I wrote the first edition of this book in late 2008, when Wall Street was in the throes of collapse. The phantom wealth machine had been exposed and its devastating effects on the real economy were apparent everywhere.

The book was published just as a new president and a new Congress were taking power. I hoped they might begin to rein in the Wall Street financial institutions that were causing such pain and set us on the path to a much more sensible economy. Flush with the excitement of the moment, I included a chapter with the economic address to the nation that I hoped our youthful, idealistic, articulate new president might give — one that recognized a need to transform the money system, global corporations, and ...

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