Wall Street On Parade's Recommended Reading List

Taming the MegabanksIt has been the contention of Wall Street On Parade for more than a decade that today’s so-called “universal banks,” also variously known as megabanks or Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs), are a banking model from hell that was thoroughly discredited in the tens of thousands of transcripts and documents released by the U.S. Senate following its multi-year investigation of that structure in the early 1930s.

Now the seminal book proving that theory has just been published. Written by Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr. and titled Taming the Megabanks: Why We Need a New Glass-Steagall Act, the book brilliantly takes the reader through a riveting guided tour covering the past century and the resurrection of this same disastrous U.S. banking model in 1999.

Oxford University Press is the publisher of Wilmarth’s book. We can envision it becoming one of the most important works of this century in providing the impetus for Congress to finally restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the 1933 to 1999 law that mandated the separation of stock trading and stock underwriting firms from federally-insured, deposit-taking banks. That legislation protected the U.S. financial system for 66 years. It took just nine years after its repeal for the universal banks on Wall Street to blow up the financial system in a replay of 1929, taking the U.S. economy along for the gut-wrenching ride. Read our full review here.

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As Americans wake up each day to the new dystopian normal and reports of another corporate or Wall Street bailout (no doubt at the MONOPOLIZED Book Coverurging of the corporate lobbyists that have embedded themselves in the Trump administration), there is widespread agreement that big corporations have too much power and control in America…

Against this backdrop comes a very welcome new book from David Dayen: Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power. Dayen is Executive Editor of American Prospect and one of the most admired and prolific financial writers in America.

If you think the book title sounds like a dry treatise on anti-trust law, think again. Dayen has brilliantly humanized this book by allowing the reader to step inside the personal lives of everyday Americans who are attempting to navigate and financially survive the corporatization of their country. Read our full review here.

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In Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud, Tom Mueller builds an incontrovertible case that the United States has Crisis of Conscience -- Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraudbecome a dystopian society where almost every government entity that a citizen would typically turn to for redress over a lawless act has been corrupted by greed, pay to play, revolving doors, political bribes, or self-dealing. Adding poignant authenticity to this premise, the book arrives at a time when the highest elected official (President Donald Trump) and the highest law enforcement officer (Attorney General William Barr) are under a serious House of Representatives inquiry based on documents provided by a whistleblower. Read our full review here.

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The underlying theme that Wall Street’s Federal regulators have become whores for the industry permeates most of the well-researched books that have been written about Wall Street over the past decade. But no book has connected the dots to the nuances and subtleties of how this whoring works as effectively as Noncompliant: A Lone Whistleblower Exposes the Giants of Wall Street. Written by Carmen Segarra, the petite lawyer turned bank examiner turned whistleblower turned one-woman swat team, the 340-page tome takes the reader along on her gut-wrenching workdays for an entire seven months inside one of the most powerful and corrupted watchdogs of the powerful and corrupted players on Wall Street – the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Read our full review here.

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In Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work, Jenny Brown performs a brilliant forensic examination of the money and people behind the stealth agenda to raise the low birth rate in the United States. That agenda includes concerted campaigns against abortion, the “morning-after pill” and other forms of cBirth Strike (1)ontraception. Using exhaustive research, Brown convincingly makes the case that it’s a well-financed corporate agenda implanted in Washington with an end goal of putting more American women in the maternity ward.

It’s not a cultural or religious agenda as many people believe. It’s just about money – corporate profits to be more specific. More babies mean more workers and more workers mean cheaper labor because there is no shortage of supply and thus no bargaining power for higher wages. (In that respect, it’s akin to why corporations spent decades undermining the right to unionize. Without a union, the individual worker has little negotiating power for higher wages, benefits or a shorter work week.) Read our full review here.

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Written by Judy Robinett, Crack the Funding Code: How Investors Think and What They Need to Hear to Fund Your Startup is the how-to guide for young business owners to tap into private capital sources like angel investors or Crack the Funding Codeventure capitalists.

There are key sections in the book on how to find the people who can help you, how to write a solid business plan, financial statement and projections, and a compelling pitch. Equally important for the unsophisticated but creative entrepreneur, the book offers sound advice on hiring a lawyer to evaluate the deal’s terms and when to say no and walk away from potential outside investors. Read our full review here.

