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Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, former Soviet republic Ukraine has struggled against its "giant neighbor to the north"--Russia-- to maintain its sovereignty. In early 2014 tensions turned to conflict as Vladimir Putin, determined to keep Ukraine from forging stronger ties with the West, seized Crimea and fomented conflict in eastern Ukraine. In the latest Brookings essay, Chrystia Freeland, a former Ukrainian-based reporter with strong family ties to the country, offers a personal reflection on the conflict and the sentiment of the Ukrainian people. She highlights the fact that despite historic, cultural, and linguistic ties between the two countries, Ukrainians stand defiant in their desire for independence.
Forget the 1% - it's time to get to grips with the 0. 1% . . . There has always been some gap between rich and poor, but it has never been wider - and now the rich are getting wealthier at such breakneck speed that the middle classes are being squeezed out. While the wealthiest 10% of Americans, for example, receive half the nation's income, the real money flows even higher up, in the top 0. 1%. As a transglobal class of highly successful professionals, these self-made oligarchs often have more in common with one another than with their own countrymen. But how is this happening, and who are the people making it happen? Chrystia Freeland, acclaimed business journalist and Global Editor-at-Large of Reuters, has unprecedented access to the richest and most successful people on the planet, from Davos to Dubai, and dissects their lives with intelligence, empathy and objectivity. Pacily written and powerfully researched, Plutocrats could not provide a more timely insight into the current state of Capitalism and its most wealthy players. 'A superb piece of reportage . . . a tremendous illumination' (New Statesman on Freeland's previous title, Sale of the Century)
In the last few decades what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Forget the 1%; it's the wealthiest .01% who are fast outpacing the rest of us. Today's colossal fortunes are amassed by the diligent toiling of smart, perceptive businessmen who see themselves as deserving victors in a cutthroat international competition. Cracking open this tight-knit world is Chrystia Freeland, an acclaimed business journalist. At ease in Davos or Dubai, Freeland has reported on the lives and minds of these new super-elites for nearly a decade. Grounding her interviews in the economics and history of modern capitalism, she provides examples of the new wealth and its consequences. She showcases the $3 million birthday party of a New York financier months before the financial meltdown; details the closed-door 2005 SEC meeting where the US government allowed investment banks to write their own regulatory laws; and tells how the Bank of Canada's Mark Carney became a key figure in the central battle between the plutocracy and the rest of us. Brightly written and powerfully researched, Freeland's Plutocrats will be a lightning rod event in the midst of the US election season.
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