Alternative title: Adventures in Publishing

Since the news came out today, I might as well spill the details about my battle with McGraw Hill over the content in the book.

I did not release this news. I got a message this morning (apparently left last night) from a reporter at the NY Observer who covers the publishing industry. I assumed McGraw Hill had contacted him, but I have no direct knowledge of that.

I had previously spoken to Jesse Eisinger of Portfolio about my headaches with the publisher a few weeks ago, but asked him to keep it off the record. Once the Observer called me, I told Jesse “The cats out of the bag” and he ran with this story: McGraw Hill Drops Book Critical of S&P.

The manuscript was submitted to S&P in December (I posted on it here) and the review and revision process began. For the most part, the editing process was painless. I had been warned by other writers that most modern publishers edit for typos and grammar, but not for deep content or editorial vision. I hired Aaron Task, whom I know from, to be my editor. (Aaron ended up being a whole lot more than that, but I will save that story for a later date).

Most of the changes that came back from McGraw Hill were minor stylistic copy editing stuff. Very light, very simple. They took out the word “Fuck” which appears 2x (once each in two separate chapters) and I of course put it back in. How can any book about Wall Street not have that word in it?

When it came to chapter 14 — Who is to Blame? – there were issues about the style of what I wrote about Moody’s, S&P and Fitch’s. I literally called the ratings agencies and investment bankers “Pimps and Whores;” I accused them of engaging in pay for play (buying ratings) payola, etc. Rather than describe it, I will simply post the original version here.

There was a lot of pushback on this. My editor at McGH convinced me this was a matter of style, not content. So being flexible (something I don’t usually do), I agreed to rewrite this small section. The newly edited version was far more factual, detailed — and in my opinion, more damning. You can read the revised version here.

Now, before you assume I am an idiot for doing a book that was critical of the ratings agencies with a publisher that owns S&P, understand that I properly anticipated this. My agent/lawyer Lloyd Jassin got me me Final Edit in my contract. Not only that, I had previously discussed this issue months earlier with then publisher Herb Schaffner. (He was laid off in a big Q4 round of firings).

Sometime over the summer, Herb informed me that the ratings agencies discussions would have to be handled “delicately and diplomatically.”

I responded, “Sorry, Herb, but I don’t do diplomacy.” If they wanted someone who was subtle or diplomatic, boy did they have the wrong guy. I offered to return the advance check and we could all move on. He backed down, and I assumed — apparently quite wrongly — that this was the end of this issue. How can you write a book on this subject and not lambast the ratings agencies?

I am not sure if this was in August or September, but that is my best guess as to the approximate time frame.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the pushback on the changes.

The stylistic changes were still objected to. The problems came not from Legal, but from Corporate within McGH. Legal had not even finished reviewing the manuscript at this time.

I came to the inescapable conclusion that this was an attempt by the McGH corporation to water down my content. All of the conversation with various editors strongly implied as much, and the same was made clear by them to my agent Lloyd.  I even found an email from me to him, subject matter:  “McG Hill S&P Freaking Out” dated Monday, January 05, 2009 11:14 AM.

Anyway, at this I drew my line in the sand at this point. My contract gave me FINAL EDIT.

I informed McGraw Hill that at the manuscript was now finished, and I was done. No more changes to the Ratings Agency section. It was either “Fill or Kill.” In an email, I gave them until that Friday, to accept or reject the manuscript. That deadline came and went with no answer, and the following, Monday I went to lunch with my editor and told her I was ready to show the book to other publishers, as I assumed they had rejected it. She asked for another week (I agreed) and that Friday, they told me that, as per my request, they would drop my contract and allow me to sell the manuscript to other publishers.

They gave me two nonsense excuses — the first, they were concerned about my libeling Senator Phil Gramm (My answer to that laugher: Bullshit).

The second excuse was an issue with sourcing and verifying the material. This was, of course, more nonsense. Nearly all of my sources are available online, and the others that are in books were all purchased from Nothing obscure, no sources from deep within some library stacks or any unrecorded interviews with anonymous, now deceased, secret witnesses. It was all online, and readily available. And that does not address the small matter that McGraw Hill had pulled 90 pages of additional sources from the book as “redundant and unnecessary.”

All of the book’s submitted footnotes/end notes can be found here. If you cannot verify those sources, BY CLICKING ON THE URLs, then you are totally incompetent and have no business being in publishing.


