libluv's review against another edition

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informative reflective slow-paced

4.0

tgestabrook's review against another edition

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3.0

An interesting look at the vast network of lackeys paid to make sure concentrations of private wealth are maintained throughout generations. I found the book to be a useful antidote to the notion that we can somehow tax away the power of the bourgeoisie, though Harrington herself seems unable to concieve of any more radical solution.

crispinsday's review against another edition

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4.0

1. Introduction
2. Wealth Management as a Profession
3. Client Relations
4. Tactics and Techniques of Wealth Management
5. Wealth Management and Inequality
6. Wealth Management and the State
7 Conclusion

The chapter headings are a more than usually useful guide to the shape of this book, which is a slightly odd duck, a combination of an academic sociological study about wealth managers and their clients and a how-it's-done guide to the various vehicles the rich use to avoid taxes, inheritance laws, debts etc. It succeeds at both, in my opinion. The examination of the profession of Wealth Management and of the psychology (and psychoses) of the extremely rich people wealth managers work for is insightful and filled with interesting anecdotes. The how-to guide is both fascinating and horrifying, and also very clearly written (it's not a how-to guide in the sense it tells you the mechanics of opening an offshore bank account, but it tells you a lot about the financial instruments used). For about 10 minutes, my memory being what it is, I understood the differences between and relative advantages of trusts vs foundations vs corporations and STAR vs VISTA. The book also doesn't shy away from discussing the morality of this wealth protection, while also doing its best to explain the anti-tax, anti-law, anti-state attitudes of many of the people involved (both the rich and the wealth managers who work for them). Not a fluffy read, but interesting.

gleegz's review against another edition

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4.0

Fuckin’ yikes. A thorough - and thoroughly depressing - study.

jhgraber's review against another edition

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5.0

Simultaneously informative and also infuriating. The author spends the first few chapters with an almost clinical description of the history and practices of wealth management before ending with a couple of chapters that lay bare the dangers that these practices pose to society as a whole.

laurac77's review against another edition

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4.0

Really interesting book, although I can see why it might not appeal to everyone. The author went to school to become a certified wealth manager, and while at school she interviewed other wealth managers about their experiences and learned about the profession in general. She was able to get information about the super-rich and their finances that wouldn't be available any other way: how they maintain their fortunes, how they view their status, how their fortunes interact with various governments and regulatory bodies.
For how interesting the material was, the book was rather dense. The author goes into lots of sociology descriptions of how wealthy people and wealth managers interact with each other and the outside world. Things are well-researched and there are many citations, and the material is definitely worth spending some time to read through. Just be aware it's not something that you can just finish in one sitting.
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