Makers and Takers Book Summary - Makers and Takers Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Makers and Takers summary

Rana Foroohar

The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business

4.1 (78 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

'Makers and Takers' by Rana Foroohar explains how, under the guise of innovation, Wall Street has rigged the financial system for its own benefit while leaving Main Street with the bill.

Table of Contents

    Makers and Takers
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Like the Great Depression, our own Great Recession was triggered by a flawed financial system.

    Americans who experienced the Great Depression of the 1930s probably felt a little déjà vu about the crash of 2008. Debt, credit and economic bubbles were instrumental in both financial crises. Just as in 2008, the Great Depression followed on from mounting debt and consumer credit.

    Debt, like credit card use, is a financial product. The more debt is issued, the larger the financial sector grows. When the author was writing Makers and Takers, the financial sector was the same size it had been just prior to the Great Depression – a size it has not reached at any other point in history.

    Credit is rampant today in the United States, just as it was in 1920s America. Back then, Americans used credit to gain access to around 75 percent of major household items. Before the Great Depression and our own Great Recession, credit was used to mask the severe income inequality that resulted from declining workers’ wages and the skyrocketing profits made by stock market investors.

    Finally, the years leading up to the 1929 financial crash were characterized by a steadily growing economic bubble. After the fall, the bankers weren’t held accountable – sound familiar?

    The 1920s bubble emerged after copper prices fell, and banks such as the National City Bank of New York sold stocks in copper mines, telling their oblivious customers that they were a prudent investment. This created the bubble that eventually triggered the 1929 stock market crash. While National City chairman Charles Mitchell was subjected to public shaming in Senate hearings, he returned to Wall Street soon after. In fact, he never spent a day in prison.

    The same goes for the bankers responsible for our financial crisis. Richard Fuld, former head of Lehman Brothers, continues to work in the financial sector at Matrix Advisors and Legend Securities.

    The similarities between both financial crises might leave you wondering whether we’ve learned anything from history at all. In the next blink, we’ll investigate how the American economy managed to take us back to the 1930s in 2008.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Makers and Takers?

    Key ideas in Makers and Takers

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Makers and Takers about?

    Makers and Takers (2016) investigates the role of finance in the 2008 crisis and subsequent recession. From the Great Depression onward, these blinks trace the history of loose regulation and blurred boundaries between commercial and investment banking, while highlighting the role of banks, businesses and politicians in the crisis. They also suggest actions the powerful can take to kickstart reform.

    Makers and Takers Review

    Makers and Takers (2016) by Rana Foroohar sheds light on the hidden dangers of our current financial system and how it has shaped our economy. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Highlighted by in-depth research and interviews, it reveals the true impact of Wall Street and big corporations on our economy, offering a fresh perspective on the financial landscape.
    • Foroohar's compelling analysis exposes the flaws of our current system, presenting thought-provoking ideas that challenge conventional wisdom.
    • The book provides a nuanced understanding of the complex world of finance, unraveling its inner workings and implications, making it an engaging and informative read.

    Best quote from Makers and Takers

    The scariest part of it all is that finance has yet to be properly regulated in the wake of the crisis.

    —Rana Foroohar
    example alt text

    Who should read Makers and Takers?

    • Readers curious about the historical background of the 2008 crisis
    • Students of economics and finance
    • Young couples, families and professionals considering their prospects for mortgages and pensions

    About the Author

    Rana Foroohar is a global economic analyst at CNN and a business columnist for Time magazine. She is also a frequent commentator for the BBC, NPR and CBS.

    Categories with Makers and Takers

    Book summaries like Makers and Takers

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Makers and Takers FAQs 

    What is the main message of Makers and Takers?

    The main message of Makers and Takers is to examine the role of finance and its impact on the economy.

    How long does it take to read Makers and Takers?

    The reading time for Makers and Takers varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Makers and Takers a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Makers and Takers is a thought-provoking book that sheds light on the financial system. It offers valuable insights and is definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of Makers and Takers?

    Rana Foroohar is the author of Makers and Takers.

    What to read after Makers and Takers?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Makers and Takers, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Only Game In Town by Mohamed A. El-Erian
    • Crashed by Adam Tooze
    • The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
    • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
    • Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
    • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
    • Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter
    • Adaptive Markets by Andrew W. Lo
    • The Age of AI by Henry Kissinger