I did not go to the media, they did. I was asked to say nothing to the press, and I complied. Then I got the phone call from the Observer, who obviously had been speaking to McGH.

I was stunned to read this ridiculous statement from McGraw Hill Spokesman Steven Weiss:

the publisher dropped the book because of a conflict with Ritholtz over editing, not because of his criticism of S&P. “The material needed extensive corroboration across a range of topics. We could not agree on unified approach with the author for resolving the issues”

Really? You cannot verify these footnotes?

As you can see, the overwhelming majority of the footnotes come with URL included. So I guess if you lack an internet connection or are unfamiliar with Google, you might have trouble corroborating the contents of the book. But for everyone else . . .

But to prove it even further, I challenge any of the McGraw Hill editors or publishers (or any of the editorial staff) to take a polygraph/lie detector test — at my expense. If the poly proves anything I said was false or anything Mr Weiss said was true, I will let them edit the book however they want, or kill it altogether and not publish anywhere else. (The PR flack would likely pass the poly, because he doesn’t have first hand knowledge of what transpired, only what he is told — so even if he is telling lies, he doesn’t know they are false. Hence, he would pass).

Yes, I will happily take a poly also.

But when the test proves that they are lying and I am telling the truth, I want a public apology from them in a trade magazine or the WSJ, and a waiver of the advance return.


McGraw-Hill Won’t Publish Ritholtz Book Critical of S&P Unit
Greg Bensinger
Bloomberg, Feb. 12 2009

McGraw Hill Drops Book Critical of S&P
Jesse Eisinger
Portfolio, Feb 10 2009 1:15pm EST

Did McGraw Hill Spike Barry Ritholtz’ Book Over Comments About S&P?
Joe Weisenthal
ClusterStock, Feb. 10, 2009, 3:42 PM

McGraw Hill vs Ritholtz, Feb 11 2009 1:20am

McGraw-Hill Kills Book Critical to S&P
NY Mag 2/11/09 at 12:30 PM

Publisher that Owns Credit Rating Agency Kills Book Critical of … Ratings Agencies
Mary Kane
2/11/09 9:10 AM

McGraw-Hill Mixes Its Book and Bond-Rating Businesses
Owen Thomas,
Gawker, Wed Feb 11 2009

McGraw-Hill Cancels Book Critical of S&P
Lynn Andriani
Publishers Weekly, 2/11/2009 10:09:00 AM

McGraw Hill Spikes Book That Slammed Credit Ratings Agency It Owns
Zachary Roth
TPM, February 11, 2009, 3:04PM


Original Version: Ratings Agencies: Moodys, S&P, and Fitch

Revised Version: Ratings Agencies: Moodys, S&P, and Fitch


Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

119 Responses to “About Bailout Nation

  1. investorinpa says:

    Good for you for standing on your PRINCIPLES and refusing to sacrifice what you believe in for a publishing house that will probably be out of business in a few years anyway. Are you going to republish your book with a real publisher not named McGraw Hill?

  2. I have a few offers we are considering, but I am concerned about a fast turnaround and marketing/coop advertising support.

    We should have this resolved in a few days . . .

  3. Mannwich says:

    Who would we loyal readers at the TBP believe, corporate lackeys who lie all the time with alarming alacrity or you, BR? That one’s a no-brainer. I really think the public is getting tired of all the bullshit. I really do. Can’t we just have the unvarnished truth for once? Why would anyone trust anything that comes out of any corporation anymore?

    I continue to believe that among all of the problems that we’re faced with in this country (and there are many), the most basic one that’s killing us more than anything is the loss of trust. We are cannibalizing one another with lies and deceit to “get ahead” and then not taking any responsibility because it’s “our job” and we can hide out under the corporate umbrella. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it all.

  4. Broken says:

    I don’t see what MH has to gain from another publisher putting your book out except looking really stupid.

  5. jwc says:

    Woooo. Good for you Barry. I’ve been looking forward to the book being published, and now even more so. Have you thought about adding more? Things keep changing at warp speed.

  6. ben22 says:


    Just want to second what others have said. I’m real proud of you man for standing up for yourself with all of this. Bummer though, I really wanted to get the book. You know what you are saying is right so I’m glad you aren’t backing down. Good for you.

    I wonder how many authors have caved over stuff like this, I bet it’s a lot.

    Phil Gramm and libel, wow.

  7. Mannwich says:

    Look at it this way – it gives you time to add more content to the book and maybe include a few more jabs at S&P. Tough to write a truly timely book now when things change so quickly from day-to-day.

