The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions
Over the last few decades, a secret army of tax attorneys, accountants, and wealth managers has emerged as a shadowy new partner to billionaires and multi-millionaires.
Some social scientists call them the wealth defense industry. They are paid millions to hide trillions for the richest 0.01 percent.
In this book, IPS inequality expert Chuck Collins interviews the leading players and gives a unique insider account of how this industry is creating and entrenching hereditary dynasties of wealth and power.
He exposes the inner workings of these “agents of inequality,” showing how they deploy anonymous shell companies, family offices, opaque trusts, and sham transactions to ensure the world’s richest pay next to no taxes. He ends by outlining a robust set of policies to shut down the wealth defense industry for good.
This shocking exposé of the insidious machinery of inequality is essential reading for anyone wanting the inside story of our age of plutocratic plunder and stashed cash.
News & Reviews
The New York Post: The Shocking Ways Billionaires, Highly Profitable Companies Hide Their Money
In this rave review, Larry Getlen lays out the most shocking statistics in Chuck’s new book, The Wealth Hoarders.
CBS MoneyWatch: Behind the Nation’s “Grotesque” Income Inequality: An Army of Wealth-Hiding Experts
CBS’s Aimee Picchi interviews Chuck about the widening gulf between the nation’s richest citizens and everyone else, fueled by an army of experts.
NPR: How COVID-19 Become a “Tremendous Windfall” for the Ultra Rich
Terry Gross interviews Chuck on billionaire wealth windfalls and pandemic profiteers on NPR’s Fresh Air.
Democracy Now!: Pandemic Profiteers: How U.S. Billionaires Like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Saw Wealth Grow by $1.3 Trillion
Amy Goodman interviews Chuck about billionaire wealth gains since the coronavirus shutdowns began in March of 2020.
“It is no great surprise anymore that we are facing the greatest crisis in income and wealth inequality that we have seen since the 1920s. What is shocking is the sprawling system of corruption that the ultra-rich have designed in order to hoard their unimaginable wealth at the expense of everyone else. Chuck’s book reveals not only the inner workings of this elaborate scheme to hide more than $20 trillion in wealth, it offers us a blueprint for reversing this obscene inequality so we can take back our democracy and ensure that our government works for everybody―not just the billionaire class and wealthy campaign contributors.”
– Senator Bernie Sanders
“Chuck’s painfully beautiful description of the Wealth Defense Industry lifts the veil to this intricate, maniacal ecosystem set in motion centuries ago and provides critical truths to help us all decolonize wealth.”
– Edgar Villanueva, Decolonizing Wealth
“The Wealth Hoarders reveals that a whole parallel world exists in which the rich and powerful enjoy the freedom to avoid not just taxes but all kinds of laws they find inconvenient.”
– Frederik Obermaier, The Panama Papers
“Chuck Collins shines a light on the powerful and pervasive ‘Wealth Defense Industry,’ showcasing what it is and how it is entrenched in the ‘ecosystems’ that perpetuate the growing and harmful inequality of our time.”
– Abby Maxman, President and CEO Oxfam America
“Skillfully blends personal narrative with social scientific research to create unique insights into a world of privilege that is ordinarily out of sight and out of mind for the rest of us.”
– Brooke Harrington, author, Capital without Borders
“This vital and expertly written book reveals the epic scale of theft occurring legally and in plain sight.”
– Dr. Wanda Wyporska, The Equality Trust, UK
“This book, a primer to the secrets of the money river, is an essential reformers’ handbook for navigating these dangerous times now facing us – and future generations.”
– Nicholas Shaxson, author, The Finance Curse and Treasure Islands
“Collins gives us a rare insider’s view of the hidden wealth of the 0.1% and how the Wealth Defense Industry maintains inequality.”
– Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Neighborhood Reinvestment Coalition of America
“Chuck Collins reveals how the superrich are different than the rest of us. While government takes out taxes before we get paid, the wealthiest avoid taxes with trusts, evade taxes with help from tax haven governments and escape the IRS because Congress hobbles tax law enforcement. Collins, who rejected the privilege of his birth, explains in plain English how wealth hoarding works and shows how we can stop this costly corruption.”
– David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch
“Once again, Chuck Collins proves that building a better world is well within our reach. There is more than enough money to fund the societal transformation needed for equity, well-being, and a safe climate. It’s just hiding in the wrong places. With The Wealth Hoarders, we now know where to look.”
– May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org
“Chuck Collins’ Wealth Hoarders provides an invaluable perspective on the Architecture of Inequality. Through personal insights and thoughtful research he documents the extraordinary sums of hidden money in financial secrecy jurisdictions. Most importantly, he sets forth a realistic blueprint for essential reforms that can inform our strategies and actions as we work towards real economic justice and security.”
– Conrad Martin, Executive Director, Fund for Constitutional Government.
“We won’t be able to effectively tax billionaires if they are hiding trillions in dynasty trusts. This useful book explains how to shut down the hidden wealth system in order to build a fairer tax system.”
– Frank Clemente, executive director, Americans for Tax Fairness
“Join inequality expert Chuck Collins in his riveting investigation of the secret world of the “Wealth Hoarders,” who are paid by the world’s richest people to protect private wealth. For years, I have used Collins’ books to teach my students about the hidden world of untouchable wealth, because nobody else writes so electrically and entertainingly about global plutocracy. In this book, Collins tracks down trillions of dollars that can be used to replenish our “common wealth” and solve our greatest justice crises.”
– Charles Derber, Professor of Sociology, Boston College, author of Moving Beyond Fear and Glorious Causes.
“We can’t have a fair tax system while millionaires and billionaires are hiding trillions of wealth in the shadows. This book is essential to fixing our broken tax system.”
– Erica Payne, cofounder and president, Patriotic Millionaires and author of Tax the Rich