Synopses & Reviews
The last few years have shown how badly the financial services industry performs as a custodian of savings and pension funds. The “skimming” of US mutual funds, the see-saw of the stock markets and a string of business scandals from Enron to Parmalat have wiped billions from the savings of employees on both sides of the Atlantic. They have also exposed the absence of responsibility at the heart of what Robin Blackburn calls ‘grey capitalism.’
Here, Blackburn takes forward the argument of his acclaimed Banking on Death and explains why attempts to meet the costs of the ageing society through a proliferation of financial products are doomed to fail and have a host of unfortunate side-effects. In fact, ‘financial engineering,’ as it is called, has enabled corporations to escape taxation while allowing a new breed of chief executive to accumulate extravagant fortunes at the expense of shareholder and employee alike.
The author does not just expose problems, however; he also explores solutions. Blackburn identifies new sources of pension finance-especially ways of ensuring that corporations make a real contribution-and sketches the shape of a progressive and responsible pension fund regime, embracing all citizens and accountable to them.
"An impressive book ... Blackburn argues that the hard-won state systems and the private pensions that supplement them have come under threat." New Left Review
"A serious and finely argued attack on contemporary market fundamentalism in a vivid phrasemaking style, which is even entertaining when it is not depressing you with the facts." The Guardian
"An ambitious recasting of pensions strategy for an aging society." Gooran Therborn
A searing look at the fiscal crisis of an aging society, with radical new proposals.
A searing look at the fiscal crisis of an ageing society, corporate corruption, fund skimming and tax breaks, with new proposals for pension provision.
About the Author
Robin Blackburn is a Leverhulme research fellow based at the University of Essex in the UK. He taught as a visitor at the New School for Social Research in New York between 2001 and 2010. He is the author of many books, including The Making of New World Slavery and The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery.