Debtonator: How Debt Favours the Few and Equity Can Work For All of US
By: Andrew McNally
We are all swamped in debt. Households, corporations, governments… debt has become so ingrained in our culture, it is an unquestioned fact of life. However, there is another way of bankrolling our economic future, one that could lead to a much fairer society: equity
There is increasing evidence that over reliance on debt finance is damaging both business and society. Debt leaves control and ownership in the hands of too few: it is a direct source of extreme inequality. Equity finance can redress the balance; by broadening direct ownership of assets through equity, we can make everyone better off – not just the few. There is value in equity way beyond what financiers, economists, investment bankers and many corporate CEOs will tell you. It is the value of aligned interests, of trust and fairness, of optimism and patience, of stability and simplicity, of shared endeavour. Only when we unleash this value will economic democracy secure the political democracy that we cherish.
A brilliant analysis of current financial and social failures – why we must change the system before it’s too late
- Chris Gibson-Smith, Chairman of the London Stock Exchange
[McNally] contends that the advantage of debt over equity conferred by most tax systems (that offer tax relief on debt interest), as a result favouring corporate financiers, is not only hugely destabilising but another of the sources of wealth inequality seemingly hard-wired into our financial system…. So by incentivising debt over equity have we turned debt into not just a symptom of our system but one of its shaping forces? Indeed we have
- Merryn Somerset Webb, Financial Times
McNally advances a compelling argument for long lasting wealth creation through the use of equity as compared to the essentially nihilistic nature of debt. He uses some wonderful illustrations of how debt has got totally out of hand. I particularly liked his point that if you laid all of the world’s debt in dollar bills form end to end it would stretch from Earth to Mars and back 50 times!
Andrew McNally has produced a readable and admirably short book arguing in favour of a much greater use of the other sort of funding – equity. Debtonator: How Debt Favours the Few and Equity Can Work For All of Us goes beyond simply recommending lower leverage because it makes a financial system more robust. He believes that wider use of equity is a path to greater prosperity for the many, not just the few
- Simon Taylor, University Lecturer in Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School
McNally enjoys grappling with ideas without having to wear the straitjacket of ideology. He wants to create ‘new capital owners’ without ‘directly confiscating wealth from the existing ones’. His book is refreshingly free of graphs and equations. Instead, he uses robust and straightforward prose to make his case. It is hard to resist his conclusion that we should do everything in our power to make equity flow
In this short book, the author pulls no punches about the level and consequences of the ever growing debt- mountain
- The Chartist