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Who filled the trough? Who set the table at the banquet of greed? How has it been possible for corporate pigs to gorge themselves on grossly inflated pay packages and heaping helpings of stock options while the average American struggles to make do with their leftovers? Provocative political commentator Arianna Huffington yanks back the curtain on the unholy alliance of CEO Who filled the trough? Who set the table at the banquet of greed? How has it been possible for corporate pigs to gorge themselves on grossly inflated pay packages and heaping helpings of stock options while the average American struggles to make do with their leftovers? Provocative political commentator Arianna Huffington yanks back the curtain on the unholy alliance of CEOs, politicians, lobbyists, and Wall Street bankers who have shown a brutal disregard for those in the office cubicles and on the factory floors. As she puts it: “The economic game is not supposed to be rigged like some shady ring toss on a carnival midway.” Yet it has been, allowing corporate crooks to bilk the public out of trillions of dollars, magically making our pensions and 401(k)s disappear and walking away with astronomical payouts and absurdly lavish perks-for-life. The media have put their fingers on pieces of the sordid puzzle, but Pigs at the Trough presents the whole ugly picture of what’s really going on for the first time—a blistering, wickedly witty portrait of exactly how and why the worst and the greediest are running American business and government into the ground. Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski, Adelphia’s John Rigas, and the Three Horsemen of the Enron Apocalypse—Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andrew Fastow—are not just a few bad apples. They are manifestations of a megatrend in corporate leadership—the rise of a callous and avaricious mind-set that is wildly out of whack with the core values of the average American. WorldCom, Enron, Adelphia, Tyco, AOL, Xerox, Merrill Lynch, and the other scandals are only the tip of the tip of the corruption iceberg. Making the case that our public watchdogs have become little more than obedient lapdogs, unwilling to bite the corporate hand that feeds them, Arianna Huffington turns the spotlight on the tough reforms we must demand from Washington. We need, she argues, to go way beyond the lame Corporate Responsibility Act if we are to stop the voracious corporate predators from eating away at the very foundations of our democracy. Devastatingly funny and powerfully indicting, Pigs at the Trough is a rousing call to arms and a must-read for all those who are outraged by the scandalous state of corporate America. From the Hardcover edition.


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Who filled the trough? Who set the table at the banquet of greed? How has it been possible for corporate pigs to gorge themselves on grossly inflated pay packages and heaping helpings of stock options while the average American struggles to make do with their leftovers? Provocative political commentator Arianna Huffington yanks back the curtain on the unholy alliance of CEO Who filled the trough? Who set the table at the banquet of greed? How has it been possible for corporate pigs to gorge themselves on grossly inflated pay packages and heaping helpings of stock options while the average American struggles to make do with their leftovers? Provocative political commentator Arianna Huffington yanks back the curtain on the unholy alliance of CEOs, politicians, lobbyists, and Wall Street bankers who have shown a brutal disregard for those in the office cubicles and on the factory floors. As she puts it: “The economic game is not supposed to be rigged like some shady ring toss on a carnival midway.” Yet it has been, allowing corporate crooks to bilk the public out of trillions of dollars, magically making our pensions and 401(k)s disappear and walking away with astronomical payouts and absurdly lavish perks-for-life. The media have put their fingers on pieces of the sordid puzzle, but Pigs at the Trough presents the whole ugly picture of what’s really going on for the first time—a blistering, wickedly witty portrait of exactly how and why the worst and the greediest are running American business and government into the ground. Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski, Adelphia’s John Rigas, and the Three Horsemen of the Enron Apocalypse—Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andrew Fastow—are not just a few bad apples. They are manifestations of a megatrend in corporate leadership—the rise of a callous and avaricious mind-set that is wildly out of whack with the core values of the average American. WorldCom, Enron, Adelphia, Tyco, AOL, Xerox, Merrill Lynch, and the other scandals are only the tip of the tip of the corruption iceberg. Making the case that our public watchdogs have become little more than obedient lapdogs, unwilling to bite the corporate hand that feeds them, Arianna Huffington turns the spotlight on the tough reforms we must demand from Washington. We need, she argues, to go way beyond the lame Corporate Responsibility Act if we are to stop the voracious corporate predators from eating away at the very foundations of our democracy. Devastatingly funny and powerfully indicting, Pigs at the Trough is a rousing call to arms and a must-read for all those who are outraged by the scandalous state of corporate America. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Al

