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Pigs at the Trough
Cover of Pigs at the Trough
Pigs at the Trough
How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America
Borrow Borrow
"Wonderfully incendiary and right-headed . . .Huffington is mad as hell, and rightly so." –Esquire
The scathing and insightful New York Times bestseller, now updated to include the current economic crisis
Pigs at the Trough is Arianna Huffington's eerily prescient exposé of the financial meltdown–and the flagrant greed that triggered it. Once again, Huffington takes on the nexus of corporate highfliers, lobbyists, and Washington insiders who have created and zealously protected a culture of corruption in America. Hearkening back to the days of Enron and WorldCom, she draws a line connecting those accounting frauds to the much larger and more sophisticated corruption that drove the latest financial crisis.
The list of new culprits is long, and in this updated version of Pigs at the Trough, Huffington calls them out–including AIG, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch–and asks the probing questions of how things went so wrong and how we can rebuild our free market capitalist system on a sounder moral foundation.
Wickedly amusing yet powerfully indicting, Pigs at the Trough will once again stir up heated discussion among Americans outraged by the bailout of corporate swine.
"With a passion for the truth and an eye for detail, Arianna Huffington reports on the hijacking of democracy. Read it and weep–then head for the barricades."–Bill Moyers
"Huffington indicts with precision, verve, and sparkling wit." –Barbara Ehrenreich
"Arianna Huffington makes an appealing and compelling argument for the repeal of human nature–that part of it that indulges savage, unconscionable, and despicable greed." –Walter Cronkite
"Wonderfully incendiary and right-headed . . .Huffington is mad as hell, and rightly so." –Esquire
The scathing and insightful New York Times bestseller, now updated to include the current economic crisis
Pigs at the Trough is Arianna Huffington's eerily prescient exposé of the financial meltdown–and the flagrant greed that triggered it. Once again, Huffington takes on the nexus of corporate highfliers, lobbyists, and Washington insiders who have created and zealously protected a culture of corruption in America. Hearkening back to the days of Enron and WorldCom, she draws a line connecting those accounting frauds to the much larger and more sophisticated corruption that drove the latest financial crisis.
The list of new culprits is long, and in this updated version of Pigs at the Trough, Huffington calls them out–including AIG, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch–and asks the probing questions of how things went so wrong and how we can rebuild our free market capitalist system on a sounder moral foundation.
Wickedly amusing yet powerfully indicting, Pigs at the Trough will once again stir up heated discussion among Americans outraged by the bailout of corporate swine.
"With a passion for the truth and an eye for detail, Arianna Huffington reports on the hijacking of democracy. Read it and weep–then head for the barricades."–Bill Moyers
"Huffington indicts with precision, verve, and sparkling wit." –Barbara Ehrenreich
"Arianna Huffington makes an appealing and compelling argument for the repeal of human nature–that part of it that indulges savage, unconscionable, and despicable greed." –Walter Cronkite
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Excerpts-
  • INTRODUCTION Twilight of the Corporate Gods

    "Old truths have been relearned; untruths have been unlearned. We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. Out of the collapse of a prosperity whose builders boasted their practicality has come the conviction that in the long run economic morality pays."
    -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
    (Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1937)

    In August of 2002 I received a politely phrased notice from my cable company, Adelphia, addressed to "Dear Valued Customer" announcinc that my monthly cable fee would be increasing. The letter explained that, "like other businesses, Adelphia constantly faces increases in operational expenses such as wages, specialized training for our employees, utilities, fuel, insurance, equipment...." Missing from the missive? any mention of another operational expense that no one at Adelphia seemed to happy to discuss. During the unfortunate latter days of his reign, former CEO John Rigas had borrowed $3.1 billion from the company and spread the money around like seed on a sun-scorched lawn. His own lawn, of course. he spent $13 million to build a golf course in his backyard, $150 million to buy the Buffalo Sabres hockey team, $65 million to fund a venture capital group run by his son-in-law, thousands to maintain his three private jets, and $700,000 for a country-club membership. It's a wonder my bill's not going up a million dollars a month. I just hope Adelphia's subscribers aren't also paying for his bail.

    In the super-heated nineties we were told repeatedly that the "democratization of capital" and unparalleled increases in productivity would level the playing field and produce unprecedented gains in everyone's standard of living. Well, far from closing the vast gap between the haves and the have-nots, the lunatic excesses and the frenzy of fraud perpetrated by our high-flying corporate chieftains have left America's 401(k)s and pension plans in ruins and more than 8 million people out of work. Meanwhile, despite the much vaunted Corporate Responsibility Act and the highly publicized round up of a few of the most heinous offenders, the awful truth is that the corporate tricksters have pillaged the U.S. economy and gotten away with it. They're still living in their gargantuan houses, still feasting on their wildly inflated salaries, and engorging themselves on staggering sums of stock options, while the rest of America tries to figure out how to rebuild for retirement. or send a kid to college on a worthless stock portfolio.

