The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer

by: Nicholas Shaxson (0)

An “artfully presented [and] engaging” look at the insidious effects of financialization on our lives and politics by the author of Treasure Islands (The Boston Globe).

How did
the banking sector grow from a supporter of business to the biggest business in the world? Financial journalist Nicholas Shaxson takes us on a terrifying journey through the world economy, exposing tax havens, monopolists, megabanks, private equity firms, Eurobond traders, lobbyists, and a menagerie of scoundrels quietly financializing our entire society, hurting both business and individuals.

Shaxson shows how we got here, telling the story of how finance re-engineered the global economic order in the last half-century, with the aim not of creating wealth but extracting it from the underlying economy. Under the twin gospels of “national competitiveness” and “shareholder value,” megabanks and financialized corporations have provoked a race to the bottom between states to provide the most subsidized environment for big business, encouraged a brain drain into finance, fostered instability and inequality, and turned a blind eye to the spoils of organized crime. From Ireland to Iowa, he shows the insidious effects of financialization on our politics and on communities who were promised paradise but got poverty wages instead.

We need a strong financial system—but when it grows too big it becomes a monster.
The Finance Curse is the explosive story of how finance got a stranglehold on society, and reveals how we might release ourselves from its grasp.

Revised with new chapters

“[Discusses] corrupt financiers in London and New York City, geographically obscure tax havens, the bizarre realm of wealth managers in South Dakota, a ravaged newspaper in New Jersey, and a shattered farm economy in Iowa . . . A vivid demonstration of how corruption and greed have become the main organizing principles in the finance industry.” —
Kirkus Reviews

The Reviews

Once again Nicholas Shaxon has written clearly and with some passion about global finance. He unwraps the murky business which is tax avoidance and its many dodges and shows that the City of London and its acolyte, Wall Street, work to influence legislators to dismantle sensible regulations, create favorable conditions for hiding and laundering money, and allow outright cheating by the biggest corporations and oligarchs. His conclusions should be read by all who vote. Now we know why the cards are stacked against regular people. This is global economics for all of us.

Easy to read and provides an excellent understanding of the negative side of the financial world and why it has been magnified in recent years.

Excellent book, but a little skimpy on solutions. Should be required reading for economics.

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 point.So 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 more profitable than making things. Worse, the ideology of finance become internalized in the culture, so people nod approvingly while their pockets are picked.Shaxon 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 infinite.I 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 despair.What makes it even more 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 requires far more than getting money out of politics.Financialization 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 more 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 cancer.I received a copy of The Finance Curse from the publisher through Edelweiss.The Finance Curse at Grove PressNicholas Shaxson on Twitter

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer by Nicholas Shaxson is about how the global Finance Industry is not helping us but making us poorer If you did not know about the greed in the industry , this is a shocker for you. he shows. The money laundering that goes on it so widespread that it makes you wonder who follows the laws and regulations. Nicholas Shaxson shows the stranglehold that the financial industry has on society. A solution in included which helps deal with all the bad. It is an interesting read that gets tough to handle but worthy the time and energy to read

Shocking how the uncontrolled greed of the heads of corporate banking, stock markets and the global financial industry are stealing the wealth and future of all.Our elected officials are complicit in the destruction. The policies and laws of the USA were once what kept global finance schemes in check, but no longer.What is revealed in this book is truly alarming and needs to be seen as a call to action because it affects every one of us now and all future generations.

Great information if you want to make sense of everything that's been happening.