    Is this book written to make a point? You bet! Call it propaganda, I don't care. Now that this is clear, let's move on. Truth is where you you find it, and she looks even more like a Prophet since this last corporate meltdown in 2007/2008. Actually, you don't need to be a Prophet, you just need to understand human behavior, and not be easily suckered in by rhetoric. If you want proof that she is telling the truth, consider this. She lists a thousand examples of exploitation, and or criminal beh Is this book written to make a point? You bet! Call it propaganda, I don't care. Now that this is clear, let's move on. Truth is where you you find it, and she looks even more like a Prophet since this last corporate meltdown in 2007/2008. Actually, you don't need to be a Prophet, you just need to understand human behavior, and not be easily suckered in by rhetoric. If you want proof that she is telling the truth, consider this. She lists a thousand examples of exploitation, and or criminal behavior. Then she backs that up with a thousand specific actions by those in question. If she was not protected by the truth, don't you think that some of those bad boys and bad girls would have sued her right into the poorhouse? She is right about other things too. If we don't get money out of elections, and write strict regulations, we are fools to expect anything different in the future. I would like to add that constitutional term limits would also help clean out the corruption in our government. I am sick to death of our government existing solely to perpetuate this scam of the rich. Political pressure is just like pneumatic pressure in the physical world. If it is not released in a controlled manner, then eventually all hell breaks loose. Read your history!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    An important topic that deserves a good book. Unfortunately, this is not a good book. The writing is poor, and the organization is non-existent. Information is thrown in randomly - without any logical order, so it's impossible to remember and impossible to find later. The authors tone is sarcastic and mocking through the whole book, with more space given to jokes and mocking metaphors than to relevant facts about a serious problem. I was disappointed. An important topic that deserves a good book. Unfortunately, this is not a good book. The writing is poor, and the organization is non-existent. Information is thrown in randomly - without any logical order, so it's impossible to remember and impossible to find later. The authors tone is sarcastic and mocking through the whole book, with more space given to jokes and mocking metaphors than to relevant facts about a serious problem. I was disappointed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington is a book that points out a major economical issue in the United states. Throughout this novel the author shows countless examples of overlooked economic flaw. Her target being big corporate business owners and how they influence politics to keep themselves reaping all of the benefits. With great use of real world statistics she shows how unfair things have been to try and open the eyes of people who are not getting as much out of life because of extreme Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington is a book that points out a major economical issue in the United states. Throughout this novel the author shows countless examples of overlooked economic flaw. Her target being big corporate business owners and how they influence politics to keep themselves reaping all of the benefits. With great use of real world statistics she shows how unfair things have been to try and open the eyes of people who are not getting as much out of life because of extreme greed by the most powerful people, some who claim to be helping. I enjoyed the fact that this novel was written to prove in depth how greedy corporate America can actually be with undeniable evidence stated page by page. Along with good intentions it had a lot of snide sarcastic jokes I actually found quite amusing and very intelligently put but no lack of insult. This novel was quite hard to get through because it jumped back and forth a lot and was pretty hard to keep up with. It seemed to digress to much and after a while it was like reading the same thing over and over again it just rambled about very identical situations that were impossible to remember the difference between unless I kept going back and refreshing myself and scanning for tiny differences. In the end this was a pretty terrible book. Unless that's something you are crazed about it is terribly hard to get through. I felt like the book just kept starting over and it never got exciting or interesting after reading about a ton of very similar incidents all talked about and made fun of in the same way.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chilly SavageMelon

