The Problem of Twelve: When a Few Financial Institutions Control Everything

The Problem of Twelve

By John Coates. Calls attention to the situation when a small number of institutions acquire the means to exert outsized influence over the politics and economy of a nation. Specifically addresses the index funds of Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and BlackRock which control more than twenty percent of the votes of S&P 500 companies—a concentration of power that’s unprecedented in America. Also highlights the rise of private equity funds such as Apollo, Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR, which has amassed $2.7 trillion of assets, and are eroding the legitimacy and accountability of American capitalism, not by controlling public companies, but by taking them over entirely, and removing them from public discourse and public scrutiny. Argues that this quiet accumulation in the last few decades represents a dramatic transformation in how the American economy operates. Read more.