Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber
The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger (or Being No One by him, if you’re ambitious)
Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity by Roy Rappaport
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy
Zero by Charles Seife
What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America by Tony Schwartz
With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful by Glenn Greenwald
”Any foreclosure settlement will allow the banks to pay one relatively small bill to cover all of their legal liabilities stemming from the monstrous frauds they all practiced in the years leading up to the 2008 crash (and even afterward), when they all schemed to create great masses of dicey/junk subprime loans and then disguise them as AAA-rated paper for sale to big private investors and institutions like state pension funds and union funds.
So any “AG settlement” might allow the banks to avoid legal damages being sought from three different set of enraged creditors: the public institutions who invested in these sham securities, the private investors who did the same, and the localities who were cheated out of their taxes.
The point of all of this is, if you add up all of the MBS-related liability out there, the banks as it stands are facing an Armageddon of claims from all sides. It can’t possibly be less than a trillion dollars, and it’s probably much, much more.
But the Obama administration’s current plan is to let them all walk after paying a few shekels apiece into a $20 billion kitty.”