From Publishers Weekly
Despite its inflated title, this volume is a worthy jeremiad against corporate excess, especially the kind hastened by the mutual fund industry that Bogle, former CEO of low-cost Vanguard, knows well. Among the problems: inflated executive compensation and creative accounting that allows companies to claim profits even when they're in the red. Mutual fund companies, Bogle charges, care more about short-term results than long-term value, and many of them gain profits for larger parent corporations by charging investors unnecessary fees that undermine the funds' net returns. To remedy such problems, Bogle writes, mutual fund owners and their fiduciaries must exercise the corporate responsibility they now shirk, and fund boards must be reshaped to serve the interests of shareholders. He advances in all seriousness Warren Buffett's once-joking idea for a high tax on short-term trading gains and calls for a federal commission to examine the way pension funds are managed, as well as the state of our retirement systems in general. While other recent books, such as David Swensen's Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment
, marry similar criticisms with more advice for individual investors, Bogle—a rock-ribbed Republican businessman—still deserves attention in the precincts of power. (Oct.)
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"If you read no other book the rest of the year, you must read The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism." Mike Clowes, Investment News "... exceptional both because of Bogle's standing and the insights he brings." David Lascelles, Financial World "When the writer is John C. Bogle, ignore the bombast and pay attention... Emboldened by the flood of scandals since the bubble burst, Bogle has written his broadest broadside yet." Peter Lattman, Forbes "Mr. Bogle tells it like it is, like it was and, most important, tells what needs to be done to restore the values of faith, integrity and trust that were once hallmarks of corporate America and the financial sectors." Wall Street Journal (Recommended Reading) "John Bogle has been making Wall Street a better place for decades. His book is yet another important contribution in an illustrious career." Jeff Madrick, New York Times Book Review"