These Are the Plunderers

Full Name
These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs—and Wrecks—America

In These Are the Plunderers, Pulitzer Prize-winning financial journalist Gretchen Morgenson and financial policy analyst Joshua Rosner investigate some of the biggest names in private equity, exposing how they buy companies, load them with debt, and then bleed them of assets and profits. This book traces the thirty-year history of corporate takeovers in America and private equity's increasing dominance. Morgenson and Rosner reveal the small group of celebrated Wall Street financiers, and their government enablers, who use excessive debt and dubious practices to undermine our nation's economy for their own enrichment: private equity. These Are the Plunderers exposes the greed and pillaging in private equity, revealing the many ways these billionaires have bled our economy, and, in turn, us.


“Damning…Morgensen and Rosner excel at capturing the complex financial maneuverings in crisp, accessible prose, and horror stories about how buyouts shortchanged nursing home residents and life insurance policy holders drive home the callousness of the private equity business model. model. model. model. model. model. model. model. model. model. Fiery and incisive, this is an essential account of how Wall Street pilfers the pockets of ordinary Americans.”

Publishers Weekly

“Readers will be drawn into the duo’s storytelling, and even those who aren’t financially savvy will be able to grasp the topic. It’s a must-read for all to help in understanding a different side of capitalism.”


“As Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner so lucidly explain, these ‘modern privateers’ simply act as dealers reshuffling marked cards in the deck of American capitalism. In the high stakes game they're playing, it's a deck that's stacked against the rest of us.”

—Shelf Awareness

“The troubled story of private equity, which is anything but equitable…. A well-documented, maddening book that cries out for legislative reform and regulation.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“A meticulous and devastating takedown of a powerful force in Western capitalism, infused with just the right amount of indignation at how the powerless bear most of the awful burden.”

—Brad Stone, author of Amazon Unbound and The Everything Store

“This is the fourth estate working at its best: explaining to readers an ever-growing number of examples where private equity has extracted wealth, not created it, for the benefit of a privileged few.“

Sheila Bair, former chair of the FDIC and author of New York Times bestseller Bull by the Horns

”If you want to understand why Wall Street is booming, good jobs are disappearing, and venerable companies are collapsing, the story is all here. This book names the names and follows the money.”

Christopher Leonard, New York Times bestselling author of Kochland and The Lords of Easy Money

“A critical and urgent look behind the scenes at the characters and mechanics that increasingly dictate our systems of influence, power, and money. Morgenson and Rosner make the complex legible—and the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

Mary Childs, co-host of NPR’s “Planet Money” and author of The Bond King

“[A] definitive, inside story of how our winner-take-all economy came to be. The private equity billionaires you’ll meet on these fascinating pages are the new robber barons.“

—Jill Abramson, author of Merchants of Truth and former executive editor of The New York Times