    caveat: this style of book is well outside of my "comfort zone" or normal reading material and thus I find it a challenge, in a way, to review, but- While I am certainly gung ho on a corporate watchdog mentality, I couldn't relate to Huffington's detailing of some of the presumably empirical data of what this crooked CEO paid for their 2nd beach house etc., for the same reason I don't watch E television. Ultimately, I just don't give a fuck and look cynically at those entire worlds. In theory, I caveat: this style of book is well outside of my "comfort zone" or normal reading material and thus I find it a challenge, in a way, to review, but- While I am certainly gung ho on a corporate watchdog mentality, I couldn't relate to Huffington's detailing of some of the presumably empirical data of what this crooked CEO paid for their 2nd beach house etc., for the same reason I don't watch E television. Ultimately, I just don't give a fuck and look cynically at those entire worlds. In theory, I am glad someone is out there grinding such axes, and to be fair, in the end proposing solutions about steps the Fed might take to oversee shennanigans. But I found the jokey little quizzes throughout to be pithy at best, overall stupid. While I don't take serious issue with anything stated here, I couldn't get swept up in the "liberal bandwagon". To say "let's just decide to bring back more of the mom and pop style" sums it up for me, but I recognize this as altruism. One hilarious turn of events, five years after it's publication is the recent depantsing, literally, of "hero" Elliot Spitzer, who is lauded again and again here. All of this having been said, I did learn something, and have no real regrets I went out on this particular limb. The American Big $ Game is still fixed and the little guy gets screwed, go figure...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    While I share some of Huffington's social and political opinions her snarky asides and exertions to drill a lame joke home (sometimes dedicating a short paragraph to making fun of someone) really grow tiresome quickly. She knows her business but is better off in explaining economics and corporate malfeasance to retards like me than she is trying to entertain anyone. While I share some of Huffington's social and political opinions her snarky asides and exertions to drill a lame joke home (sometimes dedicating a short paragraph to making fun of someone) really grow tiresome quickly. She knows her business but is better off in explaining economics and corporate malfeasance to retards like me than she is trying to entertain anyone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim Cano

    I got this as a gift for my step-dad a while back since he likes these sorts of books, and he suggested I read it. Even though it was depressing I really liked it. Now when I hear friends tell me they haven't gotten a raise in years, they're being switched from full-time to part-time and their benefits are being cut, I'll know it's so some asshat can have a $6,000 gold shower curtain! I got this as a gift for my step-dad a while back since he likes these sorts of books, and he suggested I read it. Even though it was depressing I really liked it. Now when I hear friends tell me they haven't gotten a raise in years, they're being switched from full-time to part-time and their benefits are being cut, I'll know it's so some asshat can have a $6,000 gold shower curtain!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    This is full of great information but the writing isn't very good and it's very slow reading. This is full of great information but the writing isn't very good and it's very slow reading.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alysha

    I don't understand this woman. I wish she would stop writing. She's not good at it. I don't understand this woman. I wish she would stop writing. She's not good at it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    D Books

    Not an easy read, but a necessary one. I'm glad I read this book because I feel more knowledgeable about how we as a country ended up in this financial crisis that we are now in today. The author keeps her story interesting by making a lot of smart remarks while at the same time having tons of facts that I'm amazed that she was privy of knowing. From immoral CEOs to untrustworthy & questionable lawmakers, this book gets down and dirty when exposing them all. It's so depressing to find out in det Not an easy read, but a necessary one. I'm glad I read this book because I feel more knowledgeable about how we as a country ended up in this financial crisis that we are now in today. The author keeps her story interesting by making a lot of smart remarks while at the same time having tons of facts that I'm amazed that she was privy of knowing. From immoral CEOs to untrustworthy & questionable lawmakers, this book gets down and dirty when exposing them all. It's so depressing to find out in detail just how morally corrupt the people we depend on the most for our countries financial well being. They are pure capitalistic, self-serving, unprincipled, greedy pigs! Two things that I liked most about this book was 1) the way it explained how the financial analyst, investment bankers, and the worth-nothing companies (including it's CEOs, board members, and accountants) contributed to the countless loss of retirement funds without giving it a second thought. It was just business as usual with these companies. 2) This book also lists organizations that people can actively get involved in or just get info from in order to empower themselves. After all, if you do not take a stand to say “Enough!”, then it's really your loss.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Donitello

