For the past six years, columnist and assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar has explored the global economy for TIME from practically every angle. She has interviewed and profiled some of its most influential players–including CEOs like Mary Barra and Howard Schultz, investors Carl Icahn and Warren Buffett, and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. She has used her Curious Capitalist column to explore vital issues, from the impact of immigration reform to the prospects for the stock market and our retirement accounts. And she has ventured anywhere necessary to connect TIME’s readers with the real economy, whether that’s a production line in Schenectady, N.Y., shipping batteries around the world, or a Chicago high school where educators and business leaders are figuring out how to help young people prepare for the jobs of the future.
In between all of those, Rana has written a new book, Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business, from which this week’s cover story is adapted. She mounts a provocative argument: that capitalism has lost its way–and that it is in the interest of capitalists to lead the rescue party. Some of them already recognize the need, Rana says: “Many of the financiers who supported this book as sources came of age in an earlier time, when finance really was a helpmeet to business rather than the other way around.” Among the signs that worry her is a pullback in the research-and-development spending that is, as she puts it, the “seed corn” for future growth. In an election year when concerns about future prosperity are animating politics across the entire spectrum, her observations raise important questions for Wall Street and Main Street alike.
Nancy Gibbs, EDITOR
Back in TIME
July 14, 1975
TIME asked whether capitalism would last–and it has, at least long enough to be the subject of this week’s cover
SPEAKING OF SMITH
He gets credit for theories of capitalism, but Adam Smith didn’t use that word. He called it “natural order.”
• Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations was about to hit 200–and so was the U.S.
• America had the most powerful economy on the capitalist side of the Cold War world but was taking a hit from “stagflation.”
• Despite all that, TIME decided the system still stood “to prosper and spread.”
• Reporter-researcher Valerie Gerry said working on the story was a “crash course in all those people everybody quotes but nobody reads.”
Which gadgets have most changed our world? With that question in mind, TIME’s business and tech teams list the 50 most influential gadgets ever–including (clockwise from top left) the Apple iPod, Sony PlayStation, Polaroid camera, Magic Wand, Oculus Rift and IBM Selectric typewriter. Find them all at time.com/influential-gadgets
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This appears in the May 23, 2016 issue of TIME.