#96: Space Dust

Matt Stoller has an excellent newsletter called Big about monopolies and market concentration. This week he summarized the history of private equity’s role in the American economy since the 1970s—a topic I’m more and more interested in—and supported my hunch that private equity is the secret reason why many good things have seemingly gotten worse over the past few decades. Stoller’s basic thesis is that private equity transforms corporations from institutions that make things and employ people into vehicles for extracting value, shifting that value toward a company’s owners, and then discarding whatever’s left. When you hear complaints about the “financialization” of American society, there’s a good chance that private equity is responsible for the most negative of those connotations. I collect examples of this: A private equity firm hilariously (but sadly)

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