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  • Published: 4 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473546936
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

The Finance Curse

How global finance is making us all poorer

An agenda-setting, campaigning book that shows how global finance is a system that works for the few and not the many.

This is a book that none of us can afford to ignore – an agenda-setting, campaigning investigation that shows how global finance works for the few and not the many.

** A Financial Times Book of the Year **
‘Essential reading’ YANIS VAROUFAKIS

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, sucking talent out of every sphere, siphoning wealth and hoovering 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.

Tracing the curse back through economic history, Nicholas Shaxson uncovers how we got to this point. Moving from offshore tax havens to the bizarre industry of wealth management, he tells the explosive story of how finance established a stranglehold on society – and reveals how we can begin to break free.

‘A radical, urgent and important manifesto for improving our country’
Oliver Bullough, Observer

‘Superbly written… A must-read’
Misha Glenny, author of McMafia

‘Hard-hitting, well written and informative’
Financial Times

  • Published: 4 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473546936
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

About the author

Nicholas Shaxson

Nicholas Shaxson is the author of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World and Poisoned Wells: the Dirty Politics of African Oil. He is a journalist, a campaigner and world expert on both tax havens and financial centres; and on the Resource Curse. His writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Financial Times, The Economist, The Economist Intelligence Unit, and many others. He is part of the organisation the Tax Justice Network.

Also by Nicholas Shaxson

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Praise for The Finance Curse

If you want to understand why walls of money can be bad for an economy like Britain’s, and what we should do about it, The Finance Curse is essential reading.


A powerful call to arms against a self-serving, over-bearing and growth-sapping global finance system.

Stewart Lansley, author of A Sharing Economy and The Cost of Inequality

This superbly written book shows definitively how global finance has been grossly mis-sold to us all. It’s a must-read for anyone who lives, works and spends in this country

MISHA GLENNY, author of McMafia

The book’s principle virtue springs from Shaxson’s skill in unpicking the complexity of the system and explaining it in layman’s terms… enlightening

Emma Duncan, The Times

A vital contribution to the debate on the future of capitalism and a riveting account of how we got where we are

Richard Brooks, author of Bean Counters

Eight years ago Nick Shaxson wrote one of the best books about modern finance… Now Shaxson is back, with something bigger to say… forensic accounting analysis, sharp reporting and interviews

John Arlidge, Sunday Times

Utterly convincing… The Finance Curse is a radical and important manifesto for improving Britain

Oliver Bullough, author of MONEYLAND

Searing… Shaxson has form on being prescient ... his ideas should not be dismissed lightly

Caroline Binham, Financial Times

Gripping . . . a superbly written overview

Times Literary Supplement



Nicholas Shaxson’s previous compelling work on tax havens makes him a brand you can trust if you like to purple with indignation at financial impropriety on the largest scale

Strong Words

This is a splendid polemic against modern finance, in general, and the City of London, in particular. It is hard-hitting, well written and informative. Instead of enabling productive investment, the predominant activity of contemporary finance is rent extraction. This comes in many different guises: modern finance does not only promote tax avoidance and evasion, but, argues Shaxson, enables gangsterism and corruption on an enormous scale. I fear he is right.

Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Through Shaxson’s journalistic, investigative and analytical mind, he holds a mirror up to us, exposing big data sets, offshore networks and the hidden extraction engines of private equity and hedge funds. He helps us broaden our minds to the subtle webs and cultural and materialistic engines which undermine liberal principles of freedom, democracy, fairness and equality.

Atul K. Shah, London School of Economics

An exceptional book

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