  8. livefreeordie says:

    What a load of crap — Compounded by the exhausting process of writing & rewriting the damn thing against a moving deadline. This controversy potentially has legs. Encourage your readers to spread it. Talk about it with Dylan & Kudlow. There’s a fabulous oppt to create a slingshot effect once another pub picks it up. Keep the faith!

  9. Mark Wolfinger says:

    You are in great shape.

    They broke the contract.

    Find a publisher who will do a quick read and accept the book as being in its final version. That will get the book published quickly – while you have extra publicity. This is money in your pocket and great publicity. Send MGH a valentine!


  10. Swampfox says:

    In this environment I have no doubt a publisher will pick up your book. Good luck!

  11. Gabriel says:

    So, they say you used the word, fuck, two times, and they also have issue with Grammy and Poor Standard.

    By deduction, I’m guessing you used the F word in the same sentence along with one of the other two objection points, in two separate places. Did you? You’re a bad man. :-O

  12. karen says:

    thanks for sticking to your principles, barry. didn’t i liken you to patrick henry once? i know i did; although you may not have seen that post. : )

  13. Gabriel says:

    But, seriously though, wouldn’t going with a new publisher push the book back by a couple of quarters now?

  14. AGG says:

    I admire your tenacity. Your timing is also excellent. It’s the S&P, Phil Gram and large publishing houses that have credibility problems now, not authors who highlight systemic faults.

  15. AGG says:

    Have you considered talking to Gary North? He has published books and newsletters and has some thoughts about self publishing on the internet. Just a thought.

  16. BR:
    Keep up the great work. If McGrawHill wants to throw away a few thousand easy sales, they deserve to go bankrupt. I know I can’t wait till the book comes out.

  17. Myr says:

    I’m thinking this is actually good for the book: this is some free, awesome PR. I think you should play it up. No one will side with McGraw/S+P. Barry VS S&P! I love it. The ratings agencies are corrupt- they make a great target.

  18. rob says:

    Fuck’em Barry! Go to and you can self publish with about a 3 day turn around! They will even do distribution to etailers for you! (Fee of course.) Your main customer base consists of your blog readers and word of mouth, say we’re you’ve got it stocked and people can find it easily.

  19. dimitris says:

    BR, I hope that you publish soon. This episode finally pushed me to pre-order at amazon :)

  20. yvrapx says:

    Find another publisher OR self-publish, you already have 22k pre-ordered imagine how many more you will have once the mainstream press gets hold of this. BBTW where do I sign up for the per-order list?
    It appears that your ‘sunlight’ is quite sanitizing given the recent moves by McGrawHill.
    Keep it up Barry!

  21. subscriptionblocker says:

    Well, thanks to McGraw Hill you now own a banned book. So perhaps you should consider self publishing with some PDF product but netting a larger portion of “the take”.

    Of course success in such an endeavor would reduce the need for publishers?

  22. JohnnyVee says:

    I agree with Myra, above. This could be the best PR anyone could ask for.

  23. mark mchugh says:

    OH THE IRONY!!!!!!

    If S & P had only been concerned about their reputation BEFORE they rubber-stamped everything that crossed their plate, there might not have been a book.

    and NOW they want stuff verified????

    Well, for whatever it’s worth Barry, I’m officially giving “Bailout Nation” a AAA rating.

  24. Bill in SF says:

    Amazon is still accepting pre-orders. I just placed my order.

    LOL. The estimated delivery date is April 1st.

  25. jcheeseman says:

    Barry, My father was a professor for 31 years and wrote a book on US history. McGraw Hill was the agreed publisher, in the end they killed the book. This was in 1973. Not much has changed with this company. He poured his life energy into it. I’m sorry that you’re caught up in “just telling it like it is”.
    The cool thing these days is there are Blogs, and no escaping the truth.
    Thanks for shaping the world of BLOGING.

  26. awilensky says:

    Barry, listen to me very carefully. Make it an e-book and sell it for 14.95 on this blog. You will keep all the money, and you can print it too. There are some good distributors that can help. You will do better this way. They did you a favor. G-d is looking out for you by letting the cocksuckers act naturally.

  27. bdg123 says:

    Well Barry, that’s a crock of shit. When you finally publish it, the front jacket needs to say something like, “The book the ratings agencies tried to keep you from reading.” or maybe some iambic pentameter like “Hey S&P, Bite Me!”. :)

    Seriously, I’m sure you have other publisher options but self-publishing is also a possibility with so many distribution channels.

