SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE FINANCIAL TIMES*’Hard-hitting, well written and informative’ Martin Wolf, Financial TimesGlobal finance is a system that works for the few and against the many.We need finance – but when finance grows too big it becomes a curse. The City of London is the single biggest drain on our resources; it sucks talent out of every sphere, it siphons wealth and hoovers up government time. Yet to be ‘competitive’, we’re told we must turn a blind eye to money-laundering and appease big business with tax cuts. We are told global finance is about wealth creation; the reality is wealth extraction.Tracing the curse back through economic history, Shaxson uncovers how we got to this point. He exposes offshore tax havens; the uncontrolled growth of monopolies; the myths around the Celtic Tiger and its low corporate tax rate; the bizarre industry of wealth management; the destructive horrors of private equity; and the sinister ‘Competitiveness Agenda’.Nicholas Shaxson revealed the dark heart of tax havens long before the Panama and Paradise Papers. Now he tells the explosive story of how finance established a stranglehold on society and points us towards a way out. This is a book that none of us can afford to ignore.