Bumper harvest of what to read in business
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'.