A Rabble of Dead Money
By Charles R. Morris
The Great Crash of 1929 violently disrupted the United States' confident march toward becoming the world's superpower. The suddenness of the cataclysm and the long duration of the collapse scarred generations of Americans. A Rabble of Dead Money is a lucid and fast-paced account that pulls together the intricate threads of policy, ideology, international hatreds, and sheer cantankerousness that finally pushed the world economy over the brink.Award-winning writer Charles R. Morris anchors his narrative in America while fully sketching the poisonous political atmosphere of postwar Europe. 1920s America was the embodiment of the modern age-cars, electricity, credit, radio, movies. Breakneck growth presaged a serious recession by the decade's end, but not a depression. It took heroic financial mismanagement, a glut-induced global collapse in agricultural prices, and a self-inflicted crash in world trade to produce the Great Depression.Vividly told and deeply researched, A Rabble of Dead Money anatomizes history's greatest economic catastrophe-and draws its lessons for the present.
Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy
By Tim Harford
Based on the series produced for the BBC World ServiceWho thought up paper money? How did the contraceptive pill change the face of the legal profession? Why was the horse collar as important for human progress as the steam engine? How did the humble spreadsheet turn the world of finance upside-down?The world economy defies comprehension. A continuously-changing system of immense complexity, it offers over ten billion distinct products and services, doubles in size every fifteen years, and links almost every one of the planet's seven billion people. It delivers astonishing luxury to hundreds of millions. It also leaves hundreds of millions behind, puts tremendous strains on the ecosystem, and has an alarming habit of stalling. Nobody is in charge of it. Indeed, no individual understands more than a fraction of what's going on. How can we make sense of this bewildering system on which our lives depend?From the tally-stick to Bitcoin, the canal lock to the jumbo jet, each invention in Tim Harford's fascinating new book has its own curious, surprising and memorable story, a vignette against a grand backdrop. Step by step, readers will start to understand where we are, how we got here, and where we might be going next.Hidden connections will be laid bare: how the barcode undermined family corner shops; why the gramophone widened inequality; how barbed wire shaped America. We'll meet the characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, or were ruined by them. We'll trace the economic principles that help to explain their transformative effects. And we'll ask what lessons we can learn to make wise use of future inventions, in a world where the pace of innovation will only accelerate.
China's Great Wall of Debt
By Dinny McMahon
The world has long considered China a juggernaut of economic strength, but since the global financial crisis, the country's economy has ballooned in size, complexity, and risk. Once dominated by four state-owned banks, the nation's financial system is a tangle of shadow banking entities, informal financial institutions, and complex corporate funding arrangements that threaten growth, stability, and reform efforts. The country has accumulated so much debt so quickly that economists increasingly predict a financial crisis that could make 'Brexit' or Greece's economic ruin seem minor, and could undermine China's ascent as a superpower. Earlier this year, President Xi Jinping issued an urgent call for reform that gives the country until 2020 to transform its economy - a vaguely-defined objective that most economists agree is unrealistic. Whether or not China will be responsible for the next global recession, as some experts forecast, the fate of its economy will have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. Yet the inner workings of China's financial system are still very much a mystery to most outsiders. Now more than ever, as the country's slowing economy is being felt around the globe, it is essential to understand how China allowed its economy to become so mired in debt. China's Great Wall of Debt is a penetrating examination of the country's opaque financial system and the complex factors - demographic shifts; urbanization; industrialization; a pervasive over-reliance on debt-fueled investments - that have brought the country to the brink of crisis. Anchored by stories of China's cities and its people; from factory workers and displaced farmers to government officials and entrepreneurs, the narrative will take readers inside the country's ghost cities, zombie companies, start-ups, and regulatory institutions as McMahon explains how things got so bad, why fixing the problems is so hard, and what the economic outlook means for China and for the rest of us.
By Nomi Prins
From a former Wall Street insider and author of All the Presidents' Bankers, a searing exposé of the collusion between public and private banks as they seek to control global markets and dictate economic policyCentral banks and institutions like the IMF and the World Bank are overstepping the boundaries of their mandates by using the flow of money to control global markets and dictate economic policy both at the domestic and global level. These public institutions have become so dependent on funding from private banking and the revolving door between the two worlds is so smooth that public and private banks are effectively working toward the same goals.Packed with bold-faced names from the world of finance--from Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi, and Ben Bernanke to Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel--Collusion sheds a bright light on the dark conspiracies and unsavory connections between what is ostensibly private and public banking and how it affects us.
