How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System
By Charles Gasparino
HarperBusiness, Hardcover, 9780061697166, 553pp.
Publication Date: November 2009
List Price: $27.99*
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The definitive account of Wall Street's stunning collapse
From critically acclaimed investigative journalist and CNBC personality Charles Gasparino comes a sweeping examination of the most recent volatile, anxiety-ridden era in our nation's socioeconomic history. The Sellout traces the implosion of the financial services business back to its roots in the late 1970s when Wall Street embraced a new business model predicated on taking enormous risks. It shows how a backwater business involving the trading of risky bonds packed with mortgages showered countless billions in profits on the financial industry but sowed the seeds of its ultimate demise. Gasparino walks readers through Wall Street's three-decades' love affair with risk, revealing a trail of culpability—from the government bureaucrats who crafted housing policies that encouraged homeownership, to the Wall Street firms that underwrote and invested in risky debt, to the mortgage sellers who handed out loans to people without the financial wherewithal to pay them back, to the homeowners who became convinced they could afford mansions on blue-collar wages. The ongoing tumult in financial markets and the global economy began when some of our most esteemed financial institutions, our government, and even average citizens abdicated their collective responsibilities, eventually selling out investors and selling off the American Dream itself.
In the spirit of classics such as Barbarians at the Gate and Liar's Poker, this page-turning narrative captures how avarice, arrogance, and sheer stupidity eroded Wall Street's dominance and profoundly weakened the financial security of millions of middle-class Americans. Eye-opening and engrossing, The Sellout provides the most thorough investigation to date of this latest gilded era.
“[A] splendid account of the financial meltdown.”
-Wall Street Journal
The most comprehensive anecdotal account to date of the crisis.... Gasparino cuts his way through Wall Street rhetoric and in the process uncovers in considerable detail how blind profit-making ambition led to the destruction of the markets.
-New York Review of Books
“Gasparino has consistently broken news on some of the biggest financial scandals of recent years, including the fall of Martha Stewart, Henry Blodget, and Jack Grubman. As anyone who reads the business pages knows, Charlie is one of the best reporters in the field.”
-Mark Whitaker, former editor, Newsweek
“Gasparino describes, in page-turning detail, a Wall Street world of ruthless financial titans.… No collection of courtroom documents will ever tell the story…as well as Mr. Gasparino does.”
-Wall Street Journal, on King of the Club
“A tough outsider willing to go to battle with anyone--colleague or contact-in pursuit of the story.”
“An especially aggressive reporter.”
“Gasparino is credited with breaking some of the more titillating tales of Wall Street misconduct.”
-New York Post
“Born in the Bronx to a construction worker and a housewife, Gasparino has risen from his working-class roots to become one of the most influential business reporters at work today.”
“Charles Gasparino sees the guts of Wall Street and the wreckage it leaves behind, day in and day out.”
-San Antonio Express-News