In the last few decades what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Forget the 1%; it’s the wealthiest .01% who are fast outpacing the rest of us. Today’s colossal fortunes are amassed by the diligent toiling of smart, perceptive businessmen who see themselves as deserving victors in a cutthroat international competition.
Cracking open this tight-knit world is Chrystia Freeland, an acclaimed business journalist. At ease in Davos or Dubai, Freeland has reported on the lives and minds of these new super-elites for nearly a decade. Grounding her interviews in the economics and history of modern capitalism, she provides examples of the new wealth and its consequences. She showcases the $3 million birthday party of a New York financier months before the financial meltdown; details the closed-door 2005 SEC meeting where the US government allowed investment banks to write their own regulatory laws; and tells how the Bank of Canada’s Mark Carney became a key figure in the central battle between the plutocracy and the rest of us.
Brightly written and powerfully researched, Freeland’s Plutocrats will be a lightning rod event in the midst of the US election season.