Book Bits | 7.28.2012

Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street
By Neil Barofsky
Review via The New York Times
Mr. Barofsky justifiably spends time on Treasury’s failure to get banks to stem home foreclosures. But he charges that Treasury helped give birth to the Tea Party “by rolling out a hurried and poorly thought-out mortgage modification program,” when what actually spawned that movement was conservatives’ opposition to the very idea of bailing out troubled homeowners, which Mr. Barofsky so favors. That his book is being released now, amid the presidential campaign, reflects perhaps the biggest contradiction of all: If Treasury has been making policies exclusively “by Wall Street for Wall Street,” as Mr. Barofsky says, why then has a once friendly Wall Street turned so hostile to President Obama’s re-election?

Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed
By Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott
Essay by co-author (Klein) via Fox News
Months of painstaking research into thousands of documents have enabled Brenda J. Elliott and me to expose the detailed template for Obama’s next four years — the one actually created by Obama’s own top advisers, strategists and associated progressive groups. This second-term blueprint is laid bare in our upcoming book, “Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed.” We found that, just as in 2008, when Obama concealed his true presidential plans behind bland rhetoric of ending partisan differences and cutting the federal deficit, his 2012 re-election theme of creating jobs conceals far more than it reveals about his true agenda for a second term.
Who Gets What: Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval
By Kenneth R. Feinberg
Review via The Washington Post
When bad things happen to good people — the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Virginia Tech shootings, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — good people want to get paid. In “Who Gets What,” lawyer and master of disaster Kenneth R. Feinberg dissects the complicated business of settling claims after calamity. “To evaluate the value of a life or a livelihood, I must first tackle a set of far bigger philosophical questions,” writes Feinberg, who helped compensate the victims of hijacker Mohamed Atta, Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho and polluter British Petroleum without drawn-out litigation. One such questions is “Why should public or private money be used to compensate certain citizens while denying similar generosity to others?”
The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge
By Doc Searls
Essay by author via The Wall Street Journal
This revolution in personal liberation and empowerment won’t be complete until we are free to use our computing and networking powers with any device we like, outside the exclusive confines of “providers.” This won’t be easy. Big companies and old industries are notoriously bad at changing their ways and giving up control, even when obvious opportunities argue for embracing openness and change. There is also big money behind “big data” and supporting the belief that marketing machinery can know people better than people know themselves.