93 pages Publisher: Seuil (October 7 2005)
Modern capitalism is organized as a gigantic anonymous society. Basically, three hundred million shareholders control almost the entire global market capitalization. Often of mature age, 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 purpose 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, or even into golden slaves of shareholders, and pollute with greed the legitimate desire to undertake. 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 against-power over the world and its wealth.
Jean Peyrelevade was deputy director of the cabinet of Pierre Mauroy (1981-1983). He then presided over some of the largest financial institutions in our country (Suez, UAP, Crédit Lyonnais). Long economics professor at the Ecole Polytechnique, he has written several books on the evolution of contemporary capitalism.