President Barack Obama inherited an economic crisis and a stupendous stimulus package when he became president of the United States in January 2009. But as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind reveals in his nonpartisan book, the constant infighting of Obama’s team of economic advisors allowed Wall Street to drift back into bad and risky habits.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers connived to keep Elizabeth Warren from exercising any power as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Summer, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and Budget Director Paul Orzag had sharply differing ideas of what ought to be done, and even when Obama stepped in to make a decision, they continued to battle and frustrate its implementation.
The other major revelations are about national security, including the fact that the U.S. monitors all electronic messaging—telephone calls, emails, and the like—all around the world. That’s how it tracked down a number of Al Qaeda leaders, until they caught on and resorted to couriers instead.
Suskind finished his book before Osama Bin Laden was detected in Pakistan—by following a courier. (Harper)