Crime and No Punishment

“The Jungle,” by Upton Sinclair.

“Silent Spring,” by Rachel Carson.

“Unsafe at Any Speed,” by Ralph Nader.

To this illustrious list of muckraking, epoch-changing books, add one more:

Charles Ferguson’s “Predator Nation.”

Pantheon of Greats

Essentially the unabridged companion piece to his 2010 Oscar-winning documentary (“Inside Job“), the book is a sober if not depressing, footnote-studded account of how America circa 2012 has devolved into an increasingly unfair, money-driven society — dominated by an intertwined economic oligopoly/political duopoly.

It is also a stunning indictment of Wall Street crime and (no) punishment.

In fact, a section titled “J’accuse” literally reads like a criminal indictment, complete with causes of legal action and a list of especially deserving targets (the majority of whom are already familiar to students of The Crash of 2008).

Complexity as a Strategy

Because of the complexity of the subject matter — itself a symptom of the problem — I’d be surprised if “Predator Nation” garners Harry Potter-size sales, or otherwise registers on national best-selling lists.

At least not right away.

But over time, I have no doubt that Ferguson’s book will take its place in the pantheon of greats mentioned above.

P.S.: If no one in authority is going to hold Wall Street accountable and enact real reform, how about at least making “Predator Nation” required reading on every college campus?

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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