Free doc ´ reader The Finance Curse ☆

kindle The Finance Curse

Free doc ´ reader The Finance Curse ☆ à For many years economists have noted how countries rich in natural resources often fail to benefit from their unearned wealth Indeed sometimes the discovery of oil and gas can seem like a curse than a blessingThe Finance Curse shows how countries with oversized financial sectors can suffeFor many years economists have noted how countries rich in natural resources often fail to benefit from their unearned wealth Indeed sometimes the discovery of oil and gas can seem like a curse than a blessingThe Finance Curse shows how countries with oversized f A bright light goes on while reading The Finance Curse Nicholas Shaxson connects a number of phenomena around the world that collectively oppress billions of people He likens it all to the petroleum curse where developing nations’ citizens end up worse off for the discovery of oil In this case it is big finance running amok Only this is global and far worseThe book documents the decline and fall of all but the 1% thanks to the race to the bottom the most commonly repeated phrase in it It works at all levels towns compete in a race to the bottom so do counties states and whole countries Everyone is afraid of being abandoned by companies seeking less taxation less regulation and power all in the name of competitiveness They are winning it everywhere – without becoming competitive The ones who suffer for it are the locals who are losing schools clinics clean water parks community everything so that business can be profitable There is no trickledown; it is all one way by designThe facts are stark The median American is actually poorer than median Italian Wages are stagnant savings less than minimal Outlooks are grim Hope is rare The reason is that nearly 23 trillion has been extracted Shaxson’s word and seuestered in offshore accountsOffshore is attractive is because of trusts By putting assets in trusts managed by lawyers neither the donor nor the inheritor can be called the owner So not only are they hidden but even upon discovery taxing and justice authorities are unable to seize them or tax anyone By this trick they exist outside the reach of any authority or law This massive moneypile does not contribute to the economies or the welfare of citizens or countries Rather its missing in action status is detrimental to the state of affairs in the countries it was removed from The 99% lower classes have to make up the difference in their taxesPossibly the most important chapter concerns Bretton Woods the postwar agreement that separated nations controlled finance and currencies and allowed everyone to grow Shaxson shows the greatest universal growth occurred in the fifties and sixties thanks to Bretton Woods “The countries participating in the Bretton Woods system would collectively enjoy the strongest most broad based and most crisis free expansion in history with growth running at nearly 4 percent in the advanced economies and 3 percent in developing nations than twice the rate that had been attained in a thousand years of history” But since then “Once this awesome intellectual land grab by corporate and financial interests began to enter mainstream politics in the late 1970s it would lead inevitably to corruption oligarchy bank bailouts and the growth of international organized crime” he says The finance business is all about wealth extraction not wealth creation The shenanigans are legendary The current madness on Wall Street is share buybacks Analysts are actually insistent that companies spend every dollar they can buying back their own shares rather than investing in upgrades or expansion Shaxson uses the example of the venerable IBM a company currently valued at 100 billion It has spent 160 billion buying back its own shares rather than investing in itself The return is rather obviously not so great Similarly the Trump tax cut has not resulted in general betterment as promised Worker salaries have risen by 7 billion it is true but companies have also spent 850 billion buying back their own shares with little to show for itShaxson has not a single good word for London It is the sleaze capital of the world the home of all shady and underhanded schemes and scams The USA ie Wall Street is in a constant race to the bottom with London to attract financial firms The result is near anarchy Little oversight no prosecutions and freedom of movement for cash mean all kinds of dirty money floods in to be laundered and made legitimate The situation encourages criminality and rewards it handsomely Scammers can fly in in the morning and be in business by the afternoon he says As Americans saw in the financial crisis bankers are above the law and will not be jailed or sanctioned personally no matter how many lives they destroy in their endless uest to hoard money The UK imposed no fines whatsoever for the financial crisis though American authorities have fined several British firms London is Shaxson’s poster child for what is wrong with the worldIt is all supposedly about competitiveness but it really about hoarding cash He uotes Paul Krugman as early as 1994 “A government wedded to the ideology of competitiveness is as unlikely to make good economic policy as a government committed to creationism is to make good scientific policy”He tackles situations like the Celtic Tiger period when the Irish economy soared – right into the pockets of Charles Haughey the prime minister But Ireland is no worse than USA the biggest tax haven in the world States like Delaware and Nevada collect companies like trading cards as they continue to offer protection less and less regulation less prosecution and less taxation Shaxson also exposes the lengths and depths of private euity the new name for the disgraced LBO Leveraged BuyOut firms In this case vulture capital buys up a company with the company’s own money so the buyers can’t be taxed raised by asset sales and massive debt offerings It then gets its money back by paying itself huge dividends strips out any saleable assets like intellectual property and closes the remaining shell throwing hundreds or thousands out of work but profiting handsomely for its trivial risk This is currently the sad fate of almost the entire newspaper industry Shaxson shows closely examining a key player in the destruction of value in local journalismThere is a fascinating portrait of Iowa in which Big Ag has taken over farmers as if they were sharecroppers They provide the raw materials the financing the sales deals – and control everything so that the farmer is trapped into sticking with them because of the debt they incurred in signing up For example they get ten year contracts on sales of their pigs but 20 year debt on their facilities so they are frantic to re up lest they be shut down and lose everything At that point Big Ag lowers its prices for their pigs and imposes new restrictions on the trapped farmer Local banks and agencies all disappear as the Big Ag companies run Iowa operations remotely spending not a cent inside the state This is why Iowa is angryLaws covering these situations are ignored lessened or repealed Anything and everything must be made available for the smooth operation of big finance Shaxson focuses in particular on antitrust laws that gave governments the power to regulate industry and protect customers But no one fears antitrust any They just threaten to move Customers are just a cost of doing business Employees are a thorn in their sidesThe unusually excellent Conclusion alone is worth the price of admission Shaxson is clear and sharp in his criticism and his solutions US companies are already sitting on a 17T cash hoard – tax cuts will not stimulate investment by them and in fact investment is down despite the cuts and record low interest rates Importantly he says a tax is not a cost to an economy it is a transfer within it In other words taxes are a good thing not something to be jettisoned in the race to the bottom “There is no tradeoff between financial regulation and economic growth More democracy means economic prosperity” This of course flies in the face of everything we read see and hear in the news every day an indoctrination campaign to tranuilize the 99%The Finance Curse puts everything wrong with the political world into neat tidy perspective This is a rare book of substantive answers even if Shaxson’s disgust shows from time to time We now know the cause the effect and the solution Finance is by itself ruining the world That’s bigDavid Wineberg

