The bestselling author of the acclaimed House of Cards and The Last Tycoons turns his spotlight on to Goldman Sachs and the controversy behind its success. From the outside, Goldman Sachs is a perfect company. The Goldman PR machine loudly declares it to be smarter, more ethical, and more profitable than all of its competitors. Behind closed doors, however, the firm constantly straddles the line between conflict of interest and legitimate deal making, wields significant influence over all levels of government, and upholds a culture of power struggles and toxic paranoia. And its clever bet against the mortgage market in 2007—unknown to its clients—may have made the financial ruin of the Great Recession worse. Money and Power reveals the internal schemes that have guided the bank from its founding through its remarkable windfall during the 2008 financial crisis. Through extensive research and interviews with the inside players, including current CEO Lloyd Blankfein, William Cohan constructs a nuanced, timely portrait of Goldman Sachs, the company that was too big—and too ruthless—to fail.
During the 1990s, the Thai provinces saw the rise of a frequently violent competition for business and political leadership. This examination of economic change focuses on this middle ground between metropolis and countryside, an arena being transformed by capitalist development.
A deeply reported, New York Times bestselling exposé of the money and the clerics-turned-financiers at the heart of the Vatican—the world’s biggest, most powerful religious institution—from an acclaimed journalist with “exhaustive research techniques” (The New York Times). From a master chronicler of legal and financial misconduct, a magnificent investigation nine years in the making, God’s Bankers traces the political intrigue of the Catholic Church in “a meticulous work that cracks wide open the Vatican’s legendary, enabling secrecy” (Kirkus Reviews). Decidedly not about faith, belief in God, or religious doctrine, this book is about the church’s accumulation of wealth and its byzantine financial entanglements across the world. Told through 200 years of prelates, bishops, cardinals, and the Popes who oversee it all, Gerald Posner uncovers an eyebrow-raising account of money and power in one of the world’s most influential organizations. God’s Bankers has it all: a revelatory and astounding saga marked by poisoned business titans, murdered prosecutors, and mysterious deaths written off as suicides; a carnival of characters from Popes and cardinals, financiers and mobsters, kings and prime ministers; and a set of moral and political circumstances that clarify not only the church’s aims and ambitions, but reflect the larger tensions of more recent history. And Posner even looks to the future to surmise if Pope Francis can succeed where all his predecessors failed: to overcome the resistance to change in the Vatican’s Machiavellian inner court and to rein in the excesses of its seemingly uncontrollable financial quagmire. “As exciting as a mystery thriller” (Providence Journal), this book reveals with extraordinary precision how the Vatican has evolved from a foundation of faith to a corporation of extreme wealth and power.
Rich or poor, we all face the problem of money. But is money chiefly a personal problem of how we manage our resources or a societal problem of how we organize the economy? Jacques Ellul exposes the folly of a purely societal approach -- whether communism, collectivism, socialism, or capitalism -- and argues for individual responsibility. Money, he says, is not neutral, somthing we can use as we like. Instead it is a powerful agent that sets itself against God's kingdom. Tracing the scriptural attitudes toward wealth from Old Testament sacramentalism through New Testament renunciation, he challenges Christians to live by the law of grace and not by the law of the marketplace.
Intimacy, choice, movement - these are the elements which make up the desirable lifestyle in the mainstream of affluent societies. They also undermine traditional forms of power and control. And they create a web of connections between individuals all over the world, which promises to be more flexible and less restrictive than any which have existed before. Bill Jordan sets out to explain the particular attractions of this vision of freedom, equality and harmony. He traces its appeal to a formula for human institutions which emerged with the birth of the social sciences. Sex, money and political authority glued together these changing accounts of the collective world. We are still seduced by the idea that personal autonomy and the moral sovereignty of individuals can make up a well-functioning social order. But, he argues, our present global institutions shut out the majority of the world's population, who are left to rely on quite different bonds, of blood, soil and faith. This book will be essential reading for students and scholars of sociology and social policy, as well as of the humanities in general. It will also be compelling reading for anyone who is interested in human relationships and modern society.
This groundbreaking study of coinage in early medieval England is the first to take account of the very significant additions to the corpus of southern English coins discovered in recent years and to situate this evidence within the wider historical context of Anglo-Saxon England and its continental neighbours. Its nine chapters integrate historical and numismatic research to explore who made early medieval coinage, who used it and why. The currency emerges as a significant resource accessible across society and, through analysis of its production, circulation and use, the author shows that control over coinage could be a major asset. This control was guided as much by ideology as by economics and embraced several levels of power, from kings down to individual craftsmen. Thematic in approach, this innovative book offers an engaging, wide-ranging account of Anglo-Saxon coinage as a unique and revealing gauge for the interaction of society, economy and government.
The Cold War was fought between “state socialism” and “the free market.” That fluctuating relationship between public power and private money continues today, unfolding in new and unforeseen ways during the economic crisis. Nine case studies -- from Southern Africa, South Asia, Brazil, and Atlantic Africa – examine economic life from the perspective of ordinary people in places that are normally marginal to global discourse, covering a range of class positions from the bottom to the top of society. The authors of these case studies examine people’s concrete economic activities and aspirations. By looking at how people insert themselves into the actual, unequal economy, they seek to reflect human unity and diversity more fully than the narrow vision of conventional economics.
The Prize recounts the panoramic history of oil -- and the struggle for wealth power that has always surrounded oil. This struggle has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, and transformed the destiny of men and nations. The Prize is as much a history of the twentieth century as of the oil industry itself. The canvas of this history is enormous -- from the drilling of the first well in Pennsylvania through two great world wars to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm. The cast extends from wildcatters and rogues to oil tycoons, and from Winston Churchill and Ibn Saud to George Bush and Saddam Hussein. The definitive work on the subject of oil and a major contribution to understanding our century, The Prize is a book of extraordinary breadth, riveting excitement -- and great importance.