The Death of Capital: How Creative Policy Can Restore Stability by Michael E. Lewitt

The Death of Capital: How Creative Policy Can Restore Stability by Michael E. Lewitt
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The Death of Capital: How Creative Policy Can Restore Stability

by Michael E. Lewitt



Adobe E-Book 288 pages March 2010

In The Death of Capital, respected portfolio manager and longtime investment professional Michael Lewitt looks at how the U.S. economy has increasingly been dominated by short-term speculation rather than industrial expansion in recent years. These disastrous trends, described here as financialization, ignore the fact that capital itself is a highly unstable process rather than a fixed object or category. As a result of our failure to understand the true nature of capital, we have developed a financial and regulatory system that does exactly the opposite of what it should be doing¡ªfavoring obscurity over transparency and fomenting instability rather than growth. In explaining where we have gone wrong Lewitt pulls few punches in criticizing some of the counterproductive forces that have led to the death of capital¡ªincluding Wall Street practices such as private equity and derivatives trading¡ªwhich he views both as economically unproductive and morally misguided. Page by informative page, this timely guide:

Addresses "financialization" and its consequences, such as a weaker U.S. dollar, the destruction of American industries, and the loss of American economic and political influence

Explores the most important aspects of capital and capitalism through the prism of four of the world¡¯s great economic thinkers

Discusses how the legal system aided economic weakening by privileging short-term investment goals

Calls for politically controversial reforms such as stricter regulation of hedge funds and private equity firms, banning naked credit default swaps and Structured Investment

Vehicles, and principles-based reforms to improve systemic stability

Financial reform is needed to make sure capital does not die again. Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Death of Capital is not just a play-by-play of the recent financial crisis, but an original and passionate analysis of the trends that led to it and what can be done in a regulatory sense to address the problems.


Michael E. Lewitt is the President of Harch Capital Management, LLC and editor of the HCM Market Letter. He studied at Brown University, Yale University, and New York University School of Law. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Republic, Trusts & Estates, and the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.


Acknowledgments. Introduction: The 2008 Crisis ¨C Tragedy or Farce?

Chapter One: The Death of Capital.

Chapter Two: Capital Ideas.

Chapter Three: Empty Promises.

Chapter Four: Financialization.

Chapter Five: From Innovators to Undertakers.

Chapter Six: Welcome to Jurassic Park.

Chapter Seven: The Road to Hell.

Chapter Eight: Finance After Armageddon.

Conclusion: ¡°This Is Later¡±.



About the Author.