In his eight years as president, Barack Obama oversaw a civil rights renaissance, laid the groundwork for combating climate change, and shepherded the nation through its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
But his failure to prosecute Wall Street executives for causing the collapse of the housing market ushered in an era of populist rage that cleared the path for a demagogic reality-TV star to take the Oval Office, according to Jesse Eisinger’s new book, The Chickenshit Club, which hit shelves on Tuesday.
“If they had, the history of the country would be different,” Eisinger, a veteran financial reporter at ProPublica whose investigation on shady crisis-era Wall Street practices won a Pulitzer Prize in 2011, told HuffPost by phone. “We would think of the financial crisis differently, think of the Obama administration differently; there would be a sense that the government was legitimate. There would be a sense of accountability after the crisis, the reforms would be tougher.”