  28. Darkness says:

    Nice maneuvering there. You move in this environment well, most people get overwhelmed.

    Boy, the publisher owns S&P, eh? The Robber Baron days are alive and well.

  29. Jojo99 says:


    Other publishers might be wary if MGH unleashes their lawyers or they could tie you up for some time and cost you a whole lot of $$.

    If all else fails, I guess you could always do it as an e-book.


    BR: They released the contract, as was their option and my request. I am free to sign with another publisher, the only condition is they must pay the original advance to McGH.

  30. Chief Tomahawk says:

    There was a time when the McGraw Hill brand stood for something (good).

  31. Chief Tomahawk says:

    I suppose one could always post the book on their own website and undermine the traditional publishing model.

  32. gms777 says:

    Sounds like you’ve got a best-seller on your hands.

    This is the best publicity you ever could have hoped for.

    Many congratulations!

    Take the draft they wouldn’t accept, and make it ever harsher. Put the word “fuck” in every chapter title. Really.

    In fact, put the word “f*ck” in the title. (It has been done before, but I’m sure you’ll be the first to breakthrough with a best-seller with that word in the title.)

  33. jpm says:

    The material needed extensive corroboration across a range of topics.

    Anyone else think this quote sounds like the beginning of a lawsuit?
    Be prepared, save your emails. Put your other recollections down now and notarize.

  34. Liz Tool says:

    I was wondering about that book.
    However and wherever you publish your book…I’ll buy it!
    Admire that you didn’t cave in.

  35. Two words Barry: Media Whore. Become one. I want you not only on financial media shows but on mainstream programs. Get on CNN. Get on 60 minutes. Your readers can write these news organizations asking them to put you on if you think it would help. Let us know what we can do.

  36. Rightline says:

    Looks like a chapter needs to be added to the book now…

  37. Mike in Nola says:

    How can anyone libel Phil Gramm?

  38. Imelda Blahnik says:

    I’m a college professor and I sometimes use McGraw Hill books. I will no longer use them, and I will inform them as to why I refuse to use their products.

    W/ regard to media whoring and self-publishing, wasn’t TBP named like #1 financial blog by Time? Don’t you get lots of traffic? And your mug is on CNBC a lot! You don’t need no stinkin’ big name corporate publisher!

  39. Imelda Blahnik says:

    The new title and subtitle of the new version should be:

    Bailout Nation — and why McGraw-Hill and Standard & Poors can go Fu@$ themselves

  40. DP says:

    Barry, you could take this as an opportunity to go back and add in the last few weeks. Look at today’s news alone, this farce is far from over.

    I’m sure Bailout Nation is a great book and right now, very topical, but in 5-10 years time when someone wants to read about what got us to wherever we are then, the book will be incomplete and cover only half the story. Then again, perhaps you always planned a follow on book, “Bailed Out Nation” seems like an appropriate title. That one’s on me, although I’ll take a beer if you’re ever in Orlando :)

  41. 10 cc says:

    Now you’ve got me hoping your next book is an unauthorized biography of Phil Gramm.

    Think how many “fucks” you’d need for that one.

  42. super_trooper says:

    You’re now in the Michael Moore camp (Stupid White Men initially was refused to be released by Harpercollins).
    You have a great story to tell. The liberal media will love it. Maybe even Amy Goodman will find you for a democracynow interview.

  43. MattyWoo says:

    I think McGraw-Hill just tipped its hand. On Wed we all make money shorting MHP. Thanks, Barry!


  44. Ritchie says:

    Someone already suggested it, but let me second using Buy an ISBN, get it listed on and/or sell it from your site.

  45. Dow says:

    What’s the point of being a publisher if they don’t want to publish books?

  46. Paul Jones says:

    And these people differ from Soviets how???

  47. going broke says:

    Sell it online now for a decent price, work out the issues with the publisher later.

  48. Mark A. Sadowski says:

    Try and write (or teach for that matter) anything that “the man” doesn’t want to hear and you can expect this kind of response Barry. But I am confident that you will find a publisher shortly.

    “The times, they are a changin’”

    P.S. I got blocked on RCP last fall for using the acronym SNAFU (or at least that’s what they told me). I think the real reason is that they didn’t want to hear a greater diversity of opinion.