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Collusion by Nomi Prins not only proves that the 1 percent got bailed out while the 99 percent got sold out as a result of policies of the U.S. Central Bank (the Fed) during and after the financial crash of 2008, but it makes the powerful argument that another epic financial craCollusion by Nomi Prinssh is inevitable under the current mega bank structure which has turned the Federal Reserve into little more than a money pimp (our term) for the Wall Street casino.

Prins writes that “Eight years after the crisis began, the Big Six US banks – JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley – collectively held 43 percent more deposits, 84 percent more assets, and triple the amount of cash they held before. The Fed has allowed the biggest banks on Wall Street to essentially double the risk that devastated the system in 2008.” Read our full review here.

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Manifesto For Social ProgressA step-by-step guide has been published on how to defeat the new-age robber barons, the corporate structure that made them billionaires while leaving workers with crumbs, and the enshrined political system that marches to the crack of their unaccountable whip.

Released by Cambridge University Press on August 31, the book is titled “A Manifesto for Social Progress: Ideas for a Better Society,” by Marc Fleurbaey, Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies at Princeton University and a prolific social justice author. Reading the book feels like finding a large flashlight after endless days of stumbling around in a dark cave. Read our full review here.

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Chickenshit Club Thumbnail-90pixLast year Simon & Schuster released The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives by the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at ProPublica, Jesse Eisinger. If you read nothing else this summer, you should read this book followed by Nomi Prins’ Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World. The two books provide Americans with a comprehensive understanding of how the Justice Department, Federal regulators, a growing number of Federal judges and the central bank of the United States known as the Federal Reserve have been corrupted by corporate influence. To a large degree, they now serve their corporate masters, not the American people. Continue reading here.

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Two interesting things happened this week in Jamie Dimon’s world: two gutsy attorneys, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer, published a book comparing JPMorgan Chase to the Gambino crime family, explaininJPMadoff Front Cover-120 pixelsg how the bank could and should be prosecuted under RICO statutes for serial frauds against the investing public. Taking a diametrically different tack, Bloomberg Markets magazine editor, Joel Weber, fawned over Dimon in a Bloomberg TV interview, repeatedly asserting that Jamie Dimon is all about the customer…Unfortunately for Dimon, attorneys Chaitman and Gotthoffer have no such lapse of memory. In their newly published book, JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook, they provide a rap sheet of exactly how JPMorgan has been “taking care” of its customers under Dimon’s oversight. Read the rest of our article here.

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People Get Ready Front Cover-120pixLanding in the midst of the most critical election season since the New Deal era of the 30s, comes a masterpiece of labor history and political strategy from the prolific author, Robert W. McChesney, and John Nichols, the popular national affairs correspondent at The Nation.  Both McChesney and Nichols are co-founders of Free Press, a national media reform organization. People  Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy provides the reader with, first, an exquisite understanding of how the U.S. evolved into a society where the citizen has been kicked to the curb in their “democracy” and, next, a strategic road map for a peaceful revolution. The authors write that “The United States retains the façade of democracy. It remains a democracy on paper and in our hearts. But ours is, increasingly, a citizenless democracy…Oligarchs and their servants call the shots for the feudal serfs of corporate capital.” Read the rest of our review here.

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Fixers: At Wall Street On Parade we call it continuity government. Michael M. Thomas,Fixers-120pix in a new book of quasi-fiction, calls it Fixers, the idea that no matter who comes and goes in the Oval Office, Wall Street has a fix in to make sure it is protected. The Thomas book could not come at a more inconvenient time for outgoing President Obama and the next leg of the continuity government that Wall Street hopes to install in the White House – otherwise known as Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of our review here.

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In his book, Other People’s Money: The Real Business of Finance, economist John Kay demonstrates not only a sagacious understanding of the grotesque underpinnings of financial markets but he maps out a series of common sense, structural rOther People's Money (Small Photo)eforms to bring the financial industry back to its key mandates: efficient allocation of capital and honest handling of other people’s money. From beginning to end, Kay peels back the crass hypocrisy of the market overseers, writing that much of what the financial sector does “contributes little, if anything, to the betterment of lives and the efficiency of business. And yet many things that finance could do to advance these social and economic goals are not done well – or in some cases at all.” Read our full review here.