Great American Outpost
By Maya Rao
The word was that you could earn $17,000 a month in the Bakken Oilfield of North Dakota. So they flooded in: the profiteers, deadbeats, ex-cons, dreamers, and doers. And so too did Maya Rao, a journalist who embedded herself in the surreal new American frontier.With an eye for the dark, humorous, and absurd, Rao set out in steel-toed boots to chronicle the largest oil boom since the 1968 discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Businessmen turned up to restart their careers after bankruptcy or fraud allegations from the financial crisis. An ex-con found his niche as a YouTube celebrity exposing the underside of oilfield life. A high-rolling Englishman blew investors' money on $400 shots of cognac as authorities started to catch on that his housing developments were part of a worldwide Ponzi scheme.Part Barbara Ehrenreich, part Upton Sinclair, this is an on-the-ground narrative of capitalism and industrialization as a rural, insular community transformed into a colony of outsiders hustling for profit-a sobering exploration of twenty-first century America that reads like a frontier novel.
The Retreat of Western Liberalism
By Edward Luce
'A panorama of the unravelling world order as riveting as any beach read' New Yorker'Read this book: in the three hours it takes you will get a new, bracing and brilliant understanding of the dangers we in the democratic West now face. Luce is one of the smartest journalists working today, and his perceptions are priceless' Jane Mayer, staff writer on the New Yorker'No one was more prescient about the economic malaise and popular resentment that has hit the United States than Ed Luce in his previous book, Time to Start Thinking. His new book, Retreat of Western Liberalism, broadens that picture to cover the Western world. It is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of the waves of populism and nationalism we face today' Liaquat AhamedIn his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of American economic and geopolitical decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil.In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of democratic liberalism - of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's losers, and complacency about our system's durability - attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall, treated by the West as an absolute triumph over the East. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Luce contrasts Western democratic and economic ideals, which rest on an assumption of linear progress, with more cyclical views of economic strength - symbolized by the nineteenth-century fall and present-day rise of the Chinese and Indian economies - and with the dawn of a new multipolar age.Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the vast literature already available, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.
Fifty Million Rising
By Saadia Zahidi
While the news out of the Muslim world has been focused on the threat of extremism from ISIS and Al Qaeda, a quiet but powerful shift has been taking place among women. In the last 10 years alone, nearly 50 million Muslim women have entered the workforce, arming them with more purchasing and earning power and giving them greater autonomy. Saadia Zahidi, a Senior Director at the World Economic Forum, argues that these profound changes will not only empower women; they will also revolutionize and strengthen the economies of their countries. Zahidi documents this revolution through the stories of the remarkable women who are at the forefront of this shift, from McDonald's workers in Pakistan, to middle class software technicians in Egypt, to the heads of global Saudi conglomerates. Zahidi calculates that if female labor participation rose to Western levels, the GDP of many Middle East regions would spike dramatically.The implications are enormous. As businesses learn how to integrate the new female talent pool, their business models will need to adapt to accommodate their new consumers and their new talent. New businesses are already beginning to emerge that cater to women's purchasing power, creating new opportunities for female entrepreneurs, and growing the health, education, food, beverage, and retail sectors that are critical to a diversified, stable economy. At the same time, the new economic and social power of women will force the hands of politicians and policymakers who still consider women second class citizens. Many of these women face a backlash from conservative voices and even members of their families. But because this is an economic revolution, Zahidi argues that it will endure, overcoming cultural mores and forever remaking these societies in ways that we, too, can learn from.
By Evan Davis
'A Malcolm Gladwell-style social psychology/behavioural economics primer' Evening StandardLow-level dishonesty is rife everywhere, in the form of exaggeration, selective use of facts, economy with the truth, careful drafting - from Trump and the Brexit debate to companies that tell us 'your call is important to us'. How did we get to a place where bullshit is not just rife but apparently so effective that it's become the communications strategy of our times? This brilliantly insightful book steps inside the panoply of deception employed in all walks of life and assesses how it has come to this. It sets out the surprising logic which explains why bullshit is both pervasive and persistent. Why are company annual reports often nonsense? Why should you not trust estate agents? And above all, why has political campaigning become the art of stretching the truth? Drawing on behavioural science, economics, psychology and of course his knowledge of the media, Evan ends by providing readers with a tool-kit to handle the kinds of deceptions we encounter every day, and charts a route through the muddy waters of the post-truth age.
The Signals Are Talking
By Amy Webb
A Washington Post BestsellerWinner of the 2017 Axiom Business Book Award in Business TechnologyAmy Webb is a noted futurist who combines curiosity, skepticism, colorful storytelling, and deeply reported, real-world analysis in this essential book for understanding the future. The Signals Are Talking reveals a systemic way of evaluating new ideas bubbling up on the horizon-distinguishing what is a real trend from the merely trendy. This book helps us hear which signals are talking sense, and which are simply nonsense, so that we might know today what developments-especially those seemingly random ideas at the fringe as they converge and begin to move toward the mainstream-that have long-term consequence for tomorrow.With the methodology developed in The Signals Are Talking, we learn how to think like a futurist and answer vitally important questions: How will a technology-like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, biohacking, bots, and the Internet of Things-affect us personally? How will it impact our businesses and workplaces? How will it eventually change the way we live, work, play, and think-and how should we prepare for it now?Most importantly, Webb persuasively shows that the future isn't something that happens to us passively. Instead, she allows us to see ahead so that we may forecast what's to come-challenging us to create our own preferred futures.
