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Innovation/Global Crisis Blog

Bad Times Means Great Books: Here are the Best!

By Shlomo Maital

   Bad (economic and financial) times inevitably bring a crop of great books, telling us why we got into a pickle and who is to blame.  Here is this year’s batch: The partial list of books nominated for the annual FT Goldman Sachs book award. 

  • Entrepreneurs:   No Angel, by Tom Bower (about Bernie Ecclestone, who built Formula 1 into a huge business empire);    Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, by Sylvia Nasar;  also,  Car Guys vs. Bean Counters, by Bob Lutz, about how the financial cost-cutters ruined America’s car industry. 
  • Global Crisis 2007-9:   Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG’s Corporate Suicide, by Roddy Boyd.  Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar, by Barry Eichengreen; Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk, by Satyajit Das; The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, by Diana Henriques; Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, by Margaret Heffernan;
  • Future Trends:  That Used to be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We can Come Back, by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum; The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World, by Michael Spence; Triumph of the City: How our Greatest Invention Makes us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healther and Happier, by Edward Glaeser;  The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World, by Daniel Yergin.   Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo.
  • Management:  Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters, by Richard Rumelt. 

I especially recommend the “future trends” books.  The books about the scoundrels who brought us the 2007-9 global crisis, which is now fast becoming the 2007 – no-end-in-sight global crisis,  will raise your blood pressure. 


Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
August 2011
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