The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America by David A. Stockman Online

The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America
Title : The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781586489120
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 743

A New York Times bestsellerThe Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington's craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulA New York Times bestsellerThe Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington's craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America's private enterprise foundation to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few.Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. The former includes Franklin Roosevelt, who fathered crony capitalism; Richard Nixon, who destroyed national financial discipline and the Bretton Woods gold-backed dollar; Fed chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, who fostered our present scourge of bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation; George W. Bush, who repudiated fiscal rectitude and ballooned the warfare state via senseless wars; and Barack Obama, who revived failed Keynesian “borrow and spend” policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights. By contrast, the book also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Carter Glass, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair.Stockman's analysis skewers Keynesian spenders and GOP tax-cutters alike, showing how they converged to bloat the welfare state, perpetuate the military-industrial complex, and deplete the revenue base—even as the Fed's massive money printing allowed politicians to enjoy “deficits without tears.” But these policies have also fueled new financial bubbles and favored Wall Street with cheap money and rigged stock and bond markets, while crushing Main Street savers and punishing family budgets with soaring food and energy costs. The Great Deformation explains how we got here and why these warped, crony capitalist policies are an epochal threat to free market prosperity and American political democracy.


The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America Reviews

  • Athan Tolis

    This is the most significant book of 2013.It's rambling and endless. 700 pages feel like 1,700. Frankly, it's a bad read. Halfway through, you can already complete every sentence yourself, that's how bad Stockman repeats himself. I'm not sure all numbers check out. No editor ever got near this manuscript.Before I continue with why this is the most significant book of 2013, some more bad news: The author's unifying theory is in my view quaint and irrelevant. For completeness allow me to rearrange [...]

  • Rich

    The book The Great Deformation is amazing. I just finished it this morning and now I want to go out and hang myself. Stockman made me angry at nearly everyone, but mostly at the US Government for creating the Federal Reserve in the first place. The most important good that exists in the world is money. The most important thing to price correctly is capital. But both money and capital have been so deformed since 1913 and particularly in the past 30 years, that we now sit on the verge of the bigge [...]

  • Jose

    Listened to David Stockman give his premiere book presentation at the Greenwich Library 10 days ago and short of buying the book, i checked it out from the library, this 700+ page brick.The author is certainly a highly intelligent individual with sharp argumentation skills, but he comes across as a doomsday machine. I agree with many of his observations although I don't accept all his conclusions or recipes for the cure of the fiscal and political illnesses of this country. He does contribute to [...]

  • John Boettcher

    This is one of the greatest economic books to be published this year. It gives an absolutely SCATHING report on what actually happened between Wall Street and the Federal Government with the help of the Federal Reserve. The amount of corruption and back door dealing that took place during the crisis of 2008-2009 was nothing short of jaw-dropping. Stockman makes that absolutely CRUCIAL point that it wasn't Capitalism that failed us, it was CRONY capitalism that ran rampant throughout the streets [...]

  • Ray

    I couldn't possibly provide an effective summary of David Stockman's very lengthy polemic on the state of the U.S. Economy. Probably the best I can offer is to repeat an advertisement I noticed for a Seattle TownHall meeting on Stockman's book which states: "Today’s national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion—divided equally among taxpayers, that means each of us owes $52,000. David Stockman, author of The Great Deformation, explains how we got here—and how warped “crony capitalism” ha [...]

  • Michelle

    Whew. I hardly know where to start on this massive book. I had NO idea when I requested it at the library that it was over 700 pages and would take over my life for three weeks. :-) This book is a real investment of time, but it is worth it. This book is a very long but vigorous deconstruction of "what went wrong" with the economy, starting way back with FDR and continuing on until today--and Stockman finds plenty of blame to pass around, from FDR and Nixon killing sound money by taking us off t [...]

  • Yuri Zbitnoff

    This book is absolutely, positively essential for anyone who's even remotely interested in economics, finance or American history.I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the most important political and economic books ever written.Yes, it's that good.As a libertarian and as someone who's worked in banking and finance my entire adult life, I'm accustomed to hearing antipathy toward Wall Street and the financial complex. After the 2008 collapse and bailout, I empathize with those [...]

  • David

    This is one of those kind of books that I decided to read the last chapter first, knowing that 700 pages of analysis would lead to some likely solutions. So glad I did. Having spent the last three months reading everything I can get my hands on, this is an awesome book. Read the first chapter this morning and heading deep into the rest. This is more than a book this is a landmark and a call for real change. The pen is mightier than the sword.

