How Billionaires Are Remaking The World

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Billionaires. We’ll look at the super super rich, and their global shaping of our world.


It’s been great days for billionaires lately, all over the world.  Riches, up and up despite global economic troubles.  And with those riches, more and more political power.  It’s used in all kinds of ways.  The Koch brothers for conservative causes and fossil fuels.  Michael Bloomberg for gun control.  Sheldon Adelson for candidates of the Right and Israel.  Tom Steyer for the environment and against fossil fuels.  My guest today says billionaires’ interests are many but their power is an issue.  How we deal with it.  This hour, On Point:  billionaires, power and democracy.
- On Point


Darrell M. West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Author of "Billionaires: Reflections On The Upper Crust." (@darrwest)

From Tom's Reading List

Brookings Institution: U.S. Billionaires Political Power Index -

Charles & David Koch

Michael Bloomberg

Tom Steyer

Sheldon Adelson

George Soros"

CNNMoney: Billionaire boom: Where the money is now - "So who is your standard billionaire? According to the report, the typical billionaire has about $3.1 billion, is 63 years old, and did not reach the $1 billion threshold until their late 40s."

National Journal: Why One PAC Is Succeeding at Fighting Money in Politics Where Others Fell Short - "For all the spending and effort, however, overhauling campaign finance laws is an elusive, uphill battle. Raising funds and public outcry is challenging enough. But persuading a gridlocked Congress to pass sweeping reforms in just a few short years is a far more tenuous prospect. Lessig insists, however, that he will not be defeated by the 'politics of resignation.'"

Excerpt: "Billionaires" by Darrell M. West

Excerpt from "Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust" by Darrell M. West (Brookings Institution Press, September 2014)

Closing Segment on Russian Billionaire Under House Arrest

Jake Rudnitsky, Moscow correspondent for Bloomberg News. (@rudnit)

Bloomberg News: Russia Places Billionaire Evtushenkov Under House Arrest - "Billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov was placed under house arrest yesterday on suspicion of money laundering, making him the richest Russian to face criminal charges since Mikhail Khodorkovsky."

This program aired on September 18, 2014.


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