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The Seven Sins of Wall Street
Big Banks, their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis

Summary

We all know that the financial crisis of 2008 came dangerously close to pushing the United States and the world into a depression rivaling that of the 1930s. But what is astonishing—and should make us not just afraid but very afraid—are the shenanigans of the biggest banks since the crisis. Bob Ivry passionately, eloquently, and convincingly details the operatic ineptitude of America's best-compensated executives and the ways the government kowtows to what it mistakenly imagines is their competence and success. Ivry shows that the only thing that has changed since the meltdown is how too-big-to-fail banks and their fellow travelers in Washington have nudged us ever closer to an even bigger economic calamity.
Informed by deep reporting from New York, Washington, and the heartland, The Seven Sins of Wall Street, like no other book, shows how we’re all affected by the financial industry’s inhumanity. The transgressions of “Wall Street titans” and “masters of the universe” are paid for by real people. In fierce, plain English, Ivry indicts a financial industry that continues to work for the few at the expense of the rest of us. Problems that financiers deemed too complicated to be understood by ordinary folks are shown by Ivry to be financial legerdemain—a smokescreen of complexity and jargon that hide the bankers’ nefarious activities.
The Seven Sins of Wall Street is irreverent and timely, an infuriating black comedy. The Great Depression of the 1930s moved the American political system to real reform that kept the finance industry in check. With millions so deeply affected since the crisis of 2008, you’ll finish this book asking yourself how it is that so many of the nation’s leading financial institutions remain such exasperating problem children.

about Bob Ivry


  • Bob Ivry is an editor and investigative reporter for Bloomberg News. His articles have won many awards, including the George Polk Award in 2009 and the Gerald Loeb Award in 2008. Ivry has been a regular contributor to Esquire, Popular Science, Maxim, and the Washington Post Book World, and has published short fiction in Esquire and Ploughshares. Follow him on Twitter: @bobivry

reviews

“Ivry writes with high indignation punctuated by occasional light touches, and he has a talent for deconstructing financial jargon. Yet his intent is utterly serious, and his book ought to become a standard text for the Occupy Wall Street and similar movements… To judge by this angry book, the denizens of Wall Street are doing all they can to obstruct this—and it’s high time to return the favor.”—Kirkus

“An indispensable guide for tracking down live villains and unburied bodies. 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.”—Harper’s Magazine online

“Over several chapters, Ivry effectively contrasts the fate of a single mother foreclosed out of her Memphis home with that of a Wall Street trader who maintains multiple mansions that go unoccupied… well-informed proponents of the Occupy Wall Street movement will likely enjoy this emotionally-charged expose.”—Publishers Weekly

"The Seven Sins of Wall Street: Big Banks, their Washington Lackeys, and the next Financial Crisis by Bloomberg reporter, Bob Ivry is both incredibly scary and ironically extremely funny – in a very dark way. This makes it essential reading for anyone"—Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents Bankers

"Bob Ivry was one of the few journalists to grasp the depth of the 2008 financial crisis and his reporting on the bailouts was groundbreaking. Now he sets his sights on the aftermath of the bailouts and their true cost to American society. In accessible writing, sometimes funny, often infuriating, Ivry exposes the price America paid for rescuing the biggest banks, a price that we're paying up to the present day -- bankers who behave like spoiled children, a government and central bank that spoil them and a democracy that's impoverished as a result."—Neil Barofsky, author of the New York Times bestseller, Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street and U.S. Treasury's Special Inspector General for the TARP.

"Seven Sins is a highly readable, unremittingly scathing look at post-apocalypse, unrepentant Wall Street. It is at once a compelling guided tour of this bizzaro world and a sounding of the alarm about its portents."—John Helyar, co-author, Barbarians at the Gate

other editions

  • Hardcover | ISBN 9781610393652
    Pub date: 2014-03-11 | Price: $25.99/29.00 Canada
    6.500 x 9.500 | 304 Pages
    Business & Economics / Banks & Banking
    Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
    History / United States / 21st Century
    Request reprints and permissions
  • eBook | ISBN 9781610393669
    Pub date: 2014-03-11 | Price: $25.99/29.00 Canada
    5.500 x 8.250 | 304 Pages
    Business & Economics / Banks & Banking
    Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
    History / United States / 21st Century
    Request reprints and permissions