  49. Al Bergette says:

    @Mike in Nola,

    That was fucking funny x 2.

    BR, I’m not surprised. For decades the government and courts have allowed monopolization and what you’ve experienced is the result of it.

    You need to go the way of the Purple One (The Minnesotan formerly known as Prince).

    Fuck ‘em….Publish it on this website.

    On another topic, I watch the links you post on those talking heads on whatever that show is, you have any idea why the Chicago guy, Najarian (I think his name is) never says a word during your segments? I get the feeling he agrees with everything you say but he’s afraid to let the Street know it.


  50. You can’t say fuck twice in a book?

    I’m suing Jackie Collins.

  51. David Merkel says:

    MHP would have done well to publish the book… not doing it makes them look petty, and splatters it over the media. Barry, you did well to stand up to them.

  52. Blackhalo says:

    One question I would have is that I ordered this tittle from Amazon some time ago. When do I get it?

  53. Marcus Aurelius says:


    Polygraphs are unreliable. I’ll vouch for you. McGraw Hill flunkies should be waterboarded – I’ll bet they tell the truth then.

  54. Fuck those fucking motherfuckers, rock the Kindle or iPhone.. Heck, see if or will do the honors ;)

    I still want an autographed copy though!!

    This thing sounds interesting, I’m surprised scribd doesn’t offer a printing service as well?

  55. AGORACOM says:

    Barry, you are now the “GoDaddy” and “Girls Gone Wild” of the finance space.

    I am sorry to hear of this news, I KNOW how hard you worked and the things you put off to get it done.

    Clearly, MH either did not understand or underestimated your reach and influence within the finance space. The story has already hit Twitter and making its way around the web like wildfire. MH would have been better off publishing it and letting the S&P stuff blend in with the entire book.

    Now S&P has become the book and MH has become the story. I’m posting this story to Twitter and my blog as well.

    We’re about to watch a very interesting exercise in social financial media.

    Finally, from a financial point of view, you deserve to benefit from the work you put in and the knowledge the book will impart on the financial community. If a publisher doesn’t pick this up soon, self-publish via Lulu (as others have already advised). It will go viral and it will sell big time.

    Your friend,

  56. donna says:

    They are a silly company.

    Find a REAL publisher!

  57. johnbougearel says:


    Don’t waste another minute of your time and energy with MCGH. Footnote these details in an epilogue.
    Oh, and you can self-publish the puppy tomorrow. It will take all of about 5 minutes to create your own publishing company. Five minutes later and you are opening an account with a printing company and uploading your book cover and typeset manuscript.

    Lot of people waiting to read the book too… It will be out much faster this way. My books arrive this week, and I got a copy to send you, but I will need an addy that I will ask for later.

    And if you really want to p-o Mcgraw-Hill, promote the hell out of the book with radio and tv interviews, press releases and other PR stunts, and sell over 2 million copies. They will soon learn to regret their misgivings.

  58. FrancoisT says:

    Did these asshats truly believe they could talk you down Barry?
    Haven’t they read your blog?
    Haven’t they checked you out on CNBC and elsewhere?

    Man! What a bunch of jerkwads!

    I can’t see a problem for you to publish this book soon. Might be a pain to have to go through the motions, but I’ll bet my last n’gwee that , while you reap a well-deserved recognition for what is, I’m sure, an outstanding work, MH will have a PR nightmare on their lap ASAP.

    Give’em hell Barry!
    PS: Please, pretty please Barry! Do include this post in the preface of your book. Twist the Saber of Truth into the flank of the Shysters.
    PPS: *evil grin*

  59. dmlopr says:

    BR, they are lazy fux just like S&P. List it on TBP and it will sell. Then you won’t have to play their dog and pony show.

  60. Chief Tomahawk says:

    BR, when is the real moneymaker, the “Bailout Nation” video game, going to hit store shelves????

  61. johnbougearel says:


    I went with Lightning Source because unlike Lulu, they can do offset and POD printing. The two can complement each other. Lulu is simply too small. If you wish to go the self-pub route, I did some legwork that I can share with you from A-Z.

    On the “sourcing and verifying the material” argument with MH, this is nonsensical for all online references. I have long saved copious notes from BN before I even knew I was going to write a book on the financial crisis. I knew it was time to write a book on the crisis after BS went down in March 08. If I pulled a quote from my old bloomberg notes, all I had to do was insert into the google toolbar and do a search and I would find my source. Duh! Takes all of two minutes if done right.

