Makers and Takers Book Summary - Makers and Takers Book explained in key points
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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.

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    Makers and Takers
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    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.

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    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.

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    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:
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