Plutocrats

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

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.

Reviews

2013 Lionel Gelber Prize Winner
Winner of the National Business Book Award

Plutocrats takes a reflective, insightful and well-researched look at the economic disparity that has emerged between the ‘super rich’ - a small number of immensely wealthy people - and the rest of society.”
National Business Book Award

Plutocrats took the prize for its immediacy and authority about the future —the world that we must comprehend and hope to manage in radically new circumstances.”
—Lionel Gelber Prize Jury Chair William Thorsell
 
“Freeland explores consequent issues of equity and accountability with fluency and intimacy, capturing the human dimension of a powerful and disturbing phenomenon.”
—Lionel Gelber Prize jurors
 
“Chrystia Freeland is an example of the strength and creativity of Canada’s authors.”
—The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on the presentation of the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize
 
“If you want to understand the forces that are shaping democratic capitalism, I have a terrific book for you. It’s Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats, the winner of this year’s Lionel Gelber Prize for the best English-language book on international affairs… . Plutocrats is an intimate portrait of the world’s new super-elites.”
The Globe and Mail

Plutocrats isn’t a book about the lifestyles of the fabulously wealthy, but rather the global trends the book’s titular class surfed to success… . Rife with impressive analysis.”
The Observer

“Chrystia Freeland’s new book Plutocrats: the Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else throws a hand grenade into the (hopeful) belief that the economic system is just going through a bad patch… . Her message is both ground-breaking and chilling.”
Toronto Star

“The issue of rising inequality poses a threat to all economic systems but none more so than those anchored in the free market and democracy. Those who agree with this statement will not be able to put Chrystia Freeland’s book down once they have picked it up. For those who disagree, Plutocrats should be required reading.”
—The Right Honourable Paul Martin

“Ms. Freeland is a storied journalist and a superb raconteur. The book is a page-turner, equal parts voyeurism and analytic tour de force… . You may celebrate or disdain the Return of the Gilded Age, but Freeland meticulously lays bare the feedback loop between economics and politics that brought us here… . Reading [Plutocrats] is a bit like watching capitalism eat itself and wondering … will it all end with a Cheshire Cat’s smile?”
—Armine Yalnizyan