Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

by Chrystia Freeland
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Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland

Plutocrats is the missing piece in our political conversation, a groundbreaking examination of wealth disparity and income inequality. There has always been some gap between rich and poor in this country, but in the last few decades what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Alarmingly, the fact is that the greatest income gap is not between the 1% and the 99%, but within the wealthiest 1% of our nation—as the merely wealthy are left behind by the rapidly expanding fortunes of the new global super-rich. Forget the 1%; Plutocrats proves that it is the wealthiest .1% who are outpacing the rest of us at break-neck speed.

What’s changed is more than numbers. Instead of inheritance, today’s colossal fortunes are amassed by the diligent toiling of smart, perceptive businessmen who see themselves as deserving victors in a cut-throat international competition. As a transglobal class of highly successfully professionals, today’s self-made oligarchs often have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home.

Cracking open the tight-knit world of the new super-rich is Chrystia Freeland, an acclaimed business journalist on both sides of the Atlantic. After reporting on the lives and minds of the world’s wealthiest for two decades, Freeland now looks deeper to understand the rise of this new transglobal elite, and the consequences for everyone else. She reveals the internal Citigroup memo that urges clients to design portfolios around the international “Plutonomy” and not the national “rest”; discusses the auction of a massive ex-Soviet steel mill contested between a Luxembourg company, an Indian company registered in the Netherlands, and a consortium of Russians and Ukranian companies; showcases the three million dollar birthday party of a New York financier months before the financial meltdown; and details the discreet but phenomenal wealth of the “red oligarchs,” China’s new ruling political class.

Freeland traces the roots of our modern plutocracy to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, the era of powerful ‘robber barons’ like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Then as now, the rewards of plutocracy are immense, with radical technologies and emerging markets colliding to produce unprecedented wealth for more people then ever in human history. Yet the social upheavals and political corruption generated by these first plutocrats may pale in comparison to what is in store for us, as the wealth of the entire globalized world is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.  

A consummate journalist and industry specialist, Freeland dissects the lives of the world’s wealthiest individuals with empathy, intelligence, and deep insight. Brightly written, powerfully researched, and impelled by fascinating original interviews, Plutocrats is a tour-de-force of social and economic history, and the definitive guide to inequality for our time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594204098
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date: 10/11/2012
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile: 1330L (what's this?)

About the Author

CHRYSTIA FREELAND is the Digital Editor at Thomson Reuters, following years of service at the Financial Times both in New York and London. She was the deputy editor of Canada’s The Globe and Mail and has reported for the Financial Times, The Economist, and The Washington Post. Freeland’s last book was Sale of a Century: The Inside Story of the Second Russian Revolution. She lives in New York City.!/cafreeland

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Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The information presented is interesting and worth paying attention to. The sriting was rambling, a bit disjointed. Not a laymnan's Sunday afternoon read but if you interested in the making and shaping of wealth and finance in a world economy, there is plenty here to give you pause.
theasp More than 1 year ago
Ms. Freeland's highly readable review of the rise of plutocracy merits study. She has a very timely analysis of perhaps the greatest threat facing the United States today: the destruction of our middle class and raising of barriers against advancement of anyone not in the top class.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Explains how the 1% are a country among themselves with no sovereign loyality. If taxes are increased, they can simply move to a country with low taxes. Same can occur withthe multinational corporations, they move their operations and their paper residence to areas of low wages. America's 99% will be stuck paying the US government's trillions of debt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been writing short pieces on the coming aristocracy of the wealthy for several years on the basis of current news. Ms, Freeland brings scholarship and research in the form of interviews with the super rich, referencing numerous reports, and attendance at many meetings of these people. She has created a window into their lives and beliefs. The writing is a little dense and is supplemented with many pages of end notes. comment · see re
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard the writer on NPR, and found her quite interesting. The book felt a bit dis-jointed though. I would have liked more statistics, and fewer personal examples with greater details. I also would have been interested in more detailed conclusions, though I can appreciate the author's desire to let readers form their own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The super only help the process of devouring ALL of the earth's resources and destroy habitat and species. That is the history of plutocrats and selfishness across "capitalist" and feudal style systems. Good luck with the logic of plutocratic avarice and consumerist self destructive habits, public or private in financial markets. As the old saying goes "Les jeux son fait..."
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Lufbra More than 1 year ago
Not what I was expecting. The book is unfocused, fawning and the chapters are too long and fail to make their case. The writer certainly is a great talent but she hasn't seemed to master the craft of presenting a clear, concise and decisive opinion to make her point. A good editor could have helped clean this up and make the book more compelling but unfortunately that is not what the reader is presented with.
growingoldoffensively More than 1 year ago
If you believe in trickle-down economics you won't want to spend your hard earned investment income on this book. The author does an excellent job dispelling any measure of belief in that idea. Ms. Freeland's book is well-enough documented. She cites interviews, studies, books, and meetings she's attended. Her depiction of wealth and its effects reminded me of Ferdinand Lundberg's although she clearly feels CEO's large corporations, and their minions are much more dangerous than established wealth. Author equates money with political power and clearly makes the case it is because it grants access to the top. The book is disturbing -  it's hard to escape the impression things will get worse before they get better - if ever things do. The playing field isn't level.  
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