The Death of Holden
By Royce Kurmelovs
An extraordinary account of the impending closure of the Holden factory in Adelaide. More than the end of a business - it's the end of an era, of a story, and of a great Australian dream.When Holden signalled that it would close its Adelaide factory, it struck at the very heart of Australian identity. Holden is our car made on our shores. It's the choice of patriotic rev heads and suburban drivers alike. How could a car that was so beloved - and so popular - be so unprofitable to make?The story of the collapse of Holden is about the people who make and drive the cars; it's about sustaining industry in Australia; it's about communities of workers and what happens when the work dries up. And if it's not quite about the death of an icon - because Holdens will remain on Australian roads for a long time to come - then it's about what happens when an icon falls to its knees in front of a whole nation.This updated edition features a new chapter.'Brilliant and powerful' Nick Xenophon
By Denise Grover Swank
Matt Osborne had always planned to get married and have a family. But at thirty-four, he's no closer to his goal, so he's decided to embrace his role as the remaining member of the Bachelor Brotherhood. He's only loved one woman-his college sweetheart-but she never shared his dream of a family, preferring to focus on her career and maybe get married someday. With neither budged on their decisions, they agreed it was best to part ways. Now nearly twelve years later, Matt is stunned when Anna shows up at his nephew's soccer practice-with her five-year-old son in tow.Single mother Anna Field has returned home to care for her widowed and ill father. She never thought she'd run into Matt during the six months she's there, but now he's the coach of her son's soccer team. She'd move Toby to a different team, but his new best friend happens to be Matt's nephew, Ethan. As Anna and Matt spend more time together, the realize that their attraction-and love-are still there, just waiting for a spark to reignite. And once it's lit, Matt has no plans to let her go again.
The Old Man and the Knee
By Christopher Matthew
Although in his seventies, Christopher Matthew is convinced he is not yet old. No one one has ever stood up for him on a crowded bus or tube. He plays golf and walks the dog. He has all his own teeth, hair, and does not require a hearing aid. He is, in short, enjoying late middle age and is making the best of it while he still can. 'I know it can't last for ever, but while it does, it gives me the chance to look at life in the last lane, as I am now experiencing it, and to consider what might be to come.' Subjects range from what's the point of a grandparent; the perils and pleasures of replacing one's partner with a younger model; and acquiring new interests and hobbies (bridge? ocean cruising? ballet? marathon running?) to the arrival of old age and the last leg of all. How do we know when we are old? Does old age creep up slowly or arrive out of the blue? Will we be able to summon up some half-decent last words and what should they be? Witty, like Oscar Wilde's about the wallpaper, or helpful like the 1st Lord Grimthorpe's 'We are low on marmalade'?
Cut It Out
By Bryan 'The Brush' Burnsides
What do all despots and dictators across the ages have in common? Homicidal tendencies? Ruthless megalomania? A desire to enslave millions? Of course! They're not working for Médecins Sans Frontières? . . . but that isn't the whole story. It's all been foretold in the hair, baby.Combing through history, every badass from Genghis Khan to Donald Trump has clambered up the pole to ultimate power on the back of some of the most radical hairdos the world has seen. It's a proven scientific fact that the badder the dude, the bigger the rug statement and in Cut It Out we feature looks that will blow your stack and have you sprinting to the nearest salon to rock your locks.Award-winning stylist Bryan 'The Brush' Burnsides brings decades of prime salon experience to his definitive study of nifty trims for nasty guys.In Cut It Out Burnsides reveals just how the original 'dos were done and shares the intimate trade secrets of today's underground stylists, hell-bent on creating total retro-hair war. Dust off that Mao suit, slip on that armband and get ready for Big Bad Hair!Cut It Out is a spoof guide to the hairstyles of despots and dictators over the centuries that have determined how we view such despicable individuals. Utilising the language of the salon and contemporary hair and beauty trade publications, the book critically examines the hairstyles that are the ultimate definition of 'bad' (and badder) and offers a 'how-to' guide for those brave enough to copy the 'dos of the dastardly, the demonic and downright devious. From Genghis Khan to Grigori Rasputin via Donald Trump and Putin (taking in a few Nazis en route) Cut It Out is both a valuable historic document and outré-cool style guide to the world's most counter-intuitive crops.