The Financial Times Best Books of 2017: Business
Call Number: HD30.28.B575 2017
Fast/Forward paints the big picture of a new approach to strategy and provides the necessary playbook to make your company fit for the future. The leading companies of the past twenty years have all harnessed the power of information to gain competitive advantage. But as access to big data becomes ubiquitous, it can no longer guarantee a leg up. Fast/Forward makes the case that we are entering a new era in which firms that understand the limits of 1s and 0s will take the lead.
The Wisdom of Finance by
Call Number: HG101.D47 2017
Today, finance is shrouded in mystery for outsiders, while many insiders are uneasy with the disrepute of their profession. How can finance become more accessible and also recover its nobility? Harvard Business School professor Mihir Desai, in his "last lecture" to the graduating Harvard MBA class of 2015, took up the cause of restoring humanity to finance. With incisive wit and irony, his lecture drew upon a rich knowledge of literature, film, history, and philosophy to explain the inner workings of finance in a manner that has never been seen before. This book captures Desai's lucid exploration of the ideas of finance as seen through the unusual prism of the humanities. Through this novel, Desai shows that outsiders can access the underlying ideas easily and insiders can reacquaint themselves with the core humanity of their profession. In Desai's vision, the principles of finance also provide answers to critical questions in our lives. Among many surprising parallels, bankruptcy teaches us how to react to failure, the lessons of mergers apply to marriages, and the Capital Asset Pricing Model demonstrates the true value of relationships.
The Spider Network by
Call Number: HV6768.E67 2017
The Wall Street Journal's award-winning business reporter unveils the bizarre and sinister story of a math genius named Tom Hayes. A brilliant but troubled mathematician, he became the lynchpin of a shadowy team that used hook and crook to take over the process and set rates that made them a fortune, no matter the cost to others. Among the motley crew was a French trader nicknamed "Gollum"; the broker "Abbo," who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a Kazakh chicken farmer turned something short of financial whiz kid; an executive called "Clumpy" because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed "Big Nose." Eventually known as the "Spider Network," Hayes's circle generated untold riches --until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion. The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but a provocative examination of a financial system that was warped and shady throughout.
Call Number: (Weldon Stacks) HC108.J36G65 2017
Publication Date: 2017-04-18
A Washington Post reporter's intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors' assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin--Paul Ryan's hometown--and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class. This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory stills--but it's not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up. Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin where the nation's oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America's biggest political issues human. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it's so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class. For this is not just a Janesville story or a Midwestern story. It's an American story.
Black Edge: inside information, dirty money, and the quest to bring down the most wanted man on Wall Street by
Call Number: HG4930.K65 2017
The story of the billionaire trader Steven A. Cohen, the rise and fall of his hedge fund, SAC Capital, and the largest insider trading investigation in history. The rise over the last two decades of a powerful new class of billionaire financiers marks a singular shift in the American economic and political landscape. Through meticulous reporting and powerful storytelling, New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar shows how Steve Cohen became one of the richest and most influential figures in finance--and what happened when the Justice Department put him in its crosshairs. Cohen was one of the industry's greatest success stories. He mastered poker in high school, went off to Wharton, and in 1992 launched SAC Capital, which he built into a $15 billion empire, almost entirely on the basis of his wizardlike stock trading. On Wall Street, Cohen was revered as a genius. That image was shattered when SAC became the target of a sprawling, seven-year government investigation. Labeled by prosecutors as a "magnet for market cheaters" whose culture encouraged the relentless hunt for "edge"--and even "black edge," or inside information--SAC was ultimately indicted in connection with a vast insider trading scheme, even as Cohen himself was never charged. Black Edge offers a revelatory look at the gray zone in which so much of Wall Street functions, and a window into the transformation of the U.S. economy. It's a riveting, true-life legal thriller that takes readers inside the government's pursuit of Cohen and his employees, and raises urgent questions about the power and wealth of those who sit at the pinnacle of modern Wall Street.
The Golden Passport by
Call Number: (Weldon Stacks) HF1134.H4M43 2017
Publication Date: 2017-04-25
A riveting and timely intellectual history of one of our most important capitalist institutions, Harvard Business School, from the bestselling author of The Firm. With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Company. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner workings of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School. Harvard University occupies a unique place in the public's imagination, but HBS has arguably eclipsed its parent in terms of its influence on modern society. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. An HBS degree is, as the New York Times proclaimed in 1978, "the golden passport to life in the upper class." Those holding Harvard MBAs are near-guaranteed entrance into Western capitalism's most powerful realm--the corner office. Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and powerful force for almost a century. As McDonald explores these dynamics, he also reveals how, despite HBS's enormous success, it has failed with respect to the stated goal of its founders: "the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways." While HBS graduates tend to be very good at whatever they do, that is rarely the doing of good. At a time of pronounced economic disparity and political unrest, this hard-hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has a profound influence on the shape of our society and all our lives.
