The Wealth HoardersHow Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions
The Wealth Hoarders
How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions
For decades, a secret army of tax attorneys, accountants and wealth managers has been developing into the shadowy Wealth Defence Industry. These ‘agents of inequality’ are paid millions to hide trillions for the richest 0.01%. 

In this book, inequality expert Chuck Collins, who himself inherited a fortune, interviews the leading players and gives a unique insider account of how this industry is doing everything it can to create and entrench 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, offshore accounts, opaque trusts, and sham transactions to ensure the world’s richest pay next to no tax. He ends by outlining a robust set of policies that democratic nations can implement to shut down the Wealth Defence 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.
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  • April 2021
  • 240 pages
  • 138 x 219 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509543489
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509543496
  • Open eBook $18.00
  • 9781509543502
Table of Contents
Table of contents:Acknowledgements

Foreword: Nicholas Shaxson

Prelude 1983: Discovering the Money River

Prelude 2004: The Blue Hippo Swindle

Prelude 2020: The Theft of Angola


Chapter 1: The High Cost of Hidden Wealth

Chapter 2: Who Are the Wealth Defenders?

Chapter 3: Tools in the Wealth Hiding Toolbox

Chapter 4: All in the Family Office

Chapter 5: The Wealth Hiding in Your Neighborhood

Chapter 6: Directly Engaging the Wealth Defense Industry

Chapter 7:  Solutions to Wealth Hiding

Conclusion: A Time for Bold Action

Epilogue: Grads, Don’t Work for the Billionaire Wealth Defense Industry

Reading and Resource List

About the Author
Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, where he directs the Program on Inequality and coedits His previous books include Born on Third Base and Wealth and Our Commonwealth (with Bill Gates Sr.)
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“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

“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

"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, Professor of Sociology at Dartmouth College. Author, Capital without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent

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. Accepting the existence this parallel world means putting democracy at risk.”
Frederik Obermaier, author of The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money

“This vital and expertly written book reveals the epic scale of theft occurring legally and in plain sight. Theft that destroys public services, removes access to housing and for which the poorest pay the highest price. The authors reveal how the fountain of wealth gushes ever upwards, we are all paying the price, some of us with our lives, as the wealth defence industry siphons off trillions. Chuck Collins is tireless in his determination to uncover the vicissitudes of the extremely wealthy. If you aren't already angry about inequality, then read this book. If you aren't angry enough to take action by the end of it, then you either work in the WDI or you are one of the 0.1 per cent.”
Dr. Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust, UK

“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, and that the COVID19 pandemic has further unveiled.  Collins brings his exceptional research, insights and experience to this informative piece that not only underscores the urgency for real systemic reform to reverse what can be an avoidable race-to-the-bottom, but helps unpack key leverage points for real change.”
Abby Maxman, President and CEO Oxfam 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,

“Collins gives us a rare insider’s view of the hidden wealth of the 0.1% and how the Wealth Defense Industry maintains inequality.  This helps explain how concentrated wealth results in mass asset poverty and the path to building an economy that builds wealth for all, not just the wealthy.”
Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Neighborhood Reinvestment Coalition of America

“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 theRich

“Everyone should read The Wealth Hoarders to understand the secret world of the super-rich.  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, author, Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance

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