Nicholas Shaxson ↠ The Finance Curse kindle

Inancial sectors can suffer a similar fate The easy money that comes from finance carries hidden costs in form of steepening ineuality political and intellectual corruption industrial stagnation and periodic crisis and collapseNicholas Shaxson the author of Treas The Finance Curse is the reason I will not achieve my 2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge of 200 books but it was worth it This is a very detailed review of the myriad ways the finance industry is undermining democracy good government and the economy It is a well known truism that resource dependent economies enrich those in power impoverish the rest and tend toward authoritarianism Russia and its oligarchy are a perfect example of a petrostate of corruption and authoritarian rule by corrupt leaders Nicholas Shaxson makes the argument that this happens in countries whose economices are dominated by finance as well and he proves his pointSo what happens to economies that become financialized The finance insurance and real estate economic sectors explode this is where finance happens not in manufacturing The point of finance becomes extracting value not creating it Companies are bought to take on debt have their assets stripped their employees laid off and then allowed to go bankrupt Asset mining is profitable than making things Worse the ideology of finance become internalized in the culture so people nod approvingly while their pockets are pickedShaxon meticulously documents how finance became such an international juggernaut and how it has completely gutted many industries shuttering newspapers and family farms along the way It seems they will roll through industry after industry cannibalizing the productive side of the economy to feed the greed of financiers whose hunger for wealth is infiniteI think The Finance Curse is one of those important books everyone who cares about democracy should read I also think few will invest the time I am a fast reader and it took me two weeks to read this While nearly a fourth of its 384 pages are footnotes the prose is dense with detail Then it is also so depressing that I had to put it down after each chapter to shake off the despairWhat makes it even despairing is that so little of the book is devoted to ways to address the plague of financialization and the suggestions are weak sauce Campaign finance reform is offered as this unversal panacea but fighting financialization reuires far than getting money out of politicsFinancialization is a cultural blight An entire section of every major newspaper devotes itself to the business of finance with the premise that what’s good for finance is good for the country There is no such attention for labor or industry Finance is the be all and end all of the economy The health of Wall Street is proof the economy is working even though wages are stagnant bankruptcies increase and homelessness is rampant How the country serves the needs of finance has become important than how it serves the people not just to the government but to the public Farmers who have declared bankruptcy still think the economy must be good because the Dow broke a new record Finance has not just captured the government and the economy it has captured the culture We need cultural weapons to fight a cultural cancerI received a copy of The Finance Curse from the publisher through EdelweissThe Finance Curse at Grove PressNicholas Shaxson on Twitterhttpstonstantweaderreviewswordpre

doc Ý The Finance Curse ↠ Nicholas Shaxson

The Finance CurseUre Islands and John Christensen the director of the Tax Justice Network explore this new paradox of plenty and show once and for all that there's no such thing as a free lunch and that those who believe the stories told by bankers are liable to end up on the men A good roundhouse kick on the triple woes of financialisation deregulation and tax havens and tax evasions in good company with and sometimes liberally repeating Shaxson's own Treasure Islands Oliver Bullough's Moneyland or Rana Foroohars Makers and TakersWhat I learned How big and corrosive tax evasion is That the deregulation of financial markets and creation of deregulated tax havens in British territories and tax avoiding trust funds interact and were both actively driven by the City of London against US resistanceThat the political rhetoric of a global competition between nations is economically nonsensical but expedient for national economic incumbents who use it to capture regulators and make national markets less competitive for themThe further the book goes on the it falls into a general anti capitalist critiueThe main thesis supposedly holding the book together is the titular finance curse The idea is plausible and has merit Like the resource curse of developing nations rich in natural resources a nation's financial industries can grow to a size where they hurt growth and innovation in other economic sectors and wellbeing across society as it captures regulators fosters corruption and absorbs talent capital and effort into its profit but not value generating activities The book even reports an estimate of how much the oversized financial sector of the UK has cost the country to the tune of several trillions of pounds as always assess the numbers and underlying assumptions for yourself But this nice idea then isn't really developed convincingly as a main thread of the book that necessitates and integrates all its other parts It's like a preface to an overall decent collection of chapters