The One Device by
Call Number: QA76.8.I64M55 2017
Publication Date: 2017-06-20
Odds are that as you read this, an iPhone is within reach. But before Steve Jobs introduced us to "the one device," as he called it, a cell phone was merely what you used to make calls on the go. How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? Veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the inside story you won't hear from Cupertino-based on his exclusive interviews with the engineers, inventors, and developers who guided every stage of the iPhone's creation. This deep dive takes you from inside One Infinite Loop to 19th century France to WWII America, from the driest place on earth to a Kenyan pit of toxic e-waste, and even deep inside Shenzhen's notorious "suicide factories." It's a firsthand look at how the cutting-edge tech that makes the world work-touch screens, motion trackers, and even AI-made their way into our pockets. The One Device is a roadmap for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age, and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, ten years in the making, of the device that changed everything.
Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change by
Call Number: HD6060.5.U5P37 2017
Publication Date: 2017-09-19
In 2015, Ellen K. Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Her suit rocked the tech world--and exposed its toxic culture and its homogeneity. Her message overcame negative PR attacks that took aim at her professional conduct and her personal life, and she won widespread public support--Time hailed her as "the face of change." Though Pao lost her suit, she revolutionized the conversation at tech offices, in the media, and around the world. In Reset, she tells her full story for the first time. She earned multiple Ivy League degrees, worked at top startups, and in 2005 was recruited by Kleiner Perkins, arguably the world's leading venture capital firm at the time. In many ways, she did everything right, and yet she and other women and people of color were excluded from success--cut out of decisive meetings and email discussions, uninvited to CEO dinners and lavish networking trips, and had their work undercut or appropriated by male executives. It was time for a system reset. After Kleiner, Pao became CEO of reddit, where she took forceful action to change the status quo for the company and its product. She banned revenge porn and unauthorized nude photos--an action other large media sites later followed--and shut down parts of reddit over online harassment. She and seven other women tech leaders formed Project Include, an award-winning nonprofit for accelerating diversity and inclusion in tech. In her book, Pao shines a light on troubling issues that plague today's workplace and lays out practical, inspiring, and achievable goals for a better future. Ellen K. Pao's Reset is a rallying cry--the story of a whistleblower who aims to empower everyone struggling to be heard, in Silicon Valley and beyond.
A Man for All Markets: Beating the Odds, from Las Vegas to Wall Street by
Call Number: HG4928.5.T54A3 2017
In a remarkable career, Edward O. Thorp rose up from nothing to become a professor at MIT, invented card counting and the world's first wearable computer, beat the casinos of Las Vegas at blackjack and roulette, then became a bestselling author and a hedge fund heavyweight, ushering in a revolution on Wall Street. Now he shares his incredible life story for the first time, revealing how he made his fortune and giving advice to the next generation of investors. An intellectual thrill ride, replete with practical wisdom, A Man for All Markets is a scarcely imaginable tale of ludicrous success.
The Next Factory of the World by
Call Number: HD9737.A352S86 2017
Publication Date: 2017-11-07
China is now the biggest foreign player in Africa. It's Africa's largest trade partner, the largest infrastructure financier, and the fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment. Chinese entrepreneurs are flooding into the continent, investing in long-term assets such as factories and heavy equipment. Considering Africa's difficult history of colonialism, one might suspect that China's activity there is another instance of a foreign power exploiting resources. But as author Irene Yuan Sun vividly shows in this remarkable book, it is really a story about resilient Chinese entrepreneurs building in Africa what they so recently learned to build in China--a global manufacturing powerhouse. The fact that China sees Africa not for its poverty but for its potential wealth is a striking departure from the attitude of the West, particularly that of the United States. Despite fifty years of Western aid programs, Africa still has more people living in extreme poverty than any other region in the world. Those who are serious about raising living standards across the continent know that another strategy is needed. Chinese investment gives rise to a tantalizing possibility: that Africa can industrialize in the coming generation. With a manufacturing-led transformation, Africa would be following in the footsteps of the United States in the nineteenth century, Japan in the early twentieth, and the Asian Tigers in the late twentieth. Many may consider this an old-fashioned way to develop, but as Sun argues, it's the only one that's proven to raise living standards across entire societies in a lasting way. With fascinating and moving human stories along with incisive business and economic analysis, The Next Factory of the World will make you rethink both China's role in the world and Africa's future in the globalized economy.
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