May 15, 2023

The Code of Capital

Katharina Pistor
Reid Hall | 4, rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris
Free and open to the public

A compelling explanation of how the law shapes the distribution of wealth from Columbia Professor Katharina Pistor. The French translation, Le Code du capital, was published by Seuil in March 2023.

Capital is the defining feature of modern economies, yet most people have no idea where it actually comes from. What is it, exactly, that transforms mere wealth into an asset that automatically creates more wealth? The Code of Capital explains how capital is created behind closed doors in the offices of private attorneys, and why this little-known fact is one of the biggest reasons for the widening wealth gap between the holders of capital and everybody else.

In this revealing book, Katharina Pistor argues that the law selectively “codes” certain assets, endowing them with the capacity to protect and produce private wealth. With the right legal coding, any object, claim, or idea can be turned into capital—and lawyers are the keepers of the code. The Code of Capital was named one of the best books of 2019 by the Financial Times and Business Insider.

Read more about Katharina Pistor.

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