    Ms. Huffington clearly seeks to take no prisoners in her expose of corporate/legislative malfeasance: She names names, she gives dates, she states exact amounts of money. (Eg.: "If you paid $1 in taxes last year, you paid more than Dow Chemical.") In a truly bipartisan castigation of government corruption, she squeals (pun not intended) on Republicans and Democrats alike, making a strong case that the "military/industrial complex" that President Eisenhower warned about has become a military/indu Ms. Huffington clearly seeks to take no prisoners in her expose of corporate/legislative malfeasance: She names names, she gives dates, she states exact amounts of money. (Eg.: "If you paid $1 in taxes last year, you paid more than Dow Chemical.") In a truly bipartisan castigation of government corruption, she squeals (pun not intended) on Republicans and Democrats alike, making a strong case that the "military/industrial complex" that President Eisenhower warned about has become a military/industrial/legislative complex--with the legislators holding paying jobs in both the military AND the industrial groups they're supposed to regulate. If you believe that capitalism is inherently benevolent, and that the profit motive never conflicts with the Bill of Rights, then you probably won't like this book. If, however, you have unsettling suspicions that many of our nation's political actions over the past 3 decades seem to have been motivated solely to create profits for the few, well, this book may provide information that is useful to you. Your call.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    This is the kind of topic Ariana Huffington can really sink her teeth into, and she does so with gusto and relish. She is a very engaging writer, and since this book came out at the height of the Enron scandal, it really uses Kenneth Lay as a springboard to pounce on a variety of CEOs, CPAs, and lots of other people with jobs described by their initials. Huffington knows how to rant and holler - and there is nothing better in my view than a good rant - but she backs her indignation with facts an This is the kind of topic Ariana Huffington can really sink her teeth into, and she does so with gusto and relish. She is a very engaging writer, and since this book came out at the height of the Enron scandal, it really uses Kenneth Lay as a springboard to pounce on a variety of CEOs, CPAs, and lots of other people with jobs described by their initials. Huffington knows how to rant and holler - and there is nothing better in my view than a good rant - but she backs her indignation with facts and figures and interesting hitherto-unknown fun items. She occasionally falls off the edge of the trampoline, but she bounces back up to provide the reader with more than enough information for a rant of his or her own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    McGrouchpants. McGrouchpants!

    With a grasp of analogy rivaling Matt Taibbi's, and a depth and scope to her research (including, one would have to guess, first-hand contacts) matched by none, Arianna Huffington draws for you outsized diagrams of power and influence, sort-of like those Mercator projections we all learned about in 6th grade, but of the Real World. Her wit makes the bitter pill go down easier, but, sad to say, the situation seemed to be delineated thus: " Although the ties that bind corporate directors and CEOs With a grasp of analogy rivaling Matt Taibbi's, and a depth and scope to her research (including, one would have to guess, first-hand contacts) matched by none, Arianna Huffington draws for you outsized diagrams of power and influence, sort-of like those Mercator projections we all learned about in 6th grade, but of the Real World. Her wit makes the bitter pill go down easier, but, sad to say, the situation seemed to be delineated thus: " Although the ties that bind corporate directors and CEOs are informal, subtle, and difficult to quantify, they're powerful enough to foster a collegial spirit in the boardroom that frowns upon criticism or any genuine attempt to exercise real oversight." Sheesh!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    A wonderful account of capitalist greed and the politics that drives us there. Huffington does an excellent job of detailing many of the failings of some of the major corporate collapses of late, from the infamous Enron, to WorldCom and down to the lesser mentioned Adelphia. She educates the reader on the specifics of each collapse along with the nasty details of the insiders of each of the companies and their failings to work in the interest of the shareholders. She, goes on to detail Washingto A wonderful account of capitalist greed and the politics that drives us there. Huffington does an excellent job of detailing many of the failings of some of the major corporate collapses of late, from the infamous Enron, to WorldCom and down to the lesser mentioned Adelphia. She educates the reader on the specifics of each collapse along with the nasty details of the insiders of each of the companies and their failings to work in the interest of the shareholders. She, goes on to detail Washington's action and inaction that led to and later swept the problems under the proverbial rug. A good read for anyone interested in corporate greed and corporate regulatory politics in America.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Harrison-jewell

    I've been on this kick, reading books about the housing crisis, tax evasion amongst the wealthy, and just general skullduggery. It's been pretty depressing. I think that Ms. Huffington's tone as she talks about the ultra rich taking advantage of their wealth and access to power and government support is satisfying in some ways. She doesn't hesitate to call out these folks for what they are, but it's also a bit too glib for me. I suppose what else did I expect, given the title of the book. Still, I've been on this kick, reading books about the housing crisis, tax evasion amongst the wealthy, and just general skullduggery. It's been pretty depressing. I think that Ms. Huffington's tone as she talks about the ultra rich taking advantage of their wealth and access to power and government support is satisfying in some ways. She doesn't hesitate to call out these folks for what they are, but it's also a bit too glib for me. I suppose what else did I expect, given the title of the book. Still, informative read and an excellent resource in a list of watchdog organizations aiming for tax and corporate reform.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Although Arianna Huffington is a well-known liberal, this book is extremely balanced from a political perspective. It covers corporate CEOs, lobbyists, boards of directors, politicians, Wall Street analysts/auditors, and others who feed these greedy pigs. This book should be required reading for all Americans. Disclaimer: I was in the middle of reading this when it was announced that The Huffington Post would be sold to AOL for $315M. It did put a damper on the sincerity of her writing this book Although Arianna Huffington is a well-known liberal, this book is extremely balanced from a political perspective. It covers corporate CEOs, lobbyists, boards of directors, politicians, Wall Street analysts/auditors, and others who feed these greedy pigs. This book should be required reading for all Americans. Disclaimer: I was in the middle of reading this when it was announced that The Huffington Post would be sold to AOL for $315M. It did put a damper on the sincerity of her writing this book, but I still think it is incredibly important to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    J. Indi Rock

