93 pages Publisher: Seuil (October 7 2005)
Modern capitalism is organized like a gigantic limited company. Basically, three hundred million shareholders control almost all of the world's market capitalization. Often mature, of higher education, with a relatively high level of income, they entrust half of their financial assets to tens of thousands of managers on behalf of third parties whose sole aim is to enrich their constituents. The techniques to achieve this are based on the rules of “corporate governance” and lead to excessive profitability requirements. They transform business leaders into zealous servants, even golden slaves of shareholders, and pollute the legitimate will to undertake with pure greed. Thus capitalism is not only the unique model of organization of world economic life: it has become "total" in the sense that it reigns without sharing or counter-power over the world and its wealth.
Jean Peyrelevade was deputy director of Pierre Mauroy's cabinet (1981-1983). He then chaired some of the largest financial institutions in our country (Suez, UAP, Crédit Lyonnais). Long professor of economics at the Ecole Polytechnique, he has written several books on the evolution of contemporary capitalism.