Other People's Money

Other People's Money

October 4, 2004
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In this acclaimed exposé, named one of the best books of 2004 by The Economist, Barron's, Library Journal, and The Progressive, Prins provides fascinating firsthand details of day-to-day life in the financial leviathans, with all its rich absurdities.

She demonstrates how the much-publicized fraud of recent years resulted from deregulation that trashed the rules of responsible corporate behavior, and not simply the unbridled greed of a select few. While the stock market roared on the back of phony balance sheets, executives made out like bandits and Congress looked the other way. Worse yet, as the new foreword to this edition makes clear, everything remains in place for a repeat performance.

TOP FACTS:

  • Between 1998 and 2001, 1,000 top corporate executives cashed out $66 billion. In 2001 alone, public pension and 401(k) plans lost $200 billion.
  • During California's electricity crises in 2000 and 2002, the public lost over $45 billion, while corporate energy companies paid only $450 million in fines.

  • Since 2001, the average value of a CEO severance package has been $3 million, while the average worker's severance pay following the bankruptcy of their company was less than $5,000.