Friday 21 July 2017

Bumper harvest of what to read in business

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

BUSINESS has never been so interesting or so relevant as it is today. This has lead to a bumper harvest of excellent books about the world of business both here and overseas.

Next week we will bring you a list of 10 Irish business books which are among the pick of 2010. This week, we include highlights from a list by Bloomberg art critic James Pressley on his favourite business books.



  • 'Adam Smith' by Nicholas Phillipson (Yale/Allen Lane). This "intellectual biography" documents how Smith's 'The Wealth of Nations' grew out of the Scottish Enlightenment.
  • 'Aftershock' by Robert B Reich (Knopf). The former US labour secretary explores how 30 years of growing income inequality helped bring on the Great Recession.
  • 'American Colossus' by HW Brands (Doubleday). A big, brash narrative history that shows how capitalism triumphed over democracy between 1865 and 1900.
  • 'The Big Short' by Michael Lewis (Norton/Allen Lane). The author of 'Liar's Poker' tells the story of a loner with a glass eye who shorted the subprime market.
  • 'Broke, USA' by Gary Rivlin (HarperBusiness). Rivlin, a tireless reporter, takes a queasy journey through what he calls "Poverty Inc" where the rich get richer by lending to the working poor.
  • 'Chasing Goldman Sachs' by Suzanne McGee (Crown Business). A disturbing account of how Goldman Sachs became a successful pied piper, luring rival banks down a path to destruction.
  • 'Crisis Economics' by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm (Penguin Press/Allen Lane). The prescient New York University professor explains why booms and busts occur.
  • 'Diary of a Very Bad Year' by Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager, n+1 and Keith Gessen (Harper Perennial). Gessen, a founding editor of literary magazine 'n+1', presents an arresting clutch of interviews that he says he conducted with an anonymous hedge-fund manager during the crisis.
  • 'The End of Wall Street' by Roger Lowenstein (Penguin Press). Lowenstein reports on what he calls "the mother of all bubbles".
  • 'The Facebook Effect' by David Kirkpatrick (Simon & Schuster). An engrossing and fair history of how Mark Zuckerberg built the social-networking website.
  • 'High Financier' by Niall Ferguson (Penguin Press/Allen Lane). The Harvard historian presents a fresh assessment of how and why Siegmund Warburg rose to fame in post-war London.
  • 'The Invisible Hands' by Steven Drobny (Wiley). The co-founder of Drobny Global Advisors frets that taxpayers may end up bailing out pension plans. He blames Harvard's class of '69.
  • 'No One Would Listen' by Harry Markopolos (Wiley). A first-person account of the struggle to convince the Securities and Exchange Commission that Bernard Madoff's returns were mathematically impossible.
  • 'The Quants' by Scott Patterson (Crown Business). A behind-the-scenes look at the turbulent lives of four quants, including Ken Griffin.
  • 'The Sugar King of Havana' by John Paul Rathbone (Penguin Press). An evocative mixture of history and memoir that traces the rise and fall of Cuban sugar magnate Julio Lobo.
  • 'The Zeroes' by Randall Lane (Portfolio). A farcical memoir of the financial bubble as seen by the creator of 'Trader Monthly' and 'Dealmaker'.

Irish Independent

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