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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Chronicle of Unrestrained Greed and Corruption, July 7, 2011
This review is from: Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present (Hardcover)
Age of Greed is a fascinating account of how unfettered self-interest and outright greed overcame virtually all barriers and resulted in enourmous growth of the financial sector over the past 30-40 years. The book is really a series of interconnected stories, each illustrating how prominent individuals and institutions manipulated the system and took on devastating risk levels for private gain.

The book covers a series of ever increasing financial crises and frauds, such as the Latin American and Asian financial crises and the Enron scam. It focuses on prominant people like Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, Jack Grubman, Frank Quattrone, Ken Lay, Angelo Mozilo and Dick Fuld and how they contributed to one disaster after another. The book shows how free-market fundamentalism and "greed is good" mentality came to dominate, and how that resulted in the destruction of the regulatory environment that once kept the banking sector safe.

While the book offers a great overview of what happened in the financial sector, it fails to acknowledge the other critical forces that have been in play in America since the 1970s: Globalization, the decline of private sector unions, the entry of huge numbers of women into the workforce, and the relentless advance of information technology. (However, for an alternate view on technology and innovation see also The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will(Eventually) Feel Better.)

While the role of Wall Street, and in particular, deregulation is of critical importance, it would be a mistake to make the simplistic assumption that this explains all our problems. Information technology, in particular, has advanced tremendously since the 1970s, and it is important to recognize this because the impact will be even greater in the future.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 23, 2011 7:56:11 AM PDT
The importance of technology is a good point. And I would add that the concept of job is obsolete, as well as the current economic system we live under. We need a complete overhaul if the prosperity of the few is not to mean the deprivation and death by starvation of the many.

Posted on Feb 27, 2012 8:05:07 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 28, 2012 6:55:13 AM PST]
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