Makers and Takers

The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business
Narrated by: Rachel Fulginiti
Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: Money & Finance, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (421 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

 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 40 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. 

©2016 Rana Foroohar (P)2016 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Makers and Takers

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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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.


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Information and theme way too repetitive

I got the message but felt that the same lines and themes were repeated throughout the book. There was very little detailed evidence. The author made an assertion provided a thumbnail in terms of evidence and consequently undermined her hypothesis. Too bad because I agree with her contention. We have to get back to channeling the American spirit and making things. We also have to get rid of a tendency to focus on the short term. No where is this more evident in the unceasing cuts to education. If we want the US to maintain a dominant position in the world we need an educated work force that is literate, has an understanding of the world and is politically astute.

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Not completely factual

for some reason this author is attributing the 2007 crisis to how the Obama admin handled the situation. I am not sure why everyone is forgetting it actually occurred under the Bush administration. if you would like to read a great book about how this happened read To Big To Fail.

1 person found this helpful

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I Can't Sing Enough Praises About It

Rana Foroohar, who is an assistant managing editor at TIME and the magazine’s economics columnist, makes a compelling argument that Finance and NOT just poor economic theory is mostly to blame for our current economic problems. She makes the point that most economist (who were asleep at the switch during the 2008 financial meltdown) have very little academic training in finance, and haven't spent much time researching the economic impact the finance sector has on our economy. Starting with Presidents Carter through Obama, most Presidents have slowly deregulated the finance sector of our economy. She also argues that the Dodd-Frank law enacted after the 2008 financial meltdown made everyone feel a bit better, but didn't really change the way Wall Street or the Big Banks operate due to so many loop-holes written into the law (mostly by Wall Street lobbyist). This is a prime example of crony capitalism at work! Only by enacting new, stricter laws and regulations can America break the stranglehold Wall Street and the Big Banks have over our economy. Ms. Foroohar in the final chapter of her book gives a laundry list of suggestions to change things for the better. A similar argument was made during the Democratic primaries by Senator Bernie Sanders, and during the recent convention managed to get many of his ideas put into the Democratic platform, namely Wall Street reform.

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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.

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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.

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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 person found this helpful