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'Plunder: Private Equity's Plan to Pillage America'

Sears. Neiman Marcus. Toys R Us. Brookstone. This may sound like a list of stores one might find at an upscale mall a few years ago but it is also a list of a sample of major American companies that have been acquired by private equity firms and subsequently gone into bankruptcy.

Private equity firms play an enormous but largely invisible role in the American economy. Their names are far less familiar than those of the companies they acquire. So what is private equity and how has it come to play such a large role? How does it work and at the end of the day, is it good for the economy?

One person with strong views on the subject is author Brendan Ballou, a Department of Justice special counsel, whose new book "Plunder: Private Equity's Plan to Pillage America" was just released.

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KPCW co-host and producer of Mountain Money
Mountain Money co-host, Local News Hour fill-in host and former board chair.