The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality – Book Launch

Prof. Katharina Pistor

Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law

Columbia Law School

Book Launch

14 December 2020, 18:00 
The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality – Book Launch

Capital is the defining feature of modern economies, yet most people have no idea where it actually comes from. What is it, exactly, that transforms mere wealth into an asset that automatically creates more wealth? The Code of Capital explains how capital is created behind closed doors in the offices of private attorneys, and why this little-known fact is one of the biggest reasons for the widening wealth gap between the holders of capital and everybody else.

In this revealing book, Katharina Pistor argues that the law selectively “codes” certain assets, endowing them with the capacity to protect and produce private wealth. With the right legal coding, any object, claim, or idea can be turned into capital—and lawyers are the keepers of the code. Pistor describes how they pick and choose among different legal systems and legal devices for the ones that best serve their clients’ needs, and how techniques that were first perfected centuries ago to code landholdings as capital are being used today to code stocks, bonds, ideas, and even expectations—assets that exist only in law.




Prof. Hanoch Dagan, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics



Prof. Ron Harris, Tel Aviv University

Prof. Tsilly Dagan, Bar Ilan University

Prof. Roy Kreitner, Tel Aviv University


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