The American economy has changed dramatically over the last 35 years, and finance and wealth have been at the epicenter of that transformation.

Roosevelt’s work in this area explores how the explosive growth of the financial sector has increased inequality and hurt the overall economy, why wealth has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, and what can be done to reform Wall Street and rein in corporate excess and short-termism.

Key research topics include the meaning and consequences of financialization, a critically important but poorly understood series of changes in the rules that govern savings, power, wealth, and society; as well as an investigation of soaring CEO pay, a phenomenon that encourages executives to fixate on short-term stock prices, take extreme risks, and even commit fraud.

$334M

The total fees paid by the City of Los Angeles to banks in FY 2013

+

Financial reform is popular with voters

+

$2.3M

Amount Wall Street lobbyists spent per member of Congress in 2014.

+

Historically high payouts to shareholders drain resources away from productive investment such as expanding operations and hiring more employees.

+

Financialization is the growth of the financial sector, its increased power over the real economy, the explosion in the power of wealth, and the reduction of all of society to the realm of finance.

+

0%

Improvement in financial efficiency over the last 130 years.

+

30%

Share of all corporate profits that came from the financial sector In 2013, compared with just 10 percent in 1950.

+

Since the 1980s, shareholder payouts have nearly doubled.

+

$0.10

The amount of each borrowed dollar that corporations have invested since 1980, compared to 40 cents in the 1960s and 1970s.

+