When the Mars 2 Pro works, it boy does it ever do a great job! Expect failed prints, but when it works, the prints are amazing! There is a learning curve. You have to learn to follow their (sometimes shaky) instructions precisely. If you do, look at my picture. This what the printer can do, and it is amazing! Follow the instructions. Yes, they read like a Japanese stereo manual. They are a Japanese company, after all. They do have a library of videos to help you with problems. Part of the learning curve.Clean up after every print. Buy a few gallons of anhydrous alcohol (99% or better, available on Amazon, of course) for cleanup. REUSE YOUR ALCOHOL! Put it in a clear jar and leave it in the sun a day or two, or buy a curing chamber and do it the convenient (and slow) way.The printer died after 2 months. I had a rocky start with Support. The LCD died. When I replaced it (following their video exactly) after a few tries the new LCD works perfectly. There were other problems. Support tonight informed me they are shipping a replacement printer.I was using the printer to print fabulous items like pictures for my family. With the new printer I can finish printing them.Look at the three eggs in the picture. I printed 6 eggs on one build plate and the vehicles that fit into the eggs on another build plate. Three are pictured. They are TINY. The wheels turn. The ladder and backhoe arm are articulated, and they work! And every one fits precisely into their egg with literally no room to spare. That is just amazing. The tiny elf village, villainously painted by me, is intricate and superbly detailed. The Go Away Gnome, printed 2 to a build plate, will be great gag gifts for family and friends. The deer, poorly lit, are for my hunting friends, a guaranteed hit. The quality of the prints is obvious. The painting, well... Never tried it before. It shows.I found a few million printable objects on Thingiverse, my salvation since I don't know how to create things. I downloaded several hundred for christmas including everything in the picture. Load the STL file into Chitubox,load up the build plate with as many things as possible, then slice and save it and you're almost guaranteed a great print - most of the time. There is the aforementioned learning curve. Sometimes everything but a couple items print. I have not figured out why some items don't materialize. The Harry Potter chess set had 15 pieces on one build plate. 13 printed. Go figure.The machine is built like a Sherman Tank. Heavy. Solid. Getting inside to replace the LCD was a bit of a pain. However, if you precisely follow their instructions and pause the video at every step, it is still a pain, but it is very doable. Just be patient. REALLY patient!The Achilles' heel is the FTP, in my humble opinion. The ones that come installed on the tanks work great. They have play in them. So far I've wasted 7 FEP sheets trying to reproduce their results.HEY ELEGOO! SELL US YOUR FOAM PAD!!! PLEASE!!! THAT is the Achilles' heel. I have found it impossible to get the FEP right using their video and my approximations of the pad they use to make sure the FEP has play in it.Here's how this thing works: The build plate descends to a tiny fraction of an inch above the FEP, which lays flat on the LCD. A thin thin layer of resin remains between the build plate and the FEP. The UV light turns on for a programmed length of time. Then the build plate rises. IF YOUR FEP IS RIGHT, the printed layer is peeled up from the REP from the outside edge to the center of the print. If it ain't right, the sucker sticks TIGHT to the FEP, pulls off of the build plate instead, and you print a slug of resin in the rough outline of what you thought you were printing!Moral of the story? FEP RULES. Good FEP = Excellent prints. BAD FEP and you are sunk. I have so far bought two sets of two spare tanks so I at least have something that works. I truly hope they will sell their sponge pad because I can't afford to keep paying 25 bucks apiece for new tanks just to get working FEP. Argh squared and cubed!Here are the Pros:The Mars 2 Pro -CAN- product absolutely stunning 3D prints.It is a pretty machine. Really.It is SOLIDLY built.They provide everything you need with the printer (except the resin).Their resin works well.And the Cons:The printer is a bit tempermental.The documentation is written by the same guys that write Japanese stereo manuals.Prints -will- fail. There is as much art as there is practice in producing prints.Setup is a real pain.Full setup is required for EVERY print., a huge pain, but NECESSARY. Fill those build plates! Save LCD cycles!Cleanup is another real pain. Wear gloves. The resin is toxic. Clean up WELL. It matters.You have to do the full cleanup after every print.Elegoo Tech Support is super sparing on words. English isn't their language. Be patient.And the resin... Unlike FDM filament, the color pickings are slim. They ain't many, period. I have bought an acrylic dye kit. I will be experimenting with dyeing the white resin. One thing is for sure, you print in one color. Only. On that issue, FDM has resin printers beat, but the quality of the produced models is SO MUCH BETTER THAN FDM'S BEST that there just is no contest.The short of it? GREAT 3D prints ARE possible, even for neophytes like me. The devil is in the details. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS PRECISELY. Every time. I am very impressed with the performance and quality of this printer, and even more impressed with the gifts I made. I know they will be appreciated!And don't forget Thingiverse. What a wonderful FREE source for printable objects! Try it out. You will amaze your friends and family. Even more if you can paint worth a durn!

