Bloomberg Businessweek

The Tarnished Age

For years, Donald Trump saw running for president as a moneymaking opportunity. And then he won

Mark Twain published The Gilded Age, his tour of unbridled avarice and unchecked political corruption, 145 years ago. A central character in the novel is a young woman who fashions herself as a Washington lobbyist to promote her family’s financial interests. Her efforts anchor a satirical, caustic work that defined an era and was laced with pointed warnings that are still relevant today. “No country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law, and that the law officers are only machinery for its execution, nothing more,” Twain wrote.

In other words, what really matters is whether the government works for the people or for those running it. Amid the fervor of daily scandal seeping from the White House—Bob Woodward’s Fear and an anonymous New York Times op-ed being the latest catalysts—it’s easy to overlook how President Trump and his team make for an unusually conflicted bunch. They successfully campaigned for the highest office in the land while happily maintaining business ties and

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek4 min read
Dethroning the U.K.’s King of Retail
Since June, Sir Philip Green, Britain’s so-called king of retail, has been mostly ensconced on his $100 million yacht, Lionheart, off the coast of Monaco. Apart from a game of pingpong on the deck with an unlikely companion—Portuguese soccer star Cri
Bloomberg Businessweek5 min read
The Strongest Yard
Want to fix your swing? Sea Island resort’s new performance center wants to fix your body first.
Bloomberg Businessweek3 min readPolitics
Hong Kong Protesters’ Biggest Demand Is Democracy
As protesters stormed Hong Kong’s legislature on July 1, a masked young man held up a megaphone at the front of the chamber and declared: “I want genuine universal suffrage!” The demand was part of a list read aloud in the ransacked council room and