers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally, someone has put all the pieces of the puzzle together. This is a very short book that will pop your eyes wide open and provide you with the information we all need if we are ever to see change. We the People are being taken to the cleaners by the very civil "servants" we elect - with all sorts of help from those folks on Wall Street and those who run the companies listed on those big boards.

It's time to clean House, Senate and boardrooms ... if there's still time!
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Democrats and Republicans can't agree on a feasible plan for reducing the deficit or restoring economic prosperity. But they can agree on one thing, according to Peter Schweizer. Namely, that elected politicians have the right to profit almost shamelessly from public office and engage in stock market transactions that would land almost anybody else in prison. In Throw Them All Out, Schweizer points to some truly disturbing instances of insider trading by members of the U.S. Congress. Insider trading basically refers to buying or selling particular stocks on the basis of privileged information that is not available to the general public. For members of Congress this can be especially lucrative because they often have power to determine the fate of individual companies or specific sectors of the economy.

Neither party is spared from Schweizer's investigative reporting, which never hesitates to name and shame specific members of Congress who have committed the most egregious legal and ethical violations. He shows how conservatives like John Boehner as well as liberals like Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry all have their hands in the cookie jar. They have made stock market transactions with almost supernaturally good timing and earned millions of dollars from information that they were privy to as members of Congress or through their work on specific committees and legislation. And while most Americans are struggling with the ramifications of a severe economic recession exacerbated by the incompetence of our elected officials at regulating Wall Street, our politicians will leave office as millionaires.

Schweizer points to several particularly egregious episodes in which members of the House and Senate used their privileged access to information to make profits.
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