I am a former Anycubic loyalist, having just recently had a mishap that resulted in liquid resin leaking everywhere (entirely my own fault) and the Photon Mono 4K being put into the garage until I can disassemble it, fully clean it, and replaced the LCD (hard to source 4K Anycubic parts, unfortunately).When I noticed an Amazon Lightning Deal on the Mars 3 Pro for a rather deep discount and I decided to go for it. I am an avid Bolt Action miniatures wargamer being able to print spares, upgrades, and models that either aren't offered in the market or are prohibitively expensive, is important to me.Software and touch screen - The touch screen is NOT the best, but this is not a flagship smartphone we're talking about here. It is functional and "good enough." I also *really* like that the firmware supports folders on the USB drive. This allows me to separate my CTB files (more on Chitubox in a moment) into subjects, e.g., Bolt Action, Warhammer, Utility prints, etc. On the Anycubic I had to dump everything into the disk root and scroll through a massive list of files every time I wanted to do a print.Slicing software - I used Photon Workshop for my Anycubic resin printers from the start, going back to 2019 at this point. I was very used to that software and I wasn't overjoyed at having to switch to ChituBox, which I had previously tried and failed to love. But I don't really understand why, because within 30 minutes of using it for the Mars 3 Pro, I got the hang of it, and it does quite a few things much better than Photon Workshop (auto-supports are MUCH better, for starters). It is easy to rotate, move, and scale models.Printer - build quality seems good. No rattle-y, flimsy parts noticed so far. The power brick includes an extension cable (3', I believe) which is very nice (Anycubic was a massive wall wart with the prongs built-in so I had to supply my own 1' extension cable). The air filter is a NICE touch! I was skeptical at first. A literal brick of charcoal in a plastic enclosure with a USB-powered fan? But it actually seems to help with the odor! I am not particularly sensitive to smells, but I notice a difference. The dedicated USB port on the top of the printer for the air filter is also very nice.Print quality - right out of the box, I leveled the build plate (the included instructions miss a step but a quick search had me back on track), tightened the Allen bolts, and printed a Bolt Action model that I was missing from the previous Anycubic catastrophic failure (wheels and axles for a truck - I tried printing them with FDM and it came out awful). Absolutely no problems, and I did not even use supports, I just adhered the flat bottoms of the wheels and axles directly to the nicely-textured build plate. However, because they were stuck to the build plate, I made the mistake of using the metal putty knife to dislodge them. It immediately scraped off the texture of the plate (just a small area and I have subsequently done successful prints). So beware of that! Only use plastic tools on your build plate! With the Anycubic it was not sandblasted, it was just a brushed aluminum texture, so I used a metal blade with it all the time with no ill effects. If you do damage your Mars 3 Pro build plate, replacements are available on Amazon for less than $25 at time of writing this.Overall, I'm very pleased with Elegoo here! My neighbor has a Saturn, and he had a Mars 2 before that, and had a lot of problems. But as I get to know him better, it is clear that he is not very technically inclined. So I am not ready to blame Elegoo for his issues, frankly.In a nutshell (bit late for that haha!), I am surprised by how much I like the Elegoo Mars 3 Pro after having been a satisfied Anycubic (and only Anycubic) customer for the last 3 years (Photon S, Photon Mono 4K, Mega S, Vyper). But now I am planning to go for a Saturn S next instead of the Photon M3 Max.

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer
⭐ 4.7 💛 122
kindle: $4.79
paperback: $8.60
hardcover: $13.25
Buy the Book