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Showing 11-20 of 285 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 354 reviews
on January 2, 2017
Right-on Schweizer!
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on September 5, 2012
All one has to do is read the chapter on insider stock trading by congressional members, particularly those trading on legislation passing through their committees. If you know anything at all about the SEC's 10-B-5, free-wheeling, anti-fraud law, passed in 1943, against this type of criminal behavior, then you'll find it hard to conceal your unmitigated disgust at our so called leaders who dishonestly prosper to our detriment. These politicians and their staffers are the scummiest of the scummy as they truly run what the law calls a "continuing criminal enterprise." One need only compare the harsh penalties that the SEC hands out to anyone else caught engaging in this behavior with the neglect the SEC showed in their dealings with the facts as presented to them by Harry Markopolous in the Madoff case. It's a travesty bar none. The worst! But beyond that these same rotten politicians allow their staffers to sell inside information to hedge funds as a cottage industry. Is it little wonder that the public has such a low opinion of congressmen?

A great book by a courageous man!
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on July 31, 2017
Great Book...every American should read this book
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on June 4, 2016
Peter Schweizer has compiled a lot of data to make a compelling argument that the status quo in federal government desperately needs to be changed.

The book has three sections. Part One, Congressional Cronies, has 4 chapters that show how members of Congress exploit their power and the absence of adequate rules to inappropriately enrich themselves. Members of both parties are criticized, but there are more examples of Democrats than Republicans because Democrats had majorities in both the House and the Senate from 2007 through 2010, when this book was being researched.

Part Two, Capitalist Cronies, has 3 chapters that deal with businessmen who use their political connections to get unfair advantages over competitors. Part Two has a lot to say about the stimulus programs of 2008 and 2009 and shows many examples of maximum stimulus dollars being spent to create a minimum number of jobs. One example is a $100 million grant to the Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a partner of Powerspan. Powerspan’s investors include George Soros and two members of President Obama’s National Finance Committee. As of December, 2010, 1 ½ years after the grant was announced, the project had created eight jobs.

Mr. Schweizer raises many questions about the stimulus programs of 2008 and 2009 – and stimulus plans in general. One question is whether the federal government should be in the business of selecting some businesses - but not selecting other businesses - to receive amounts paid by taxpayers. Even if this could be done impartially, the very nature of rewarding some businesses and not rewarding other businesses is inherently unfair. It is unfair to both the businesses that don’t get selected and to the taxpayers who are forced to subsidize businesses instead of spending their money to stimulate the economy in whatever ways they choose. When the inherent unfairness of the process of the government selecting winners and losers is complicated by unavoidable tendencies to reward political supporters (crony capitalism), it is hard not to conclude that stimulus programs do more harm than good.

Another Part Two revelation is that Warren Buffett made many self-enriching recommendations during bailout considerations while trying to appear the altruistic, paternalistic advisor.

Part Three, Breaking the Back of Crony Capitalism, concludes with Mr. Schweizer’s recommendations for reforming the system. These recommendations include laws restricting insider government information, which exist in Great Britain and throughout the European Union.

Mr. Schweizer is to be commended for the profound revelations and significant recommendations in this book. One relatively minor problem is that the book in general, and Part One in particular, deals with numbers. The details for the large gains resulting from legislators trading on their insider information make for dry reading. Again, the author is to be commended for his research, but some of the numbers would have made more sense if they had been presented in tables instead of prose. Another minor issue is that because of the weak reporting requirements that currently exist that only require reporting in ranges, some of the examples of legislators unethically taking advantage of insider trading do not definitively show that large profits have been made.

The title of the book might seem to be an exaggeration. Unfortunately, it is not. Mr. Schweizer makes a strong case that there is a lot of “legal” (but not ethical) exploitation of legislative power. If legislators were interested in making the necessary changes to eliminate this type of behavior, they would have done it by now.
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on December 19, 2011
Liberals reviewing this book whine about its bias and how the same stuff has gone on in previous administrations. In this brief book, the author has torn the scab off a national disgrace and the response should be more books written by responsible liberals and conservatives alike. I would be delighted to see the results of an intensive investigation of both sides and as long as they are factual I care not the bias. We need to know and understand how our government is being manipulated to yield profligate profits for a few individuals. That knowledge far outweighs the nature of the source. I can deal with the bias, we all deal with it everyday in most of what read of a political nature. What we can't deal with are situations that remain in the shadows.
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on November 21, 2011
Saying the phenomenon is a scandal is an understatement as Schweitzer lists transaction after transaction by named politicians that would be deemed insider trading if anyone but a congressman did it. The book lists politicians of both parties enriching themselves through insider trading that would be illegal for a Wall Street banker but congressmen have thoughtfully exempted themselves from ethical and criminal considerations that the rest of us citizens are subject to.

Not only politicians but their friends are also enriching themselves, even Warren Buffett, who looks like a grandfatherly old figure played with two administrations and profited by the Bank failure and resurgence as the lawmakers changed laws to suit his suggestions. John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Spencer Bacchus, Dick Durbin, Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner, John Boehner, Al Gore, Jr., Rahm Emmanuel, and many more individuals are implicated in the insider trading that is a perk of office of the permanent political class but a crime to any other US citizen.
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on October 1, 2015
Very informative and well written. It's a real eye-opener as I always wondered how politicians end up so rich at least some of seem to and this sheds light on that question. I think there should be more discussion about this, meaning what information /situation should politicians not be allowed to make money on because they are in a privileged position of knowledge (such as insider trading). It Would perhaps be a good discussion for the American people to have.
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on November 5, 2013
In the conclusion Peter Schweizer writes what things need to change or be adjusted to fix the issues, but does not elaborate on how we as citizens can take the first steps to insure a positive outcome. Let's face it, we live in a country where we are number one at putting our disadvantaged citizens in jail, but white collar crime goes about unnoticed and unpunished, including what goes on in the capital. Our Representatives and Senators should have strong moral compasses and be above reproach, and yet they create a system where they can legally tip the scale in their favor at the cost of American citizens and the country.
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on November 19, 2013
Not as well-balanced as his later book, Extortion, but still revealing. Angry, even shrill, but not wrong. The immorality and contemptibility of our political leadership is beyond defense. After reading both books, I may never vote again. If I wouldn't invite them into my home, why would I want to impose them on my nation?
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on March 2, 2012
It's bad enough that there is a horribly biased left wing media that only points out percepted flaws of anyone who opposes their point of view. But it is disgusting how very little is actually reported about insider trading by both parties of congress. Peter Schweizer has exposed the real truth in how the vermin that run our country are ruining the future of this once great nation for their own selfish objectives. In this great book he details how influential people including Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Harry Reid, Dennis Hastert, George Soros (the left wing's main 'toad'), and others, with the aid of Barrack Hussein Obama are bankrupting the United States of America with a speed that can only be compared to a snow ball plummeting down a slippery mountain slope. The one question that remains is, "When is the inevitable smash and crash going to happen?" This book should be read by everyone! It should be compulsive reading for every sixth grader! Wake up people! Throw them all out! They're all liars! They care nothing about any of us, certainly not our children and grandchildren! It's only their unquenchable thirst for money and power that is their real objective. Wake up please, wake up!
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