My Book of the Week

Book of the Week  by Christopher McKinnon

The looting of America: how Wall Street’s game of fantasy finance destroyed our jobs, pensions, and prosperity, and what we can do about it – Les Leopold  2009  219 pages

The title says it all but if you ever really wanted to know the definition of derivatives like a “CDO” Collateralized Debt Obligation or a “CDS” Credit Default Swap and how it relates to the “tranche” of your everyday life than this is the book for you.  It is an easy, if not fun, weekend read for a most complicated subject and can be reserved at your Los Angeles branch library. I use their online reservation system for extra convenience.

The author explains that those people stretching to buy homes with risky mortgages were not to blame for the debacle that resulted in the financial collapse around the world. He places fault mostly on the insatiable needs of financial institutions and billionaire CEO’s to play fantasy finance much as addicted sports fans play fantasy baseball. The repercussions of a players strike in this case having massive real world consequences that continue today in our cities and towns.

The author’s solutions skew to his perspective and background as a non-profit green union labor coalition organizer. He stresses that more parity must occur to the working class- financial class dichotomy that has proliferated and grown for at least three decades in order for the government attempt at solutions to take hold.

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