    I was enthusiastic about this book from the first page to the last owing, if for no other reason to its witty, yet serious assignations against the excesses of the "obscenely rich", I would say, "pornographically rich" less than 1 percent of the population of this "fat land" America. Namely, those who have sacked up their booty in a number of surprisingly devious ways which the author enumerates. Despite the insistence of the "Right" on the pervasiveness of the quote, unquote, "Liberal, left win I was enthusiastic about this book from the first page to the last owing, if for no other reason to its witty, yet serious assignations against the excesses of the "obscenely rich", I would say, "pornographically rich" less than 1 percent of the population of this "fat land" America. Namely, those who have sacked up their booty in a number of surprisingly devious ways which the author enumerates. Despite the insistence of the "Right" on the pervasiveness of the quote, unquote, "Liberal, left wing media" I seldom see anything falling below envious idolization and near worship of the lifestyles of the "Rich and Famous" as portrayed on the media outlets (let us admit) ALL of which are owned by them. Upon perusing the bleak picture Ms. Huffington paints, and all this portends about the true nature of a portion of this world's fellow humans, the reader can only shake his/her head in utter disillusionment in the hope for any remaining particles of optimism he/she may have been sheltering, regarding the depths of unethicality, immorality, indecency, even inhumanity beyond which anyone other than the most depraved serial killer could possibly descend. Far from that! Far far from that! It seems that a relatively large proportion of Human animals, (among the small few who have found themselves in the position of heading a corporation) quite happily, one might even say rapaciously availed themselves of all super-rewarded Super-Theoretical-Accountant devised recondite methods, and means by which they glutted themselves, and over-stuffed their personal treasuries. Feeding frenzies which drained the corpses of the Corp.ses, even at the expenses, even up to the deaths by blood loss of (for example) the pensions and retirement schemes of thousands of employees of those self-same corporations. Lay off several thousand, even tens of thousands of employees by surprise, and at the final hour, perhaps even on Christmas Eve, to add a touch of Dickensian flair? Instruct the Public Relations, and Art departments to design attractive, confidence inspiring promotional material to keep employees buying company stocks and shares until the very penultimate moment of life of a corporation, by flatly denying all public leaks hinting at the terminal diagnosis, and absolutely imminent death of operations, and naturally the impending worthlessness of afore mentioned stocks and shares? Offer severance packages of apparent high dollar value of these doomed company shares as an alternate to apparently lower yielding pension plans to more senior employees. Voluntarily relinquishment of pension legally unlocking Millions $$'s for immediate plundering by "in the wise" CEO's? Move enormous manufacturing complexes out of the towns and regions dependant on them for generations, to other lower wage expectant countries. Turning said areas into dead cities virtually overnight to save on wage costs for companies already realizing profit margins in the billions? SURE! Why not? Everyone is doing it! Join the exclusive, elite, party!!! It's all happening 25,000 feet (7.62 km) above ground. Onboard the fleets of privately owned luxury jets in the rarefied air exclusive to the un-perturbed, un-guilt ridden, (un-prosecuted!), One Percent. It's all laid out in Ms. Huffington's little book, and all in glorious black and white! What good does knowing it do? In a time when the self-proclaimed "Billionaire" sitting in the office of the Presidency has placed a cotre of other millionaires and billionaires in every head position of every overseeing agency from Health and Welfare, to my personal favorite expression of dark perversity, the appointment of a former head of Exxon to the agency tasked with policing corporate and industrial pollution of our nation's land and water, the now almost paradoxical Environmental Protection Agency. I liked this well researched and fact-checked little volume. And though I believe giving the facts to the 'People' is a task of high honor, I do not wonder overly hard how many of it's readers will be the people who might actually change this 'sad song' into 'Pollyanna's' "Glad song" since I believe, the body-wide infection of compassionlessness and greed has gone SO septic and is so deeply corrupted that it may be, only those who are in the very positions of gaining by it are the ones who must turn away from it. Perhaps not... Perhaps there are still some "grass-roots" teeth left in the foul smelling mouth of this model of wide spread, systemic corruption we call "our country". Perhaps after all Democracy is not dead and all but buried... And perhaps, the traffic lights will all turn blue tomorrow, and the wind cries Mary...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Littrell

