The American economy has yet to totally recover from the financial crisis of 2008. But Bloomberg reporter Bob Ivry argues that the institutions most to blame for that crisis have successfully resisted attempts to reform them.
In "The Seven Sins of Wall Street: Big Banks, Their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis," Ivry contends that bankers and their ilk continued to get richer — with the help of Washington — while millions of Americans struggled and the American economy continued to sputter.
"Fortunately, we now have Bob Ivry's 'Seven Sins of Wall Street' as an indispensable guide for tracking down live villains and unburied bodies," writes Andrew Cockburn for Harper's. "By the time you reach the end, all the sheer fury anyone with the merest flutter of a moral pulse felt back in 2008 and 2009 at the sight of bankers and their apologists blaming the cratering of the global economy on 'people buying houses they couldn't afford' wells up again, white hot."
Kirkus Reviews says it "ought to become a standard text for the Occupy Wall Street and similar movements":
Ivry's larger message is to show how these sins fuel a scheme in which risk is socialized, spread out among the taxpayers, while profit is most definitely privatized, kept out of the hands of the people who made it possible. Ivry writes with high indignation punctuated by occasional light touches ("As I tried to find the switch on my own bullshit meter, which I had on vibrate and which was now rattling my molars..."), and he has a talent for deconstructing financial jargon ("Think of derivatives as side bets made between two gamblers"). Yet his intent is utterly serious.