ALL THE PRESIDENTS' BANKERS
The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power
All The Presidents’ Bankers is a groundbreaking narrative of how an elite group of private individuals and their financial institutions have transformed the American economy and government, influenced foreign and domestic policy, and shaped American history.
Through original presidential archival research, Nomi Prins offers an explosive account of the untold inter-dependence between The White House and Wall Street. All The Presidents’ Bankers sheds new light on major historic events—such as why, after the Panic of 1907, America’s dominant bankers convened at Jekyll Island to fashion the Federal Reserve System; how, during World War I, the ambition of J.P. Morgan merged with that of President Wilson to propel America’s standing in the post-war world; how Chase and First National City Bank chairmen worked secretly with FDR to save capitalism in the wake of the Great Depression, and the extent to which the World Bank and IMF were influenced by American financiers beside Truman after World War II.
Through the Cold War and into Vietnam, Prins reveals how bankers and presidents jointly promoted American’s economic expansion doctrine, while maintaining a spirit of public service domestically. But by the 1970s, these alliances irrevocably shifted towards a more mercenary nature that placed the bankers’ agenda foremost. With Wall Street’s rush to secure Middle East oil profits, the sense of allegiance to the needs of the domestic population receded as the profit motive trumped the commitment to a greater good. Since the 1980s, personal and intimate banker-president relationships gave way to arms-length ones, as campaign donations and lobbyists flourished. By the late 1990s through today, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and growth of the derivatives market solidified the bankers’ power base, and created a level of instability over which presidents now have no control.
Prins portrays an alternative history of American power revealing how the same titans of finance retained their authority for decades, outlasting and influencing presidential administrations regardless of political party affiliation. Exhaustively researched, culled from unseen correspondences , All the Presidents’ Bankers delves into the shocking consequences of a system in which there is no barrier between public office and private power, prompting the compelling question: Who really rules America?
Nomi Prins is an acclaimed financial journalist, a former Goldman Sachs Managing Director, and impassioned critic of the financial industry. She is the author of several books about Wall Street, including Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America, which was an Economist Book of the Year for 2004.