  • Marks54

    I have to admit it. I had to give up on this after getting about a quarter of the way through. In a 700 page book, that is about 175 pages.Why did I quit on this? To start with, it is hugely overwritten and poorly edited. So even if I had liked it, I would have been spending about twice the time than would be the case for a good book. But there is much more to it than that.Second, it is clearly revisionist history -- an attempt to go back to the onset of the financial crisis and claim that there [...]

  • Hank Mishkoff

    The longest, angriest rant, ever.Densely packed with data, but with surprisingly little information. It's as if Stockman assumes that we understand all of the esoteric concepts he throws around, so he doesn't have to bother to explain them -- but if we really understood them, we wouldn't have to read his book in the first place. He obviously knows a lot, but he either doesn't know how to explain things to people who know less than he does, or he just wants to vent and doesn't particularly care w [...]

  • DROPPING OUT

    This 700+ page door-stop is a no-holds-barred polemical indictment of our government's fiscal ignorance that has led to what might bring down the United States.But we are not alone. Similar policies pursued by the European Union, Japan, and others make this a global problem. The United States might still be high in the saddle had people truly knowledgable of economics and fiscal policy been running the store. But "crony capitalism" and the arrogance of the likes of Rubin, Greenspan and Bernanke [...]

  • Clif

    David Stockman as a young man was Ronald Reagan's budget director. A proponent of the free market, he became disillusioned with the behavior of the Reagan administration in contrast to the pledges that were made before the Gipper came into office. He then wrote a book, The Triumph of Politics", about the experience relating how all the fine words went out the window while government grew, subsidies were given to all the big lobbies and in the end things were worse at the end of the 1980's than b [...]

  • Christoph

    It is very important to remember that economics is not a science. Although the discipline couches itself in much of the language such as developing theories, and quantifying statistics or distributions, performing analyses of all kinds, we must remember its based on a social process of (currently) fiat symbol exchange. Nothing in that base understanding lends itself to hard science. You can take any economic model you want and essentially try to gloss over the fact that this is the case, but thi [...]

  • Kit

    FDR: bad, Truman: good, Eisenhower: great, Kennedy: ok, Johnson: horrible, Nixon: the main cause of our problems, Ford: good but ineffective, Bush I: bad, Clinton: ok, Bush II: very bad, Obama: bad, and Krugman and Friedman: both bad. (Oh, and Carter and Reagan: little to no comment). This book's premise, as outlined above, promises a unique and informative analysis of why our country is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. However Stockman does not deliver on this promise in over 700 pages of [...]

  • Lisa Cindrich

    700+ pagesmehow I doubt strongly that I will have time for the whole thing. But so far I really am enjoying how Stockman is willing to toss well-deserved grenades in both political directions--right and left--and his very entertaining way with invective, especially toward the Federal Reserve. Suits my (sour) political mood these days.The chapter and subheading titles have me salivating: "Days of Crony Capitalist Plunder", "The Fed's Horrid Bailout of LTCM", "Goldman and Morgan Stanley: The Last [...]

  • JJ

    Great fiscal analysis! This book should be read by all students studying economics! A historical display on the failures of Keynesian policy and state intervention in the free market. The book is wonderful proof we should abolish the fed, restore the gold standard, and embrace Austrian Economics (mises/mises-academy)The book exhibits crystal clear evidence that Keynesian policy and the Fed are the economics of robbers and criminals. Institutionalized plunder according Frederic Bastiat. Bernanke [...]

  • Kevin

    This really is an excellent book and an amazing feat of writing in history and current events. Stockman skewers everyone - conservatives, liberals,Congress, the Fed, green energy subsidies, the auto bailout, you name it. Hit hardest are Bush, Greenspan, Bernanke, and Paulson. Only Eisenhower and a few others get praise. The book makes a compelling case that Keynesian economics and supply-side are two sides of same coin and both are killing us. Also interesting was the explanation of how the curr [...]

  • Usman Chohan

    As a former OMB official, Stockman has firsthand insights about the fiscal quagmire besetting budgetary indiscipline in the United States. But this book is unique in that it proffers the middle finger both to Keynesianism and monetarism, to left-wing and right-wing economists alike. The contention of this book is that, so long as the country doesn't live within its means, squanders money on morally dubious enterprises abroad, and lacks farsighted leadership, it really doesn't matter what mantle [...]

