The Chickenshit Club

Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives

The Chickenshit Club

Winner of the 2018 Excellence in Financial Journalism Award From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, “a fast moving, fly-on-the-wall, disheartening look at the deterioration of the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission…It is a book of superheroes” (San Francisco Review of Books). Why were no bankers put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008? Why do CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity? The problem goes beyond banks deemed “Too Big to Fail” to almost every large corporation in America—to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond. The Chickenshit Club—an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs—explains why in “an absorbing financial history, a monumental work of journalism…a first-rate study of the federal bureaucracy” (Bloomberg Businessweek). Jesse Eisinger begins the story in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. He brings us to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and FBI agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department of today, including the prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives. “Brave and elegant…a fearless reporter…Eisinger’s important and profound book takes no prisoners” (The Washington Post). Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice. “This book is a wakeup call…a chilling read, and a needed one” (NPR.org).

America, Compromised

Five Studies in Institutional Corruption

America, Compromised

"There is not a single American awake to the world who is comfortable with the way things are." So begins Lawrence Lessig's sweeping indictment of contemporary American institutions and the corruption that besets them. We can all see it--from the selling of Congress to special interests to the corporate capture of the academy. Something is wrong. It's getting worse. And it's our fault. What Lessig shows, brilliantly and persuasively, is that we can't blame the problems of contemporary American life on bad people, as our discourse all too often tends to do. Rather, he explains, "We have allowed core institutions of America's economic, social, and political life to become corrupted. Not by evil souls, but by good souls. Not through crime, but through compromise." Every one of us, every day, making the modest compromises that seem necessary to keep moving along, is contributing to the rot at the core of American civic life. Through case studies of Congress, finance, the academy, the media, and the law, Lessig shows how institutions are drawn away from higher purposes and toward money, power, quick rewards--the first steps to corruption. Lessig knows that a charge so broad should not be levied lightly, and that our instinct will be to resist it. So he brings copious, damning detail gleaned from years of research, building a case that is all but incontrovertible: America is on the wrong path. If we don't acknowledge our own part in that, and act now to change it, we will hand our children a less perfect union than we were given. It will be a long struggle. This book represents the first steps.

Lawyers at Work

Lawyers at Work

"With probing questions and articulate answers, Cosslett and her subjects shed light on the challenges of legal practice in the current legal market." BLS Law Notes, 11.16.12 Lawyers at Work reveals what it means and what it takes to be a satisfied, sane, and successful lawyer in today’s tough legal marketplace. Through incisive in-depth interviews, a top legal headhunter gives the 3rd degree to 15 successful lawyers who run the gamut of the legal profession. Practice areas represented in these profiles range from employment discrimination to corporate defense, from federal white collar prosecution to the legal structuring of complex derivative instruments, from antitrust in DC to trusts & estates in Florida, from divorce in New York to international mergers in Paris, from intellectual property in Silicon Valley to creeping expropriation in India, and from entertainment law in Hollywood to welfare rights in the Bronx. Law firm sizes range from one of the biggest in the world with over two thousand lawyers to a one-lawyer general practice. Career levels range from biglaw partners and courtroom superstars to mid-level associates and ex-lawyers. Though many of the interviewees in Lawyers at Work are generic adversaries, the interviewer brings out commonalities in their ways of working, methods of reasoning, and sources of personal motivation. Readers hear from the practitioner’s own unbuttoned lips about their career formation, daily work grind, victories and setbacks, guiding principles, professional rewards, and practical advice for aspiring lawyers.

Corporate Crime and Punishment

The Crisis of Underenforcement

Corporate Crime and Punishment

“Professor Coffee's compelling new approach to holding fraudsters to account is indispensable reading for any lawmaker serious about deterring corporate crime.” —Robert Jackson, former Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission In the early 2000s, federal enforcement efforts sent white collar criminals at Enron and WorldCom to prison. But since the 2008 financial collapse, this famously hasn't happened. Corporations have been permitted to enter into deferred prosecution agreements and avoid criminal convictions, in part due to a mistaken assumption that leniency would encourage cooperation and because enforcement agencies don't have the funding or staff to pursue lengthy prosecutions, says distinguished Columbia Law Professor John C. Coffee. “We are moving from a system of justice for organizational crime that mixed carrots and sticks to one that is all carrots and no sticks,” he says. He offers a series of bold proposals for ensuring that corporate malfeasance can once again be punished. For example, he describes incentives that could be offered to both corporate executives to turn in their corporations and to corporations to turn in their executives, allowing prosecutors to play them off against each other. Whistleblowers should be offered cash bounties to come forward because, Coffee writes, “it is easier and cheaper to buy information than seek to discover it in adversarial proceedings.” All federal enforcement agencies should be able to hire outside counsel on a contingency fee basis, which would cost the public nothing and provide access to discovery and litigation expertise the agencies don't have. Through these and other equally controversial ideas, Coffee intends to rebalance the scales of justice.

The Great Chili Confrontation

A Dramatic History of the Decade's Most Impassioned Culinary Embroilment, with Recipes

The Great Chili Confrontation


The Camel Club

The Camel Club

The Camel Club by bestselling sensation David Baldacci is the exciting first instalment of a breathtaking series. The Camel Club: a group of conspiracy theorists led by the mysterious Oliver Stone, who camp outside the White House. Their goal – to expose corruption at the upper echelons of US government. The stakes are raised when the group witness the murder of an intelligence analyst. A murder the authorities seem intent on writing off as suicide. Looking at the case more closely provokes more questions than answers. Joining forces with Secret Service Agent Alex Ford, the Camel Club prepare to shine a spotlight on a conspiracy that reaches into the heart of Washington’s corridors of power. In doing so, Ford finds out that his worst nightmare is about to happen . . . The Camel Club is followed by The Collectors, Stone Cold, Divine Justice and Hell's Corner.

The Rediscovery of the Wild

The Rediscovery of the Wild

A compelling case for connecting with the wild, for our psychological and physical well-being and to flourish as a species We often enjoy the benefits of connecting with nearby, domesticated nature—a city park, a backyard garden. But this book makes the provocative case for the necessity of connecting with wild nature—untamed, unmanaged, not encompassed, self-organizing, and unencumbered and unmediated by technological artifice. We can love the wild. We can fear it. We are strengthened and nurtured by it. As a species, we came of age in a natural world far wilder than today's, and much of the need for wildness still exists within us, body and mind. The Rediscovery of the Wild considers ways to engage with the wild, protect it, and recover it—for our psychological and physical well-being and to flourish as a species. The contributors offer a range of perspectives on the wild, discussing such topics as the evolutionary underpinnings of our need for the wild; the wild within, including the primal passions of sexuality and aggression; birding as a portal to wildness; children's fascination with wild animals; wildness and psychological healing; the shifting baseline of what we consider wild; and the true work of conservation.

Taught to Kill

An American Boy's War from the Ardennes to Berlin

Taught to Kill

A less nostalgic look at "the greatest generation"

Coyotes and Town Dogs

Earth First! and the Environmental Movement

Coyotes and Town Dogs

Chronicles the development of the Earth First! environmental movement and the fortunes of one of its founding members, Dave Foreman, detailing the personalities, tactics, ethical dilemmas, and other components of the environmental struggle. 15,000 first printing.