Helaine Olen talks about her exposé of the personal finance industry, POUND FOOLISH: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry and Les Leopold discusses his new book HOW TO MAKE A MILLION DOLLARS AN HOUR: Why Hedge Funds Get Away with Siphoning Off America’s Wealth.
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When the market tanked in 2009, millions of Americans saw their retirement funds go up in smoke. It wasn’t supposed to happen — for years, we were told to expect double digit returns on our investments forever. Wall Street used to be the playground exclusively of the rich, but as wages stagnated and the old style pension went the way of the Dodo, more and more Americans turned to the personal finance industry for solutions to financial insecurity. It hasn’t turned out so well.
In Pound Foolish, journalist Helaine Olen exposes the hype and hokum the personal finance industry has perpetuated. She shows that while most Americans believe their financial fate is in their own hands, the deck has been stacked against them.
Olen writes the blog Where Life Meets Money on Forbes.com. She was the former writer of the Money Makeover feature in The LA Times and has also written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, BusinessWeek, and AlterNet.org., among others.
Wanna make a million bucks an hour? Some people make that and more — hedge fund managers. The top manager earned $2.4 million per hour in 2010. How long would it take you to make that on your present rate of earnings? Probably decades.
How do they do that? Where does all that money come from? It turns out much of the wealth sloshing around at the tippy top has actually come from the 99.9 percent below.
Les Leopold’s new book, How To Make A Million Dollars An Hour, reveals the links between the obscene levels of wealth made by hedge fund managers and such financial crises as the European sovereign debt crisis and the mortgage meltdown. He shows how hedge funds bet against investors and won, beggaring people, school districts, unions and municipal governments — all so some people can pull down millions of dollars per hour.
Leopold’s last book was the acclaimed LOOTING OF AMERICA. He’s executive director of the Labor Institute and Public Health Institute in New York and also writes for AlterNet.