    Ask yourself, Which America do you live in?

    Do you live in a $90 million mansion in Bel-Air like Global Crossing founder and chairman Gary Winnick, financed by the cleverly timed sale of more than $730 million worth of stock in the now bankrupt telecom giant? Or do you have a house like Stephen Hilbert's in Carmel, Indiana, with a personal basketball court that's a full-sized replica of Indiana University's Assembly Hall? (Hilbert--an avid Hoosiers fan as you may have guessed--built the house during his disastrous tenure as CEO of Conseco, an insurance company whose stock dropped off the S&P 500 in the summer of 2002.)

    Maybe you prefer to kick back, like former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, on beautiful Nantucket? Sea Rose Farm, Kozlowski's $5 million island spread, features magnificent ocean views, massive fireplaces, a resident chef, a four-bedroom guesthouse, and two seaside cottages--the cutely named "Sequin" and "Edward Cary"--each valued at an additional $2 to $3 million.
    Or maybe you don't even bother with a house. Maybe you live on a yacht like Sakura, the 192-foot, five-deck, $10...

About the Author-
  • Arianna Huffington, a member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, is the author of nine books, including How to Overthrow the Government. She holds a master's degree in economics from Cambridge University. Her syndicated column appears in newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, the Boston Herald, and the Dallas Morning News. She is also co-host of "Left, Right & Center," public radio's popular political roundtable program. She lives in Los Angeles with her two daughters.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 27, 2003
    Nationally syndicated columnist Huffington's greatest dilemma while writing this scathing indictment of the corporate and political culture that brought the "new economy" '90s crashing down must have been how to choose among the plethora of examples of greed, corruption, hypocrisy and political manipulation. So unsavory are the CEO villains, so unfathomable is their greed and monstrously callous is their disregard for the thousands of employees who lost jobs and savings because of them, that even the most worldly activist and most cynical political observers will be shocked by what they read here. And Huffington's indictment of the corporate culture of greed, one that she believes undermines democracy, goes far beyond the high-flying corporate figures featured in congressional investigations. Among her accusations are that U.S. drug companies allowed the African AIDS epidemic to rage in the interests of corporate profits, and that President Bush is a conspirator in the corporate disregard of the interests of the American public. This is a powerful book, brimming with wit and sulphurous satire that connects the dots among politicians, lobbyists and corporations, and demonstrates their destructive effect on the well-being of average Americans. She may well be on her way to achieving her goal of convincing readers "to join forces to storm the control room of the S.S. America." (Feb.)Forecast:With this book, Huffington should find readers among people who never thought they'd read her. On her Web site (ariannaonline.com), she explains her disillusionment with the political right, though she hasn't turned left, she says, but "beyond the standard left-right paradigm." Readers will eat this up. Look for a
    PW interview with Huffington in February.

  • Bill Moyers "With a passion for the truth and an eye for detail, Arianna Huffington reports on the hijacking of democracy. Read it and weep--then head for the barricades. We have work to do."
  • Senator John McCain "A rousing call to action against special interests that have all too often triumphed over the national interest. As only she can, Arianna Huffington breathes energy and passion into the reform agenda. A withering, breathtaking, quintessentially controversial book that will inspire, inflame, and educate."
  • Senator John Kerry "Arianna Huffington has always been willing to speak and write with conviction about the world around her. Her sharp wit and thoughtful commentary help put issues on the agenda ignored by conventional thinkers. I'm certain, that with her powerful new book, Arianna Huffington will be stirring the waters for some time to come."
  • Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. "Arianna Huffington's project in this wonderfully scathing, wonderfully researched, wonderfully readable book is to rescue capitalism from the CEOs. Every player in the recent go-go market owes it to himself or herself to read Pigs at the Trough and agitate for the reforms that might yet save the system. "
  • Aaron Sorkin "Pigs at the Trough is a great read, hilarious and horrifying. Arianna Huffington is a world-class wit who makes a Fortune 500 trip to the woodshed seem like flirting."
  • Esquire "Arianna Huffington has written the most entertaining tour guide to hell since Virgil led Dante through the Inferno. Crooked CEOs beware!"
  • Barbara Ehrenreich "Wonderfully incendiary and right-headed . . .Huffington is mad as hell, and rightly so."
  • Walter Cronkite "Huffington indicts with precision, verve, and sparkling wit."
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Pigs at the Trough
Pigs at the Trough
How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America
Arianna Huffington
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