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Killing the Host (Small Photo)Killing the Host, by economist and financial writer Michael Hudson, hones an exquisitely gripping journey from Wall Street’s original role as capital allocator to its present-day parasitism that has replaced U.S. capitalism as an entrenched, politically-enforced economic model across America. This book is a must-read for anyone hoping to escape the most corrupt era in American history with a shirt still on his parasite-riddled back. Read our full review here.

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All the Presidents' Bankers by Nomi Prins (Small jpg)All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power” by former Wall Street veteran, Nomi Prins, is a seminal addition to the history of continuity government between the White House and Wall Street from the days of Teddy Roosevelt and the Panic of 1907 right up through the Panic of 2008 and the Presidency of Barack Obama. (Don’t be intimidated by the 69 pages of footnotes; while meticulously researched, this is a captivating read for anyone seeking clarity on why Wall Street can collapse, get bailed out by the taxpayer, cause a Great Recession and still call the shots in Washington.) Read the rest of the review here.

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Paul Craig Roberts is one of the most prolific economic writers in America today. As a former Wall Street Journal editor and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Roberts is a walking encyclopedia on monetary policy, economic theory and Wall Street history. After publication in Germany in 2012, his latest book, The Failure Of Laissez Faire Capitalism And Economic Dissolution Of The West, is now available in the U.S. as an eBook.

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Hedge Hogs: The Cowboy Traders Behind Wall Street’s Largest Hedge Fund Disaster: The Barbara Dreyfuss book is the fast moving and riveting account of Amaranth Advisors LLC, the hedge fund that went from holding $9.668 billion in client assets in August 2006 to flaming out in losses exceeding $6 billion in less than four weeks; the culprit – out of control energy trading and efforts to rig the market according to the government.

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Robert A.G. Monks has written a very dangerous book, Citizens DisUnited: Passive Investors, Drone CEOs, and the Corporate Capture of the American Dream. Grab two copies of this book as fast as you can: put one out to sea in a watertight bottle for future archeologists to piece together the downfall of America; put another in a safe in your home. If things continue on the path we’re on, corporations will be rounding up books like this for bonfires.

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Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, removes the propaganda mask that has been so adroitly affixed to Alan Greenspan’s page-boy coiffed goddess of laissez-faire capitalism and the Tea Party’s mother ship. The book is written by Gary Weiss, long time Wall Street reporter and author, and released by St. Martin’s Press. Two years before the financial crisis, Weiss sounded the alarm in Wall Street Versus America – a must read for anyone serious about putting the pieces together.

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Bull by the Horns: Sheila Bair, the ultimate insider as former head of the FDIC during the financial crisis, has performed a microscopic job on former Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, in her book, Bull by the Horns. The image that emerges is a two-headed monster: a regulator functioning as a Citigroup messenger boy and an insanely mismanaged bank that was somehow able to shield from public scrutiny the fact that it had a measly $125 billion in U.S. insured deposits while turning government on its head and raking in over $2.5 trillion in taxpayer capital, guarantees and loans.

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Neil Barofsky, the former Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIG-TARP), has penned a humdinger. Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street, confirms what we’ve suspected since U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appointed Mark Patterson, a Goldman Sachs lobbyist, to be his Chief of Staff – that the U.S. Treasury Department has become Wall Street West.    

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Neil Fabricant, president emeritus of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and lifetime New Yorker, has penned a take-your-breath-away expose on the heretofore inscrutable Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. Mike! Wall Street’s Mayor, is sharp, witty, and pulls no punches when it comes to the billionaire 1 percenter out to portray himself as the man of the people, while growing his estimated $3 billion personal wealth to $22 billion while in office.

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Frank Partnoy has an insider’s feel for his topics – he worked in the 90s as a derivatives structurer at Morgan Stanley and CS First Boston and wrote the Wall Street classic, F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street.  Another great read from Partnoy is Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets. Now a professor of law and finance at the University of San Diego, Partnoy takes a fascinating look at timing decisions for maximum advantage in Wait: The Art and Science of Delay. 

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There are dozens of writers in America who were highly skeptical of candidate Obama’s inexplicable, cult-like rise to the top of the Democratic party. Their work is bound together in Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, edited by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank. (An article by Pam Martens, Editor of this web site, Obama’s Money Cartel, is included in the anthology.)

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