The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism

John C. Bogle

View Inside Price: $18.00

November 27, 2006
288 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300119718

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There is no one better qualified to tell us about the failures of the American financial system and the grotesque abuses that have taken place in recent years than John Bogle, who as founder and former chief executive of the Vanguard mutual funds group has seen firsthand the innermost workings of the financial industry. A zealous advocate for the small investor for more than fifty years, Bogle has championed the restoration of integrity in industry practices. As an astute observer and commentator, he knows that a trustworthy business and financial complex is essential to America’s continuing leadership in the world and to social and economic progress at home.
This book tells not just a story about what went wrong but, more important, the story of why we lost our way and of how we can right our course. Bogle argues for a return to a governance structure in which owners’ capital that has been put at risk is used in their interests rather than in the interests of corporate and financial managers. Given that ownership is now consolidated in the hands of relatively few large mutual and pension funds, the specific reforms Bogle details in this book are essential as well as practical. Every investor, analyst, Wall-Streeter, policy maker, and businessperson should read this deeply informed book.

John C. Bogle is founder and former CEO of Vanguard mutual funds. In 2004, Time magazine named him one of the most influential people in the world. In 1999, Fortune magazine named him one of the four investment giants of the twentieth century.

“[Bogle’s] book is yet another important contribution in an illustrious career."—Arthur Levitt










"This is an important book for the post-Enron era. In his characteristic hard hitting style, one of the legends of the mutual fund industry presents an insider’s view of what’s wrong with corporate America and what can be done to improve it."—Burton G. Malkiel, Princeton University

Simply put, capitalism has too many characters and not enough men of character. When one of the few tells us that the system he loves is ailing, and how he'd fix it, we had best listen."—Cliff Asness Ph.D., Managing and Founding Principal, AQR Capital Management

"In his characteristic style, Bogle delivers strong medicine for what ails our capital markets and corporate governance framework. Not all will agree with everything that he has written, but they would be wise to take note, as his message is resounding and his proposals go to the heart of crucial debates about management, ownership, and value creation."— Devin Wenig, President, Business Divisions, Reuters Group

“Jack Bogle has written a brilliant and insightful book that highlights the many ways that our economy has suffered because managers have placed their own economic interests ahead of those of owners and investors. Bogle offers prescriptions that, if enacted, will help prevent a repeat of the scandals that we have witnessed over the past five years.”—Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General, New York

"John Bogle has written an insightful book with great historical and contemporary perspective. His analysis of what has gone wrong and what needs to be done should be required reading for students, financial practitioners, and official policymakers."—Henry Kaufman, President of Henry Kaufman and Company, Inc.

"Bogle describes the continuous struggle for control of our capitalistic system, the odds being heavily in favor of the managers.  Individual investors and beneficiaries remain helpless, intermediaries are passive or conflicted, and boards not yet effective.  You owe it to yourself to read this book and reflect on his call for further federal intervention to restore some balance."—Ira Millstein, Senior Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP  

"Once again Jack Bogle is the clearest and most courageous voice pointing out critical flaws in our governance and financial system but also showing in constructive, brilliant ways how to make the timely repairs. This book presents a rare blend of erudition, experience, and utility. It should be required reading for CEOs, public policy leaders, and MBA students—if not all informed investors."—Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale University

"In this tour de force, Bogle subjects corporate America to a forceful critique. Keen insights, rich experience, and moral courage shine throughout. Anyone interested in our corporate system should read this book, and those who do will never see corporate America the same again."—Lucian Bebchuk, Harvard University 

"This superb book should be a required reading for every business student in college. Like a fine surgeon, Jack Bogle dissects what is wrong with the capital markets from an investor’s view, and at the same time provides a well-reasoned cure."—Lynn Turner, Former Chief Accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

"Jack Bogle has done more to protect corporate shareholders from mounting abuses at the hands of greedy and negligent CEOs, directors, and money managers than anyone in America. The case he makes here is so powerful and well reasoned that our Washington politicians will be hard pressed to ignore it."—Mario Cuomo, 52nd Governor, New York State

"John Bogle has done more to help ordinary investors than any other person in America today. He continues his battle on behalf of shareholders with this impassioned new book. Every investor and every policy maker should read his ideas for reform."—Peter Fitzgerald, U.S. Senator for Illinois, Retired

"The American wage earners’ pension and 401(k) savings are now a major source of capital. Incredibly, although the source of capital is democratized, wealth is more concentrated. Jack Bogle finds this contradiction unacceptable and in this book shows us how to democratize the rewards of capitalism."—Ray Carey, author of Democratic Capitalism: The Way to a World of Peace and Plenty

"This book is a gift to the reading and investing public. Bogle uniquely understands mutual funds and everyone needs to listen when he warns of the deceptions that have plagued the industry. Investors will profit if they follow his simple straightforward advice."—Robert A.G. Monks, author of Corporate Governance

"Jack Bogle’s The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism is arguably the most important treatise on the bubble era. Policymakers, investment fiduciaries and individual investors should read and act upon Bogle’s prescriptions. The stakes are high: our collective financial souls."—Steve Galbraith, Limited Partner, Maverick Capital

"Jack Bogle says exactly what needs to be said, and he does it with gusto. His tales and lessons should be required reading for any business leader, plus they offer great insights for smart investors."—Walter Isaacson, The Aspen Institute

Selected for AAUP Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, 2006

Selected as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review

Named a Best Book of 2005 by Barron's.