BOOK REVIEW | The Dirty Secrets of the Rich and Powerful

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Exposing the dark side of capitalism

By James-Brent Styan


In 2018, the world watched as 82 per cent of all wealth created was claimed by the top 1 per cent of the global population.

The bottom 50 per cent of humanity saw no increase at all. While one new billionaire was created every two days, one in every four South Africans were living on less than R18 per day – not enough to buy a loaf of bread.

How is this happening?

Inequality has always been part of the world we live in, but in the past twenty years the situation has worsened. We have seen the rise of mega corporations, where regional companies have become global players: power brokers that are richer and more powerful than most countries. This has seen businesses record ever-increasing profits while they pay ever-decreasing taxes.

In South Africa, millions of people depend on the services and products of mega corporations, but to what extent do these corporations influence and affect the lives of their consumers? What do these companies do with all the power that is in their hands?

In The Dirty Secrets of the Rich and Powerful, James-Brent Styan casts the spotlight on economic inequality and unpacks historical and ongoing business practices that have a real influence on people today. This book takes you right into the corridors of power and behind the closed doors of the boardrooms of the rich and powerful to show you how, and why, the status quo seems so unfair.

About the author

James-Brent Styan qualified as accountant in 2003 and did his articles at an auditing firm before becoming a financial journalist. He’s written for Finweek, Forbes Africa, Sake24, Fin24, Beeld and Die Burger and currently works as a communications practitioner.

James-Brent Styan is the best-selling author of Steinhoff: Inside SA’s Biggest Ever Corporate Crash.


  • PUBLISHER | Penguin Random House SA |
  • ISBN | 9781776096510 |
  • Recommended Retail Price | R290.00 |
  • Classification | Wealth |



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