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All the Presidents' Bankers : The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power
by Nomi Prins


Overview - Who rules America?
All the Presidents' Bankers is a groundbreaking narrative of how an elite group of men transformed the American economy and government, dictated foreign and domestic policy, and shaped world history.
Culled from original presidential archival documents, All the Presidents' Bankers delivers an explosive account of the hundred-year interdependence between the White House and Wall Street that transcends a simple analysis of money driving politics--or greed driving bankers.
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More About All the Presidents' Bankers by Nomi Prins
 
 
 
Overview
Who rules America?
All the Presidents' Bankers is a groundbreaking narrative of how an elite group of men transformed the American economy and government, dictated foreign and domestic policy, and shaped world history.
Culled from original presidential archival documents, All the Presidents' Bankers delivers an explosive account of the hundred-year interdependence between the White House and Wall Street that transcends a simple analysis of money driving politics--or greed driving bankers.
Prins ushers us into the intimate world of exclusive clubs, vacation spots, and Ivy League universities that binds presidents and financiers. She unravels the multi-generational blood, intermarriage, and protege relationships that have confined national influence to a privileged cluster of people. These families and individuals recycle their power through elected office and private channels in Washington, DC.
All the Presidents' Bankers sheds new light on pivotal historic events--such as why, after the Panic of 1907, America's dominant bankers convened to fashion the Federal Reserve System; how J. P. Morgan's ambitions motivated President Wilson during World War I; how Chase and National City Bank chairmen worked secretly with President Roosevelt to rescue capitalism during the Great Depression while J.P. Morgan Jr. invited Roosevelt's son yachting; and how American financiers collaborated with President Truman to construct the World Bank and IMF after World War II.
Prins divulges how, through the Cold War and Vietnam era, presidents and bankers pushed America's superpower status and expansion abroad, while promoting broadly democratic values and social welfare at home. But from the 1970s, Wall Street's rush to secure Middle East oil profits altered the nature of political-financial alliances. Bankers' profit motive trumped heritage and allegiance to public service, while presidents lost control over the economy--as was dramatically evident in the financial crisis of 2008.
This unprecedented history of American power illuminates how the same financiers retained their authoritative position through history, swaying presidents regardless of party affiliation. All the Presidents' Bankers explores the alarming global repercussions of a system lacking barriers between public office and private power. Prins leaves us with an ominous choice: either we break the alliances of the power elite, or they will break us.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781568587493
  • ISBN-10: 156858749X
  • Publisher: Nation Books
  • Publish Date: April 2014
  • Page Count: 521


Related Categories

Books > Political Science > Government - General
Books > Business & Economics > Corporate & Business History - General
Books > History > United States - 20th Century

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-02-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

The intricate connections between finance and politics add up to less than their parts in this unfocused history of Oval Office interactions with the banking industry. Drawing on exhaustive archival research, journalist and former Wall Street executive Prins (Other People’s Money) presents a sprawling, haphazard, eye-glazing account of interactions between presidents and leading bankers from the Panic of 1907 to the Crash of 2008. Bankers pop up everywhere in her narrative, lobbying presidents, holding cabinet positions, leading foreign-affairs missions and staking out policy positions. Prins styles all this as a sinister “hidden alliance” underpinning a nebulously undefined global “power,” “control,” and “hegemony,” but her revelations are neither original nor surprising: she mainly demonstrates that bankers are part of the Establishment, with special interests—less regulation, more bailouts and foreign business—that they hope to see advanced through government action—or inaction. Unfortunately, her (often well-merited) populist ire never builds its critique of bankers’ opportunism into a coherent account of policy-making, wallowing instead in cynical conspiracy-speak—“there are no accidents in global influence”—and contentless Theories of Everything. (“Bankers had a propensity to capitalize on wars, but they were equally adept at profiting from peace.”) The nexus of money and government deserves a more systematic and thoughtful treatment than Prins’s. Agent: Andrew Stuart. (Apr.)

 
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