Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.-How the Working Poor Became Big Business

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9780061733215: Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.-How the Working Poor Became Big Business

For most, the Great Crash of 2008 has meant troubling times. Not so for those in the flourishing poverty industry, for whom shrinking wages, pink slips, and other economic woes spell an opportunity to expand and grow. Over the years, any number of mercenary entrepreneurs have taken advantage of an era of deregulation to devise high priced products to sell to the credit-hungry ranks of the working poor, from the instant tax refund to the payday loan. In the process, they've created an industry larger than the casino business and proven that even the pawnbrokers and check cashers, if they dream big enough, can grow very, very rich off those with thin wallets. Looking back across three decades, Gary Rivlin uncovers how the poverty industry actually invented the predatory subprime loan in the 1980s - eventually inspiring the likes of Countrywide and Wells Fargo to repurpose these toxic products for the USA's middle class. As Rivlin's tale reveals, these large chains are not only making fat profits and contributing to our current financial crisis - they are at the heart of it. "Broke, USA" is Rivlin's riveting report from the economic fringes. From the annual meeting of the national check cashers association in Las Vegas, to a tour of the foreclosure-riddled neighbourhoods of Dayton, OH, it's a subprime Fast Food Nation featuring an unforgettable cast of characters and memorable scenes. As Wall Street and the White House struggle to save the economy from collapse, Rivlin travels across the country profiling players ranging from a former small-town Tennessee debt collector whose business offering cash advances to the country's working poor has earned him a net worth in the hundreds of millions, to legendary Wall Street dealmaker Sandy Weill, who rode a subprime loan business into control of the nation's largest bank. He parallels their stories with the tale of those committed souls fighting back against the major corporations, chain franchises, and newly hatched enterpris

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

"A unique and riveting exploration of one of America's largest and fastest-growing industries--the business of poverty"--Provided by publisher.

Review:

"An exhaustive expos?."----"Washington Post"

"[A] scathing, important book, "Broke, USA"... includes one shocking anecdote after another."----Joe Nocera, the "New York Times"

"To understand American finance, you need to understand Ace Cash Express as much as you need to understand Goldman Sachs. Which is why Gary Rivlin's "Broke, USA" is a necessary companion."----Ezra Klein, "Washington Post"

"This thorough and thoughtful piece of reporting has much to teach us about the challenges the U.S. faces today, especially when it comes to improving financial literacy. It should be required reading for legislators and lenders across the land."----"Bloomberg News"

"[Rivlin] offers a superb expose of the 'poverty business'... A timely, important, and deeply disturbing look at the cycle of dept in the nation's most vulnerable."----"Publishers Weekly"

"With revealing stories, Gary Rivlin spotlights the systematic, widespread economic abuse of the poor by supposedly respectable corporations whose predatory conduct breeds misery and undoes many efforts by taxpayers to alleviate poverty."----David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer prize-winning author of "Free Lunch" and "Perfectly Legal"

"[An] incisive, important new expose, "Broke, USA"...is enraging, but Rivlin's work also is scrupulously fair.... [W]hat makes Broke, USA so readable is Rivlin's skill at telling a complex story through engaging characters."----"Cleveland Plain Dealer"

"A fascinating and very important work of investigation and explanation, which I hope gets the wide attention it deserves.... This is a book with the potential to stimulate outrage--and political reform."----James Fallows, the "Atlantic" author of "Breaking the News"

""Broke USA" will leave you mad as hell. Thanks, Gary Rivlin, for introducing us to folks like Bill Brennan, who early on saw it coming: the predatory lending that has destroyed communities. If only we had listened."----Alex Kotlowitz, author of "There Are No Children Here" and "Never a City So Real"

"[A] fascinating book."----"Fortune"

"Gary Rivlin's "Broke, USA" is a necessary companion..."----"Newsweek"

"Mr. Rivlin brings to his subject a genuine gift for storytelling."----"Wall Street Journal"

"This is a powerful analysis, detailing how the financial sector has come to its current state of crisis and including personal stories of some among the millions of working Americans who have been exploited along the way."----"Booklist" (starred review)

"Gary Rivlin rivets readers."----"Fast Company"

"Rivlin strives to portray the people behind Poverty Inc. in a fair light...but his sympathy and the reader's steadily evaporate with his well-chosen tales of the industry's coercive tactics and it's leaders' astonishing wealth....Rivlin is the consummate tour guide, quick with a memorable anecdote or telling statistic."----New York Times Book Review

"In "Broke, USA, " Rivlin lays out this depressing story in rich detail.... [H]is riveting look at the calamitous effects on America demands attention."----"Charlotte News & Observer"

"Broke, USA is vital reading for those seeking to deepen their understanding of the economic crash of the past few years."----Associated Press

[A] scathing, important book, "Broke, USA.".. includes one shocking anecdote after another. ----Joe Nocera, the "New York Times""

Mr. Rivlin brings to his subject a genuine gift for storytelling. ----"Wall Street Journal""

Rivlin strives to portray the people behind Poverty Inc. in a fair light but his sympathy and the reader s steadily evaporate with his well-chosen tales of the industry s coercive tactics and it s leaders astonishing wealth .Rivlin is the consummate tour guide, quick with a memorable anecdote or telling statistic. ----New York Times Book Review"

An exhaustive expos?. ----"Washington Post""

[Rivlin] offers a superb expose of the poverty business ... A timely, important, and deeply disturbing look at the cycle of dept in the nation s most vulnerable. ----"Publishers Weekly""

[A] fascinating book. ----"Fortune""

Gary Rivlin rivets readers. ----"Fast Company""

[An] incisive, important new expose, "Broke, USA."..is enraging, but Rivlin s work also is scrupulously fair.... [W]hat makes Broke, USA so readable is Rivlin s skill at telling a complex story through engaging characters. ----"Cleveland Plain Dealer""

This is a powerful analysis, detailing how the financial sector has come to its current state of crisis and including personal stories of some among the millions of working Americans who have been exploited along the way. ----"Booklist" (starred review)"

To understand American finance, you need to understand Ace Cash Express as much as you need to understand Goldman Sachs. Which is why Gary Rivlin s Broke, USA is a necessary companion. ----Ezra Klein, "Washington Post""

Gary Rivlin s "Broke, USA" is a necessary companion... ----"Newsweek""

Broke, USA is vital reading for those seeking to deepen their understanding of the economic crash of the past few years. ----Associated Press"

This thorough and thoughtful piece of reporting has much to teach us about the challenges the U.S. faces today, especially when it comes to improving financial literacy. It should be required reading for legislators and lenders across the land. ----"Bloomberg News""

In "Broke, USA, " Rivlin lays out this depressing story in rich detail.... [H]is riveting look at the calamitous effects on America demands attention. ----"Charlotte News & Observer""

With revealing stories, Gary Rivlin spotlights the systematic, widespread economic abuse of the poor by supposedly respectable corporations whose predatory conduct breeds misery and undoes many efforts by taxpayers to alleviate poverty. ----David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer prize-winning author of "Free Lunch" and "Perfectly Legal""

"Broke USA" will leave you mad as hell. Thanks, Gary Rivlin, for introducing us to folks like Bill Brennan, who early on saw it coming: the predatory lending that has destroyed communities. If only we had listened. ----Alex Kotlowitz, author of "There Are No Children Here" and "Never a City So Real""

A fascinating and very important work of investigation and explanation, which I hope gets the wide attention it deserves.... This is a book with the potential to stimulate outrage and political reform. ----James Fallows, the "Atlantic" author of "Breaking the News""

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