  • Jonathan

    Never mind whether he's a gold bug. He offers a strong counter narrative, born of wide statistical command and seasoned policy experience. Ignore if you know it all.I wish that someone with better economics knowledge than I would see how Stockman's critique of post-Bretton Woods monetary policy and the boon it has been to capital contributes or relates to Thomas Piketty's work in Capital. Perhaps there's something there.

  • Tim

    The great Ponzi scheme a.k.a. the greed of the wealthy. Capitalism is being ruined by government bailouts of Wall St, bankers, automobile companies and at the expense of the shrinking middle class taxpayers. Mr. Stockman confirms this through his historical analytical description of the corruption of capitalism since the 1980s. Capitalism is unsustainable long term in the U.S. Its demise is inevitable and only a matter of time. I strongly recommend you read for yourself. 8 of 10 stars

  • Mary Hartshorn

    Pretty informative, and something that I had to read in increments.

  • Chris Elkjar

    Excellent polemic covering the history of the current US economic situation it's causes and suggested solutions. Stockman pulls no punches and doesn't hesitate to place blame on either side of the isle. This book is quite a brick and definitely lags at a few points but his overall point of promoting sound money and removing the crony capitalism epidemic sound true.

  • Ryan Nunley

    Amazing historical perspective of the financial history of US monetary policy. Insider view from the world of high finance.

  • Paul

    A massive, undocumented polemic that nonetheless tells it like it is.I hadn't heard of David Stockman until I came across an article by him on LewRockwell discussing American Middle East policy and actions. I was struck by his blunt, caustic, and seemingly well-informed criticism of the imperialist bungling of successive administrations. When I noted that Stockman had written a book on the history of the current economic crisis, and when I noted further that his credentials included service as a [...]

  • Andrew Skretvedt

    (a real review should appear hereybe somedayis won't be that)Okay, sit and listen for one paragraph. This wasn't the direct message of the book, but if you want to do something that will help bring our national government back under some discipline, if there is any hope at all for reasserting control, there's one thing you can do and must do: don't buy government bonds! Seriously. Buying government bonds is precisely the same thing as supporting pledges to tax future generations more heavily tha [...]

  • Alberto Lopez

    While clearly controversial, the book makes the very credible argument that the Fed's inflationary policy has created a mirage that can't end well. Leverage, as the author suggests, is the only viable outcome in the economic game. As someone close to the distortions caused by the Fed's gravitational pull , I found every bit of information to be credible. I was left to ponder the many implications. What a book!

  • Justinbwood

    Some good points within the book, but it's definitely not worth reading to get them. Whatever intelligence and insight the author offers is completely overwhelmed by his repetitive, overblown dogmatic hype. Everything is 'unprecendented' (as if everything unprecedented is bad), everyone is Keynesian (and thus an idiot, obviously according to the author), anything positive about FDR is a 'hagiography'. At first it's not so bad, but after 100 pages or so it is absolutely tedious. I found myself on [...]

  • Breakingviews

    By Martin HutchinsonDavid Stockman is a polemicist. “The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America”, the new book by the former adviser to President Ronald Reagan and private equity magnate, is a tirade, arguing over more than 700 pages that crony capitalism and central planning have increasingly corrupted U.S. policy since the Franklin Roosevelt administration.Stockman has a clear intellectual starting point - the Austrian school which holds that loose monetary policy encou [...]

  • Jeff Hunt

    Bravo, David Stockman, Bravo! This is a great book and should be required reading for all Americans. David Stockman spent time as Regan’s budget director and later as an LBO artist. His come to Jesus moment occurred as the CEO of automotive supplier Collins & Aikman Corporation where he was prosecuted (or persecuted) by an overzealous US attorney before the DOJ dropped the case. And according to a chapter hidden rather deep in the book, hitting rock bottom which was the impetus that lead t [...]

  • Donnell

    I began this review while still reading this book because it is easier for me to keep a record of my thoughts as I go along. I fully intended to finish--and I admire the depth of Mr. Stockman's research and graciousness in providing us with a detailed overview of economic history. I think I got the essence, though--the gov can, too easily, simply print more and more money--and just couldn't face all the rest of those pages. Some of my "take aways" from this book: 1. We actually live in a sociali [...]