“In the nineteen-seventies, the balance of power began to shift from production to capital, and corporate America started to seem lumbering and inefficient. This shift was the business world’s version of the sixties—one (younger and impatient) group of politically conservative businesspeople challenging another (older and more traditional) group. The field of battle was not politics, culture, dress, or taste in music. It was the American corporation, and the consequences for the whole society were profound. The business sixties wound up rearranging most of the American economy. General Motors has fewer than half as many employees today as it did in 1955, and, among the American corporations that were great at mid-century, it’s hardly alone. George Romney was an organization man. Mitt Romney became a transaction man: someone who moves assets around with a speed and force that leaves many of the rest of us bewildered. The insurrection in business has profoundly affected the lives of most people who work, pay taxes, and get government benefits. It is the backdrop to this Presidential election.”
--Nicholas Lemann in his Oct. 1 New Yorker article “Transaction Man: Mormonism, private equity, and the making of a candidate.”
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