    Oink! The really sad thing about this book is that, although we might be entertained, and it sure feels good if nothing else to verbally abuse the bad boys of corporate America, it is all so morosely ineffectual and after the fact. How many of the CEOs that columnist (and currently independent candidate for governor of California) Arianna Huffington lambasts here will actually do any jail time? How many will pay fines that are more than a fraction of the benefits they have already received, benef Oink! The really sad thing about this book is that, although we might be entertained, and it sure feels good if nothing else to verbally abuse the bad boys of corporate America, it is all so morosely ineffectual and after the fact. How many of the CEOs that columnist (and currently independent candidate for governor of California) Arianna Huffington lambasts here will actually do any jail time? How many will pay fines that are more than a fraction of the benefits they have already received, benefits they have reinvested, benefits that are drawing dividends, interest and influence? How many will even find their lavish lifestyles amended in the slightest? The answer my friend is probably zero. And so it goes (wrote Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in Slaughterhouse Five, but that's another story). In the long run whether corporate executives will continue to find the means to rip off their shareholders is of little moment. Let's say each visible pig managed to steal one way or the other an average of $40-million from his corporation; and let's say there are one thousand such swine. How much does that cost us? Forty million times a thousand is $40-billion big ones, or as Evertt Dirksen used to say, a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon we're talking real money. Notice, by the way, that in small companies or in a business that you may happen to own, there is absolutely no chance that you could get away with ripping off...yourself! Furthermore, remember that these oinkers have to spend that money on conspicuous consumption of some kind, a house on Long Island, an apartment in Manhattan, a yacht berth at Martha's Vineyard, Picassos and Rembrandts, a mistress, Chateau Petrus and Cuban cigars. So some of it trickles down, and for most of us poor souls in the unemployment line (God, we're hardly alive! relatively speaking) it really doesn't matter much. What does matter is how corporations are able to gain unnatural influence over our elected officials and thereby rip off the government, the environment, pollute the water and the air, drive smaller businessmen out of business, purchase public lands at garage sale prices, economically ensnare millions of workers (and then dump them when the time is ripe), and guess what, nobody can be held responsible! I wish Ms Huffington had focused on these more substantial crimes of corporate America and on the way the system works to shield them and their execs from any real accountability. I did enjoy her numerous flights of nasty rhetoric and the befuddling array of facts and figures she presents (I assume they are mostly right), and I have a lot of sympathy for those who got their pension funds shortchanged while the CEOs golden-parachuted on gossamer wings to the French Riviera or Barbados or a ranch in Texas. I even feel some sympathy for the poor slob who bought Enron at ninety bucks and change or WorldCom at sixty-four fifty (see p. 41). And it is true she has a table on page 115 entitled "Buying Congress" which lists the top five senators and top five congressmen in terms of campaign contributions from the accounting industry, 1989-2001. The salient thing to notice, however, is that there are exactly five democrats and five republicans on the list. What does that tell us about how things are going to go in the future? With both political parties feeding heartily at the trough is there any chance that any of what Huffington rails against will change? The answer my friend is the null set. Until the laws of the land are changed so that corporations AND their executives are held responsible for their actions, business will continue as usual. The rich will grow obscenely more rich, and someone, somewhere, who doesn't deserve it, will get ripped off once again. And so it goes. --Dennis Littrell, author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”

  18. 5 out of 5

    Narendran Thangarajan

    Firstly, this book is from 2003 and seems to be written in response to the string of high-profile corporate fraud from ~2002 which included Enron and WorldCom. The book is well researched, and shows the various ways big corporations can play the government, financial analysts, accountants and their own board of directors to drive their greedy agenda and deceive investors large and small. If you are curious to know what high-profile corporate scandals look like then this is the book for you. Pers Firstly, this book is from 2003 and seems to be written in response to the string of high-profile corporate fraud from ~2002 which included Enron and WorldCom. The book is well researched, and shows the various ways big corporations can play the government, financial analysts, accountants and their own board of directors to drive their greedy agenda and deceive investors large and small. If you are curious to know what high-profile corporate scandals look like then this is the book for you. Personally, after seeing scandals like Madoff and Lehman Brothers in US and Satyam scandal in India I got curious on what kind of circumstances make these conspirators resort to such scandals and hence made me find and read this book. The answer from this book was simple - greed aka more money. The one-star drop is because of the lack of coherence in the book. The writing felt repetitive at times. Otherwise, an excellent book for those interested in corporate greed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    The problems with corporate greed are still with us and the book feels both dated and timely in 2018, dated because Bush is long gone, but timely because nothing makes these examples of corporate greed any less relevant today than they were then. The 8 years of Obama did nothing, really, to set things right and the pigs are still at the trough. Perhaps if more people had read this book, American would not have been gullible enough to turn to business people for answers to our national problems.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Madara

