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I read books and drink booze. It's a good life. I read and review a book every week. Check back on Mondays for the latest reviews. 

Capital Without Boarders

Capital Without Boarders

"Capital Without Borders" is a dull research report masquerading as an interesting book. Author Brook Harrington somehow managed to uncover the secret lives of the super-rich and make it absolutely boring.

Ms. Harrington infiltrates the secret world to Trust and Estate Planning specialists. This shady world of money managers is the grease in the wheels of the super-rich. Money managers have vast social networks to play matchmaker for business dealings. They also control the purse strings for wealthy families. To protect their clients they need to know the most intimate details. As Ms. Harrington notes the joke in the industry is that the average client is 55 with a wife, a kid and a mistress.

While the book contains a lot of great information about how money managers conduct legal tax evasion, it’s a snooze. If the author chooses a less formal tone for the book it could have been a smash hit. Chapters on how money managers write laws for small countries such as Jersey and the Cook Islands should have been fascinating. Instead, reading about the corporatization of small nations is like walking through a pool: crystal clear and exhausting.

I think “Capital Without Borders” contains amazing details about how the rich stay rich, I can’t recommend anyone read it. The author was a guest on NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast. (Link posted in the notes) Listen to the podcast instead of reading the book.

Understanding how our modern financial system works is critical to our individual survival. Most of us need to know how credit card interest compounds daily, or how our 401k grows over time. The super-rich have different money problems such as how to leave the most money to their kids. Laws are written by the people in power, for the people in power. Ms. Harrington makes it clear who is influencing these laws and why. Listen to her segment on the podcast and skip the book.

Capital without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent by Brooke Harrington
Published by Harvard University Press (September 12, 2016)
This book is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Capital-without-Borders-Managers-Percent/dp/0674743806

Hidden Brain podcast: https://www.npr.org/2018/02/19/586457604/whats-it-like-to-be-rich-ask-the-people-who-manage-billionaires-money

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