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Makers and Takers Audiobook

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business

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Publisher's Summary

Eight years on from the biggest market meltdown since the Great Depression, the key lessons of the crisis of 2008 still remain unlearned - and our financial system is just as vulnerable as ever. Many of us know that our government failed to fix the banking system after the subprime mortgage crisis. But what few of us realize is how the misguided financial practices and philosophies that nearly toppled the global financial system have come to infiltrate all American businesses, putting us on a collision course with another cataclysmic meltdown.

Drawing on in-depth reporting and exclusive interviews at the highest rungs of Wall Street and Washington, Time assistant managing editor and economic columnist Rana Foroohar shows how the "financialization of America" - the trend by which finance and its way of thinking have come to reign supreme - is perpetuating Wall Street's reign over Main Street, widening the gap between rich and poor, and threatening the future of the American dream.

Policy makers get caught up in the details of regulating "too big to fail" banks, but the problems in our market system go much broader and deeper than that. Consider that:

  • Thanks to 40 years of policy changes and bad decisions, only about 15 percent of all the money in our market system actually ends up in the real economy - the rest stays within the closed loop of finance itself.
  • The financial sector takes a quarter of all corporate profits in this country while creating only 4 percent of American jobs.
  • The tax code continues to favor debt over equity, making it easier for companies to hoard cash overseas rather than reinvest it on our shores.
  • Our biggest and most profitable corporations are investing more money in stock buybacks than in research and innovation.

And still the majority of the financial regulations promised after the 2008 meltdown have yet come to pass thanks to cozy relationships between our lawmakers and the country's wealthiest financiers.

Exploring these forces that have led American businesses to favor balancing-sheet engineering over the actual kind and the pursuit of short-term corporate profits over job creation, Foroohar shows how financialization has so gravely harmed our society and why reversing this trend is of grave importance to us all. Through colorful stories of both "Takers" and "Makers", she'll reveal how we change the system for a better and more sustainable shared economic future.

©2016 Rana Foroohar (P)2016 Random House Audio

What Members Say

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4.4 (180 )
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  •  
    Jared 06-14-16
    Jared 06-14-16
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    "Amazing"

    I've read and listened to a number of books on financial markets and the economy. I have never read or listened to a book that so astutely goes over all of the major important points on how our economy has become as rigged as it is.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Wadlinger 06-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent, well researched and well presented"

    This is an excellent book. It takes an incredibly complex storyline and simplifies it so we can understand The myriad contributors to our financial and societal challenges.

    I found myself looking forward to a summary of what could be done to solve these issues: summary that was provided in the last chapter. I wish the author had presented her recommendations in A more concise and concrete summary. Because we need concise and understandable solutions if we are going to have a chance of seeing them executed.

    Overall a great book

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew Green Brook, NJ, United States 06-17-16
    Drew Green Brook, NJ, United States 06-17-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Financialization is the new F word"

    If you can handle the truth, sit down, strap in and hold on. Rana's research is superseded only by the logical presentation of the facts -- truths that political spin doctors and private moneyed interests may take issue with -- that include clear cause/effect examples which contribute to the economic situation we face today.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chorbus 07-14-16
    chorbus 07-14-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Incredibly Insightful!"
    Would you listen to Makers and Takers again? Why?

    Yes, The narration was excellent and the story is insightful. Getting the inside scoop on these companies and banks is important because we never hear the truth. Its great to make lots of money but we can now see over the years which companies put the shareholders happiness over there customers, and how that has ultimately lead to there demise or just a crappy company that never grows or improves its products.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me upset that MOST of American business is more about pleasing shareholders rather than Innovation. When she starts off with the Tim Cook vs. Steve Jobs way of running a company I was hooked. I'm all for making profits and staying lean but not at the cost of Innovation, even in banking.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Cohn 07-05-16
    David Cohn 07-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A MUST READ!"

    This was a very easy to understand synopsis of our current financial situation as well as weaving research and history into the narrative of how our system became what it is today. If we are to survive as a democracy, we ALL need to understand what is happening with our economy and elect people who share that understanding so we can fix it for this and future generations. Should be required reading for all high schools so they can grasp the ideas of how an economy should work that is by, of, and for the people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Fernando Gainesville, FL, US 07-04-16
    Fernando Gainesville, FL, US 07-04-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Fantastic"

    Essential in my opinion to be a well-informed American. The book is never dull and its scope is very wide.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DC. 06-13-16
    DC. 06-13-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Great book and performance "

    Eye opening assessment of the post-2008 financial economy, and events that contributed to the collapse. It was very easy to listen to the performance despite it being relatively lengthy. A+

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 11-17-16
    James 11-17-16 Member Since 2015
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    "The Worst Read of the Year"
    What disappointed you about Makers and Takers?

    The book basically uses a lot of lies and misinformation to show that financialism read capitalism is bad, republicans are bad, making money is bad, etc. What I liked least about it was all the misinformation. There are so many half-truths. This was not a book written based on trying to figure out what effect finance has on the economy but rather a gathering of one sided opinions jammed together into a book regardless of fact. Outside of the pure misinformation there is also a lack of common sense in a lot of this book. A lot of, "what if private equity did this", comments. The reality is if you want to see what private equity will do look at incentives. The author, who at this point I think is a sociopath (telling lies to write a good book only to try to get famous), looks at a lot of examples in industry and doesn't tell the whole story. She rips apart Jack Welch without looking at the facts situations he was faced with during different times in his tenure. Also, she will point to something communistic that she likes and say, look, companies that did this grew 400% between 1950-1970. It's like no shit, everyone was growing during that time. Then she will use that against what she doesn't like and say, look companies that had a financial arm suffered between 1994-1999, duh! She makes arguments to support her theory based on boom economic times and during bust times brings up how poorly companies that try to stay viable do. What she doesn't talk about is during those bad times all the companies that would take her advice would go out of business. The only thing worthwhile in this book is some suggestions that could come out of Germany. My friends that are #1 selling authors tell me they read their Amazon comments, I told them even though I read 40+ books a year I never leave comments but for this book I had to. If you are reading this Rana, please never write another book again and move to France.


    Has Makers and Takers turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I hate the author for her success in spreading lies.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 11-02-16
    Eric 11-02-16
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    "Long and Painful"

    I like to finish what I start and this was difficult. I agree with the underlying premise of the book, and was deeply disappointed with the support provided. Far too often instead of using taxes, economics, or business which wouldn't have supported the authors suppositions well she just went to quote Elizabeth Warren. She also is very fond of the term Kafka esque.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Brenda Fujimoto 10-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "WOW! Informative"
    What did you love best about Makers and Takers?

    Everything you should know about Financialization is in this book. What an eye opener, I highly recommend reading it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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