This piece takes a close look at top CEOs in the United Kingdom. CEOs are not only among the ranks of today’s super-rich, they have played a vital part in the evolution of an economic system that supports the super-rich generally. As the article argues, they have done this in two key ways: first, by promoting to news media and policy makers a set of financialized free-market ideas about managing the economy, and second, by managing large companies as financial assets for the benefit of financiers and the super-rich. In both ways, they have encouraged financialization and the funneling of capital away from the real economy and ordinary employees, and upward toward the super-rich. The article is based on thirty interviews with top UK business leaders, including twenty Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 CEOs, as well as other demographic and qualitative data.

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