SAM WILKIN    Book Number: 86425    Product format: Hardback

One of life's most enduring questions is "Why is it so hard to get rich?" Rich in this case being not merely comfortable, but money-to-burn type rich. Business economist Sam Wilkin shows us the reasons why. We live at a time in which one percent of the world's population own half its wealth, but at the top of that one percent, roughly 0.00001% is megarich territory, for want of a better word. Behind every mega-fortune is a "wealth secret", a remarkably common and precise moneymaking technique that involves defeating the forces of normal market competition or, in short, these guys do not play by the rules. This circumventing of the rules of competition comes in various guises. For example, in the 1st century BC Marcus Crassus, a not particularly successful general, turned his eye to politics and got himself the job of drawing up the list of those the Emperor wished to be rid of - he got rid of them all right, and pocketed their money! Once rich and protected he branched out into all kinds of business, all delightfully free of regulation thanks to his untouchable position. Those Wilkin calls the "Robber Barons", the US giants of the 19th century such as JP Morgan, Gould, Vanderbilt, Carnegie and Rockefeller were less brazen than Crassus, but with a mixture of shrewd business, politics, influence and good old bribery and corruption amassed fortunes that still have influence today. And what about the megarich of India? Wilkin's descriptions of their methods and life stories will astound you. Finally he turns his eye to the tech billionaires of Silicon Valley. Again, less blatant than their forerunners but by careful cultivation of political/business links and a veritable army of lawyers finding loopholes to take advantage of the US legal system, the end result is the same. Witty and highly provocative in the Freakonomics style. 423pp.
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ISBN 9780316378932
Browse these categories as well: Business & Computers, Modern History/Current Affairs

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