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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Review: Plunder by Danny Schechter

Title: Plunder: Investigating our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal
Author: Danny Schechter
Pages: 240
Publisher: Cosimo Books (September 1, 2008)
Genre: Non-Fiction / Business / Politics / Media
Edition: Paperback - many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!

Perfect for : Personal Use, Someone interested in learning about the impacts to the current economy

In a nutshell: I believe that many things have led to our current economic crisis, and I also believe that we will recover. Plunder's author, Danny Schechter, provides investigative insight into some of the events that brought our economy to this point, mainly greed and dishonesty among those involved in the mortgage industry and the credit industry (seems they were able to talk many consumers into using credit cards and buying homes when they should not have been qualified for them). The author does go on to show that what has happened here in the United States is bound to turn into a Global problem in the near future. In all, this was a very informative read that gave me a lot to think about and reflect on.

Extended Review:
Content: While I am not an expert in economics or anything related to it, I can't claim that this is THE book to shed light on what exactly happened, but I can say that Danny Schechter has done his research and put together a lot of information regarding many contributing factors to today's economic issues, especially the mortgage crisis! I also gained insight into why our family was "qualified" for much more than we felt we could comfortably afford when we were looking for a home to buy (over the past 10 years, my husband and I purchased a first home, which we sold in order to buy our current home. In both cases, lenders tried to talk us into doubling what we wanted to pay, telling us we should buy bigger because we were "qualified" . . . boy am I glad we didn't listen to them!).

Format: The book is written in an interesting format that supports the author's claims with documentation. Mixed in with the author's own words and explanations are many quotes and passages from other sources (online and print) pertaining to the subject matter.

Readability: This was a fairly easy read, given the subject matter. There are a lot of financial terms used, but the author did a good job of explaining them.

Overall: A very interesting look into how and why we have reached this point in our credit crisis, which is magnified by the fact that this will most likely become a Global crisis as other countries have taken similar actions with regards to the use of credit.

From the Publisher:
Americans under a burden that many will never crawl out of.

* PLUNDER identifies some of the profiteers and calls for an investigation of those behind this shrewdly engineered subprime scheme.

* PLUNDER indicts the regulators who enabled the crisis and the media that missed it.
* PLUNDER advocates a debt-relief movement in America and argues that such a movement would resonate across the political spectrum.

First Paragraph:

About the Author: (From the Amazon)
DANNY SCHECHTER, "The News Dissector" has spent decades as a truth teller in the media, with leading media companies and as an independent filmmaker with the award-winning independent company Globalvision. A graduate of Cornell and the London School of Economics, Schechter was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a multiple Emmy Award winner at ABC News, where he was among the first to cover the S&L crisis.

In 2007, his film IN DEBT WE TRUST wasthe first to expose Wall Street's connection to subprime loans, predicting the economic crisis that this book investigates. Schechter is a blogger, editor of Mediachannel.org, and author of nine books. He has reported from 53 countries, and lives in Gotham. He owns no derivatives or tranches.

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add a link to your review, please include a link in your comment!


Anonymous said...

This might be the book for me - I have to admit I don't understand a lot of the economic mess right now.

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