  62. johnbougearel says:

    wolfinger’s right, you could send out a press release on the MH story alone! Lever it up some….

  63. johnbougearel says:


    I can steer you to getting an ISBN in the morning. If MH already bought an ISBN for that title, you may need to change title (not sure there). As far as pub date estimated on April 1, that can be moved up by several weeks under self-pub. Typsetters and indexers are all you need to make the book ready for the printers. I got loads of typsetters and indexers for you to tap that can do a fast turnaround and great job. (I assume you will stick with the book cover you have already, but if not, I got them book cover designers for you too).

    And, as I recall remarking weeks ago, you just like a good fuck! :-)

  64. Empress Chandelier says:

    Yes, you must maximize media exposure for the message(s) they are trying to repress. The “F” word is fun adn apropos but less important. You write SO clearly about the causes of the crisis, and fix the blame so squarely on all the guilty parties that I’m not surprised they won’t publish it. Perhaps it has escaped your notice, but there is a great deal of deliberate confusion about the specific causes of the crisis on regular TV, and much of the public doesn’t read the financial press or watch financial TV news. But the word might get out if your book were distributed. The ratings agencies colluded with the banks for profit. The banks were producing fraudulent quarterly and annual reports, and making false and misleading statements (ex:Thain), and the ratings agencies were paid to publish fraudulent ratings. People should be under indictment, just like Fastow, Skilling, Madoff, etc. Instead, institutions are receiving billions in bailouts, and hardly one word about their crimes is spoken of on television. Exactly how does that happen? I don’t know, but your message (the truth) is apparently not welcome, not allowed, or completely forbidden. Not only are these people able to avoid indictment, they are also able to avoid targeted criticism on television, so the general public is still naive about how this catastrophe came about. So when you do appear on television, Mr Ritholtz, please continue to skewer the guilty parties so that every grandmother and child gets the message. Otherwide, the fraud will just continue. Congratulations on this overdue recognition, and Good luck with your new publisher!

  65. BR, when is the real moneymaker, the “Bailout Nation” video game, going to hit store shelves????

    Three words:
    GURPS Bailout Nation

    (or maybe it’d be better as d20.. “Saving throw against fatal incompetence… FAILED!!”)

  66. censeo says:

    What about web publishing the book?

  67. Michael M says:


    Since you have one of the top financial blogs, have lots of media, Wall Street and blogger connections wouldn’t it make sense to start a online publishing empire right here on this site?

    Surely Jeff Matthews, John Mauldin and you will be joined by a lot of other commentators with books to sell in the years to come. TBP seems a logical an outlet for these books.

  68. Moss says:

    Stick to your principles. This is no time to be politically correct.
    Make it an e-book so u can add to it as this unfolds.
    Maybe Amazon would take it in digital form w/o a publisher.
    They are trying to break the hard copy pricing model with the Kindle.

  69. Bill Werner says:


    Good luck with your book what ever you decide.

    I actually see this as a continuum of the corporations you describe in your book, your present troubles and modern corporations in general. These corporations are filled with “The Dilbert Principle”. In the old days of honorable tradition “The Peter Principle” was that people rose in corporations until they reached their level of incompetence. So you dealt with people who are actually good at something and at one time knew what they were doing. With “The Dilbert Principle” you skip the competency phase and deal with people who have never done anything useful well. However, what these empty suits often do well is corporate politics. They are the classic back stabbing / butt licking empty suits. Whether you have your butt licked or are stabbed depends upon whether they perceive you as a threat or a (temporary) help.

    So first they want to publish your book,
    next they edit it taking out pages of references
    and finally they drop it citing a lack of references.

    Ain’t it grand dealing with empty suits?

    “The Dilbert Principle”, Scott Adams,
    “The Peter Principle”by Dr. Laurence J. Peter,

  70. Moss says:


    Check out they have services for self publishing.
    I have some contacts inside that private company as well.

  71. mangy cat says:

    only two f words in all the text?

    no sex in the city!
    that’s why they dropped you

  72. AJS says:

    Here’s to hoping this blows up in McGH’s face, and sheds even more light on the whole ratings agency debacle!

  73. Patrick Neid says:

    Hopefully you won’t have to dust off your law degree.

  74. wally says:

    Here we sit in one of the greatest eras of looting and abdication of regulatory responsibility in the history of the US and they want to dither… typical of our times, I guess.

