By Alan Murray and David Meyer
May 17, 2019

Good morning.

Is capitalism in crisis?

That’s a question being asked more frequently these days as a result of rising inequality, growing sympathy for socialism among the young, the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party, capitalists-turned-Cassandras like Ray Dalio and Peter Georgescu, and a host of new books including Anand Ghiridharadas’ Winner Take All, Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism, and Raghuram Rajan’s The Third Pillar. This recent story in the Washington Post exemplifies the trend.

But most of the capitalists themselves are taking a more nuanced approach. In our annual survey of Fortune 500 CEOs, we asked the chiefs to say which of the following three statements they most agreed with:

–Capitalism is in crisis, and needs a major overhaul to better serve society.

Capitalism is not in crisis, but would benefit from some tweaking to better serve society.

Capitalism works just fine as it is.

Only 5% of those responding chose the first option. And 24% chose the last. The vast majority–71%–were in the middle category. It’s a problem, but the house isn’t on fire…yet.

My guess is we are still in the early innings of this ball game, and that those poll results will move north. As one CEO said to me recently: “We’ve got about 24 months to address this.” More than tweaks may be needed.

More news below. And don’t miss Beth Kowitt’s insightful look into Google’s civil war, out this morning here.

And if you are looking for a book to read this weekend, try the one most mentioned when we asked the CEOs to name the best they’ve read this year: Bad Blood.

Alan Murray


You May Like