    Could use some planning. Too much information dumped together and a lot of 'sensational journalism meets dramatic outrage' for my taste but then again I like an academic tone. The information is good and paints a picture of corporate greed in America. Just wish they had take a fine brush and not slathered it on. Could use some planning. Too much information dumped together and a lot of 'sensational journalism meets dramatic outrage' for my taste but then again I like an academic tone. The information is good and paints a picture of corporate greed in America. Just wish they had take a fine brush and not slathered it on.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Astounding information. Exhaustively researched. A quick read and good primer for deeper reading into any of the corporate atrocities covered. However, written like a 1980s soap opera, with all the clichés and melodrama one could possibly stomach. “And the Daytime Emmy for best Junior High Research Project goes to…Pigs at the Trough!”

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris Winwood

    Bit of a struggle to read to be brutally honest. Adding a great amount of detail to what many people already know deep down.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cole

    This book was a bit of a challenge to read. Took me about 5 months to get it done and it wasn't that enjoyable but it was interesting. It's about the corruption of big corporations and how the government lets them stay in the shadows with all the shady shit they are doing. It's not one I would recommend to everyone but it has a bit of humor to it and it is informational. This book was a bit of a challenge to read. Took me about 5 months to get it done and it wasn't that enjoyable but it was interesting. It's about the corruption of big corporations and how the government lets them stay in the shadows with all the shady shit they are doing. It's not one I would recommend to everyone but it has a bit of humor to it and it is informational.

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Willis

    To me there are better books dealing with this subject, but I still enjoyed the author's perspective and writing. To me there are better books dealing with this subject, but I still enjoyed the author's perspective and writing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ania

    I appreciated Arianna's sass, sarcasm and wit and the fact that someone who is by all accounts definitely part of the people she is talking about is so cynical of the 1%. This is a great book if you like facts and figures about the economy but I don't know nor do I have time to check which are actually accurate. At the same time, she used countless brutal analogies and had an extremely pessimistic, polarizing and almost verging on misanthropic attitude toward pretty much anyone in business who i I appreciated Arianna's sass, sarcasm and wit and the fact that someone who is by all accounts definitely part of the people she is talking about is so cynical of the 1%. This is a great book if you like facts and figures about the economy but I don't know nor do I have time to check which are actually accurate. At the same time, she used countless brutal analogies and had an extremely pessimistic, polarizing and almost verging on misanthropic attitude toward pretty much anyone in business who is part of the 1% or close to it, without really acknowledging anything good that has come out of the US economy or from opposing political parties. It seems as though she has this perfect idea of what a business should be like but if you look at the history of her own business under her supervision, her own actions were far from perfect. I found it kind of ridiculous and insulting that she referred to the rest of Americans who aren't major CEOs as the 'Have Nots' when I and many others would never want such a life of waste, unearned praise and excess. Growing up in a working class family, I don't believe in earning more than you deserve or frivolous spending because it is neither fair to others who are working harder nor is it in my opinion a meaningful way to live. Although it is a nice thought to daydream about not having to work hard a day in my life, I could never live with the feeling of knowing that I was wasting my potential by playing hard and not working at all. Also, not every CEO is an evil pig and not everyone can be lumped into the same 'trough of greed.' There are many of them but there are many who share the same thinking as the average person in terms of wanting a comfortable life. It's idealistic to say that getting rid of these people would really change anything. In every political system, capitalist or communist for example, there is always a small group of people who end up with a great excess of resources. It's not ideal but I'd rather the government focus on bettering the lives of the average and below-average Americans than worry about the frivolous lives of the rich, even if they do contribute to economic disparity. Furthermore, for her to paint this picture that only the rich take advantage of the system in a negligent way is extremely naive because there are in fact a lot of people who rely on welfare without even trying to get an education or work hard, for example. Some of her criticisms I think also went too far like for example criticizing certain members of an airline company for receiving unlimited first class flights. Maybe it's extravagant, but how is that any different from a dentist receiving free dental care for themselves and their family? This book does have a point in the end, that the people committing corporate crimes should be held accountable and punished. She offers valid solutions and methods. Of course, it is extremely unlikely that anyone listened if we think of the lovely year of 2008 and as Arianna thoroughly points out, the fact that greed runs very deep in every aspect of business. I don't know why she didn't become a lawyer so that she could actually effect change instead of just shouting about it through a loudspeaker. Still, when you look at the world even a century ago, humans have come a long way and being born into royalty isn't the only way to make it anymore. I'd say there's a lot more to be positive about than this book advertises. Nevertheless greed, just like murder and rape, will always exist because it is in our nature and it is at the heart of successful businesses. I personally believe that everyone who earns more than a million dollar salary should be regularly donating a significant percentage of that money to charities and causes but that does start creeping into communism and is unrealistic given what I've already mentioned about our nature. My point is, no one and I mean no one needs millions of dollars of money for their lifestyle. Millions are spent on ridiculous lifestyles but that is literally the most shallow kind of existence you could choose to have and very sad when I hear about someone having it. Hopefully more people can genuinely start to care about those in need rather than just being charitable to make themselves feel better or to better their reputations (or to get tax deductions...).