  75. Neo says:

    It will be interesting to see what other outlets are blocked to your releasing and promoting the book. It may be a test-case for how incestuous the relationship is between media (is it like the one between financial companies and each other/government?).

  76. AndrewBW says:

    Very sorry to hear about the troubles. I was looking forward to the book and hope things get worked out soon. But it’s a pretty sorry situation. It’s not as if the ratings agencies have a whole lot of credibility left to lose.

  77. Greg0658 says:

    Phil Gramm and libel
    carefull – “there will be a dozen Lambrini and Lamberts lined up tomorrow” to take the case
    (to PG its a write off against Uncle Sam “woohoo”)

    McGH outta business next year – give me some of that your smoking – they are the top dog in school book texts – can you imagine the copyright lawsuits involved in replacement technical publishing.

    Face it once your Goliath you gotta be a magical David to take em out

    awilensky says electronic release. I like the thought with release on Amazons Kindle and say a hard printing deal at Staples and Office Max. And on a pdf or some other compactor (Adobe is getting to big .. help take em down a rung). Maybe an audio release, nobody has time to read hardcover anymore (except people disgusted with TV) (me I reference hard cover for tech). But probably this whole thing has you locked out of the library payolla circuit.

    OBR good one .. do the Blago circuit

    e-book release now because this topic is now … hopefully the financial spectrum will be in redesign by summer

  78. phb says:

    Sucks. The ugly side of capitalism…being going on since at least since the early drafts of the Bible.

    Does make me wonder what has been edited from our public knowledge recently

  79. ottovbvs says:

    BR: you’re in the catbird seat of course. They broke the contract so have little or no recourse: pity that advance wasn’t MUCH bigger. You’re getting loads of free publicity, perhaps you might be invited on Dancing with Stars, and MH looks bad. I suspect they know all this and are trying to mend fences even if you’re not saying, either way you have a win win.

  80. sharkbait says:

    Just publish it. Too many books about time-sensitive issues come out after they would have been useful. I don’t think you really expect the system you’re exposing to make this easy…

    BTW, do most people know that former Senator Phil Gramm is now an insider at UBS? I hope your book at least discusses (exposes) the revolving door between Washington, and private industry (ALL sectors: FIRE, Pharma, Defense, etc.). This is the epitome of corruption, and deceit. How about former Treas. Scty. John Snow now at the head of the Private Equity firm that owns Chrysler, as another example (there are MANY). I think Gramm needs to be in the book, along with all the others that were involved in gutting the financial checks and balances over the last 15 years. I have no respect for that man. That goes for most of our elected officials (excluding the Hon. Ron Paul, of course!). Plutocracy reigns. There are others that I hope you discuss, which I would expect you do (Paulson (Mr. GS), etc.). :

    “Between 1995 and 2000, Gramm was the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. During that time he spearheaded efforts to pass banking deregulation laws, including the landmark Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, which removed Depression-era laws separating banking, insurance and brokerage activities.”

  81. batmando says:

    BR -
    Had planned to support my local bookseller and pick up a copy there, but have pre-ordered from just to send a message to McGH.
    Everyone has just got to know that Bailout Nation has some hard truths if they have backed away from the deal.
    You go, guy!

  82. mknowles says:

    Wow! Sorry to hear about your troubles with McGraw Hill, and not surprised that they back away from taking any responsibility for the actions of their company S&P and the key role they played in the destruction of our economy. We listen to S&P why?

  83. trackerman says:


    I hadn’t really planned on buying “Bailout Nation”, but it is now on the TOP OF MY LIST.

    Good luck on getting it published.

  84. constantnormal says:


    Put on the book jacket “Rejected by McGraw-Hill (owners of Standard and Poors)”. I think that’s sufficiently factual so as to preclude libel, and oughta be a big draw, especially when you hit the talk show circuit to pimp the book (yes, you hafta do that).

    The amount that you risk, relative to the potential rewards, are only “a toe in the water”. You should be used to that. If it bothers you that it’s not OPM, setup a shell company to publish the book, and sell shares in it. Of course, you give up some of the profits that way, but that’s the way it goes. I’ll buy stock in it. Seems like a better risk than most things I put money into these days.

  85. ella says:

    Half of all CDOs of ABS failed

    As you were saying Barry! Here is yet another confirmation of your analysis. Maybe the editors should read your cites or pick up any paper from the financial press.

  86. tagyoureit says:

    Self-publish, distribute to smaller book stores first, go viral.

