SABEW’s Best in Business Book Awards Finalist
Wall Street Journal Bestseller
Pulitzer Prize–winning and New York Times bestselling financial journalist Gretchen Morgenson and financial policy analyst Joshua Rosner investigate the insidious world of private equity, revealing how it leeches profits from everyday Americans, tanks the companies it acquires, and puts our entire economic system at risk.
Much has been written about the widening gulf between rich and poor, the pernicious effects our deepening income inequality has on the US’s well-being, and how our style of capitalism has failed to provide a living wage for so many Americans. But nothing has fully detailed the crucial role a small cohort of elite financiers has played in this dispiriting outcome over the past thirty years. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Gretchen Morgenson, with coauthor Joshua Rosner, unmask the small group of celebrated Wall Street financiers, and their government enablers, who use excessive debt and dubious practices to undermine our nation’s economy for their own enrichment: private equity.
These Are the Plunderers lucidly and maddeningly traces the thirty-year history of corporate takeovers in America and private equity’s increasing dominance. Morgenson and Rosner investigate some of the biggest names in private equity, exposing how they buy companies, load them with debt, and then bleed them of assets and profits. All while prosecutors and regulators stand idle.
Morgenson and Rosner show how companies absorbed by private equity have worse outcomes for everyone but the financiers: employees are more likely to lose their jobs or their benefits; companies are more likely to go bankrupt; patients are more likely to have higher healthcare costs; residents of nursing homes are more likely to die; towns struggle when private equity buys the main businesses, crippling the local economy; and school teachers, firefighters, medical technicians, and other public workers are more likely to have lower returns on their pensions because of the fees private equity extracts from their investments. In other words: we are all worse off because of private equity.
These Are the Plunderers exposes the greed and pillaging in private equity, revealing the many ways these billionaires have bled our economy, and, in turn, us.