  26. 5 out of 5

    David

    Wish it had good references as opposed to what reads more as an ongoing rant divided into sections. I liked the information, disgusted at the unfairness of things but still ended up reading the first half of the book then skip reading the rest as things just seem to keep repeating themselves. Without references though its much harder to check on the facts or to see if there is another side to the story. Would love to read a similar "documentary" on Australian corporate/political troughs. Wish it had good references as opposed to what reads more as an ongoing rant divided into sections. I liked the information, disgusted at the unfairness of things but still ended up reading the first half of the book then skip reading the rest as things just seem to keep repeating themselves. Without references though its much harder to check on the facts or to see if there is another side to the story. Would love to read a similar "documentary" on Australian corporate/political troughs.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Em

    This is one of the most disheartening books I’ve ever read. It’s well written, wry and incisive and made a subject I mostly avoid and loathe, something I could grasp. And I can admire that she has experienced a transformation as a former conservative mouthpiece to now one of G.W. Bush’s most severe critics – those little digs at ‘W’ were the parts I most enjoyed. But I also now understand how much President Clinton let slip by on his watch and for that I’ve lowered my regard for him. What’s so d This is one of the most disheartening books I’ve ever read. It’s well written, wry and incisive and made a subject I mostly avoid and loathe, something I could grasp. And I can admire that she has experienced a transformation as a former conservative mouthpiece to now one of G.W. Bush’s most severe critics – those little digs at ‘W’ were the parts I most enjoyed. But I also now understand how much President Clinton let slip by on his watch and for that I’ve lowered my regard for him. What’s so disheartening is the waste and the near certainty that nothing will change. Our political system is too deeply entrenched with business and that is both parties. I think that’s the real failure of the Democratic party is the leadership is just as close to big business as the Republicans, but the Democrats still try to appear to be the reformers – ready to protect the ‘little’ guys but now the GOP has painted itself with their same glossy stain. I understood all but one thing in this, but haven’t a clue what a MIPS is all about. I clearly see ugly greed and avarice.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Book printed in 2003 but still applicable now with our poor economy. The GREED monster is alive and well in America and won't allow us lowly citizens to destroy it. Everyone lies and everyone is a crook ... especially politicians, lobbyists, and corporate CEO's! Note: donated this book to my local library after reading. Book printed in 2003 but still applicable now with our poor economy. The GREED monster is alive and well in America and won't allow us lowly citizens to destroy it. Everyone lies and everyone is a crook ... especially politicians, lobbyists, and corporate CEO's! Note: donated this book to my local library after reading.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    Clearly I am in the wrong business. As a non-boardroom employee people tend to take a dim view of my personal enrichment at the expense of the company, investors, and the public in general. This book is easy to read but hard to believe, as Huffington documents the warm-ups and practice rounds that lead to our current economic woes. Is worse yet to come?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    It was interesting to read this now because it compares to the current financial crisis. Many CEO's and businesses acted in the same manner as the organizations mentioned in this book. Also, it was witty. It was interesting to read this now because it compares to the current financial crisis. Many CEO's and businesses acted in the same manner as the organizations mentioned in this book. Also, it was witty.

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