    Once we finally get rid of the big record labels, DIY punks will go after the big publishers. ;)

    BR, I see you as the Ian MacKaye of economics.

  87. Shnaps says:

    What a bunch of pricks. Have you tried John Wiley & Sons?

  88. Transor Z says:

    Barry, sucks but nice publicity boost.

    I respectfully disagree with the many suggestions to self-publish. Definitely try to go with a traditional publishing house first and only self-publish if timeliness is an issue. (We’re in this recession/depression for another couple of years, right?)

    I’m just old-fashioned and think that status matters. The biggest FU you can send back to MH is to have a competitor publish and make money. Self-publishing doesn’t have the same cache (yet).

  89. I-Man says:


    I know it must feel crappy for having them dick with your art.

    However, allow me to offer a counterintuitive take on this:

    In a way, you should feel good about it. If they are censoring you, its because you are speaking the truth, and thats what the best art is, an expression of truth.

    Cant wait to see your book on the shelf in my office. You the man!


  90. jlj says:

    It’s Kindling time…….. make sure to add in all the emails as an appendix!

  91. Andy Tabbo says:

    I know you probably know this Barry, but McGrawHill has done you a favor by creating “controversy” around the book. Now, when you go to publish with someone else you will be able to rightfully advertise:

    “This Is THE Book THEY Didn’t Want Me to Write!”


  92. perogy says:

    I worked for a publisher in Boston for five years as the editor of one of their technology magazines. I am not surprised by the rejection of Bailout Nation. I had a brief encounter with a division of McGraw-Hill in 1986 that gave me the impression it was an inbred organization. I interviewed for a job with one of McGraw-Hill’s research bureaus that published expensive technology reports. I did not take the job because it appeared to me to be a sleazy operation. Instead of doing real research by contacting industry experts, the editors/writers were combing through trade rags to create their material. This was in the days before the Internet, so all of their desks were piled high with trade journals. When I was introduced to the people that I would be working with, I did my own interview and realized that most lacked the technical background to be writing about their subject areas. The building looked like a warehouse, it had no windows, and was located in Camden NJ in an area that looked like it had been bombed by B-52′s in 1945 and had yet to be restored. I was relieved when the interview process was over and I felt I had dodged a bullet.

    I look forward to seeing the book in print and intend to buy a copy for my library.

  93. david says:

    BR: The best thing you could do right now (if contracts allow it) is to publish the book online for FREE. You have a PR and marketing coup in the making, all you have to do is take advantage of it.

    PS. If you’re still not sure, ask Seth Godin what to do.

  94. SANJOSIE says:

    The folks at McGH should know that prior to this debacle, I was already ignoring and discounting anything associated with S&P – media appearances by their analysts, even the index itself. To me all are lacking in integrity and, therefore, of no account in my view of the world.

    And now Big Daddy RatingBucks is trying to censor an author…the shame of it all.

  95. iy says:

    Never considered buying the book until now. Just let me know where to send the money.

  96. greg says:

    Why does a publishing company own a ratings agency? What the fuck is that about? Wouldn’t it make sense for a publisher to be independent of everything.
    I’m with everybody else Barry. Get as much media attention on this thing as you can, but I would add, do not do so much damage as to bankrupt them, cause they’ll just go crawling to the government for a bailout.

  97. David in D says:

    The decision makers at McGH are obviously idiots! Seriously, how many blog readers do you have? Why reject a book when you know, with few hundred strokes on your (Barry’s) keyboard, your platform for making your case is way more powerful (and instantaneous) than theirs. Who in world is advising these folks on public relations… talk about a blunder. Besides, if they wanted to Barry your book, why not publish it and then not promote it and sort of let it flounder on the sidelines. To cancel it only draws more attention and credibility to the book… especially in terms of the topic of the book and your likely readers.

    Barry, I hope you find a great publisher for your book -or- you simply self-publish it. You have the name recognition and platform to do so and it would obviously be better for you financially.

  98. David in D says:

    Correction to above post: “Barry” should by “bury” in line five.

  99. seobook says:

    This probably sounds like a spammy hyped up internet marketer comment…but (before I switched over to a membership/training program) I sold about $1,000,000 worth of a self published ebook (no physical copies) @ $79 a pop. You have way more reach than I do, and I would imagine that you would sell far more units than I did so long as you integrate ads for it into your blog.

    I would be a buyer :)