The Elite Charade ofChanging the World
Allen Lane (£12.99)
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"Philanthrocapitalism" is the idea that, "by applying their moneymaking acumen to social investing," business leaders can help "rid the world of disease, want, exclusion and ignorance," says Edward Luce in the FT. Anand Giridharadas argues that this is a sham, a cover for dodging taxes or pushing causes dear to the hearts of the super-rich. Rather than benefiting society, "modern philanthropy largely reinforces the world as it is".
Giridharadas has "embedded himself in the world he writes about", says Joseph Stiglitz in The New York Times, and he avoids bombast to make a "tactful and subtle" argument. This allows him to present "a devastating portrait of a whole class, one easier to satirise than to reform". It's hard to disagree with his conclusion that "democracy and high levels of inequality of the kind that have come to characterise the US are simply incompatible".
His skewering of those who "exalt their own goodness while making money from dubious business practices" makes "for entertaining reading", says Bethany McLean in The Washington Post.
The problem is his solution. Giving more money to governments is something many readers "cynical about the private sector but also versed enough in history to be cynical about governments"might disagree with.
Listen to Merryn Somerset Webb in conversation with Anand Giridharadas on the MoneyWeek Podcast.
Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.
He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.
Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.
As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri
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