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You Want to Read this Fantastic New Book from Steven Brill, which Features Better Markets’ Work

The book is an eye-opening, panoramic, tour de force that connects the dots of what has happened and is happening in America.  It has that rare combination of historical information, in-depth reporting, insightful analysis and great storytelling and vignettes.  Brill’s fifty-year tailspin covers everything from Wall Street, meritocracy, the First Amendment, trade and campaign finance to mandatory arbitration, lobbying, infrastructure, unions, short-termism and drug companies. 

Brill’s organizing metaphor is the moat, which the wealthy and well-connected have constructed to protect themselves from the unprotected, the vast majority of Americans who no longer have access to the American Dream.  He contrasts that with the “moat busters,” which includes “The Wall Street Moat Buster” Better Markets fighting “…to restore that flickering dream”:

“In every arena that the achievers commandeered to create the protected-unprotected divide, there are now equally talented, equally driven achievers who have grown so disgusted by what they see that they are pushing back…non-profits staffed by creative thinkers and undaunted fighters with sterling resumes and hard-knocks experience are going after continuing abuses and lack of accountability on Wall Street.”

Steven Brill.jpeg“They are doing what they do despite developments in America that seem to be galloping in the opposite direction not because they are gluttons for frustration, but because they believe that America can be put back on the right course.  In a variety of arenas, the people you will meet here are laying the groundwork for disgust to be channeled into a restoration.”

He writes specifically about the work we do at Better Markets:

Better Markets’ “staff, including some drawn from the ranks of congressional aides who would have been likely recruits for more conventional lobby shops, have become a constant if unusual presence at hearings and in the offices of the agencies that write rules like the ones that followed the passage of Dodd-Frank.” 

“Better Markets churns out obsessively detailed rulemaking submissions to regulators (pointing out gaps in drafts of the clawback rules, for example).  A flow of white papers and bulletins for policymakers and the press can be counted on to rebut the Wall Street line with credible collections of facts and arguments putting the banks’ claims in context.”

The book is out this week and is already attracting a great deal of well-deserved attention (debuting #10 on The New York Times Bestseller List).  An adaptation and excerpt from the book was just featured on the front cover of Timemagazine, and Brill also appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the book.  Bob Woodward, Walter Isaacson, Gillian Tett, Jeffrey Toobin and many others can’t say enough good things about the book, which can be ordered here.

 

 

 

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