Broke, USA : From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. : How the Working Poor Became Big Business

Author(s): Gary Rivlin


For most people, the Great Crash of 2008 has meant troubling times. Not so for those in the flourishing poverty industry, for whom the economic woes spell an opportunity to expand and grow. These mercenary entrepreneurs have taken advantage of an era of eregulation to devise high-priced products to sell to the credit-hungry working poor, including the instant tax refund and the payday loan. In the process they’ve created an industry larger than the casino business and have proved that pawnbrokers and check cashers can grow very rich off those with thin wallets. Broke, USA is Gary Rivlin’s riveting report from the economic fringes. From the annual meeting of the national check cashers association in Las Vegas to a tour of the foreclosure-riddled neighbourhoods of Dayton, Ohio, here is a subprime Fast Food Nation. Rivlin profiles players like a former small-town Tennessee debt collector whose business offering cash advances to the working poor has earned him a net worth in the hundreds of millions, and legendary Wall Street dealmaker Sandy Weill, who rode a subprime loan business into control of the nation’s largest bank. Rivlin parallels their stories with the tale of those committed souls fighting back against the major corporations, chain franchises, and newly hatched enterprises that fleece the country’s hard-working waitresses, warehouse workers, and mall clerks.

Product Information

"Broke, USA is vital reading for those seeking to deepen their understanding of the economic crash of the past few years."----Associated Press

Gary Rivlin is the award-winning author of three books of non-fiction. The winner of two Gerald Loeb awards for distinguished business reporting, he has worked as a
writer and reporter for the New York Times, among other publications. He lives in New York with his wife and son.

General Fields

  • : 9780061733208
  • : HarperCollins Publishers
  • : HarperCollins
  • : 0.272
  • : August 2011
  • : 203mm X 138mm X 23mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Gary Rivlin
  • : Paperback / softback
  • : English
  • : 339.460973
  • : 368