Is Wall Street bad for Main Street America?
"A well-told exploration of why our current economy is leaving too many behind." —The New York Times
In looking at the forces that shaped the 2016 presidential election, one thing is clear: much of the population believes that our economic system is rigged to enrich the privileged elites at the expense of hard-working Americans. This is a belief held equally on both sides of political spectrum, and it seems only to be gaining momentum.
A key reason, says Financial Times columnist Rana Foroohar, is the fact that Wall Street is no longer supporting Main Street businesses that create the jobs for the middle and working class. She draws on in-depth reporting and interviews at the highest rungs of business and government to show how the “financialization of America”—the phenomenon by which finance and its way of thinking have come to dominate every corner of business—is threatening the American Dream.
Now updated with new material explaining how our corrupted financial system propelled Donald Trump to power, Makers and Takers explores the confluence of forces that has led American businesses to favor balance-sheet engineering over the actual kind, greed over growth, and short-term profits over putting people to work. From the cozy relationship between Wall Street and Washington, to a tax code designed to benefit wealthy individuals and corporations, to forty years of bad policy decisions, she shows why so many Americans have lost trust in the system, and why it matters urgently to us all.
Through colorful stories of both “Takers,” those stifling job creation while lining their own pockets, and “Makers,” businesses serving the real economy, Foroohar shows how we can reverse these trends for a better path forward.
Customer ReviewsSee All
a must read for those who want a deeper understanding of our “financialized" economy
I’ll confess, as I read the opening lines of Makers & Takers, it dawned on me that I’ve been waiting for someone to draw such clear connections between our financial centers and larger concerns about the future of our economic prosperity. This is that book. Although I've benefitted from the current system, like many of my peers, I worry that the financial enterprises that dominate our economy have taken on a life of their own - providing little real benefit to most Americans. Foroohar does an admirable job of explaining “how” we got to this point - a ridiculously complicated topic explained in simple terms. She provides straightforward recommendations of how we can start to re-make these institutions so they can more directly build an economy that benefits more Americans instead of the 0.001 percenters. If you’re a staunch fiscal conservative who still believes “trickle down economics” will bring back America’s middle class, this book will cause some real anxiety. For those wanting a broader understanding of how “Too Big Too Fail” financial institutions have shaped our economy, and must be reshaped for us to lead the world into the next millennia, Foroohar has given us plenty to think about. I finished Makers & Takers terrified that the financialization of our economy will leave my children fewer opportunities than I inherited, but hopeful that there are more thoughtful influencers like Foroohar that can help shape change.
A "the rich get richer" negative rant.