Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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POSTPONED - Peter Goodman — Davos Man: How Billionaires Devoured the World

Friday, March 18, 2022

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

This talk has been postponed. New date TBA.

The history of the last half century in America, Europe, and other major economies is in large part the story of wealth flowing upward. The most affluent people emerged from capitalism's triumph in the Cold War to loot the peace, depriving governments of the resources needed to serve their people, and leaving them tragically unprepared for the worst pandemic in a century.

Drawing on decades of experience covering the global economy, award-winning journalist Peter S. Goodman profiles five representative ""Davos Men""–members of the billionaire class–chronicling how their shocking exploitation of the global pandemic has hastened a fifty-year trend of wealth centralization. Alongside this reporting, Goodman delivers textured portraits of those caught in Davos Man’s wake, including a former steelworker in the American Midwest, a Bangladeshi migrant in Qatar, a Seattle doctor on the front lines of the fight against COVID, blue-collar workers in the tenements of Buenos Aires, an African immigrant in Sweden, a textile manufacturer in Italy, an Amazon warehouse employee in New York City, and more.

Goodman’s rollicking and revelatory exposé of the global billionaire class reveals their hidden impact on nearly every aspect of modern society: widening wealth inequality, the rise of anti-democratic nationalism, the shrinking opportunity to earn a livable wage, the vulnerabilities of our health-care systems, access to affordable housing, unequal taxation, and even the quality of the shirt on your back. Meticulously reported yet compulsively readable, Davos Man is an essential read for anyone concerned about economic justice, the capacity of societies to grapple with their greatest challenges, and the sanctity of representative government. 

Meet the Author
Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance

Peter S. Goodman is the global economic correspondent for The New York Times, based in New York.

Over the course of three decades in journalism, Goodman has covered some of the most momentous economic transformations and upheavals – the global financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession, as the Times' national economic correspondent; the emergence of China into a global superpower as the Shanghai bureau chief for The Washington Post; the advent of the Web followed by the dot-com crash as a technology reporter for the Post, based in Washington. During a five year stint in London for the Times, he wrote about Brexit, the rise of right-wing populism in Europe, the crises in Turkey in Argentina, the endurance of economic apartheid in South Africa, the struggles of migrant workers in the Persian Gulf, the tragic failure of land reform in the Philippines, and the catastrophe of the coronavirus pandemic.