Are there tangible benefits in flossing? Is it wrong to fake orgasms? What does the perfect online dating ad look like? Should we bother doing the ironing? Is it really impossible to buy the perfect Christmas gift? (Other than this book, of course.) Economists might not be the first people you would think of to give you advice on such diverse areas as parenting, the intricacies of etiquette or the dark arts of seduction. But for years bestselling author Tim Harford has been doing just that: answering the most challenging questions in his brilliant column, where he uses the tools of economics to give practical advice about everyday dilemmas, conundrums and concerns. From family rows and the stock market to buying socks or speed dating, you'll find within these pages a witty - and of course rational - explanation for almost everything you ever wanted to know about life.
From award-winning Financial Times journalist Gillian Tett, who enraged Wall Street leaders with her newsbreaking warnings of a crisis more than a year ahead of the curve, Fool's Gold tells the astonishing unknown story at the heart of the 2008 meltdown. Drawing on exclusive access to J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and a tightly bonded team of bankers known on Wall Street as the "Morgan Mafia," as well as in-depth interviews with dozens of other key players, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Tett brings to life in gripping detail how the Morgan team's bold ideas for a whole new kind of financial alchemy helped to ignite a revolution in banking, and how that revolution escalated wildly out of control. The deeply reported and lively narrative takes readers behind the scenes, to the inner sanctums of elite finance and to the secretive reaches of what came to be known as the "shadow banking" world. The story begins with the intense Morgan brainstorming session in 1994 beside a pool in Boca Raton, where the team cooked up a dazzling new idea for the exotic financial product known as credit derivatives. That idea would rip around the banking world, catapult Morgan to the top of the turbocharged derivatives trade, and fuel an extraordinary banking boom that seemed to have unleashed banks from ages-old constraints of risk. But when the Morgan team's derivatives dream collided with the housing boom, and was perverted -- through hubris, delusion, and sheer greed -- by titans of banking that included Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and the thundering herd at Merrill Lynch -- even as J.P. Morgan itself stayed well away from the risky concoctions others were peddling -- catastrophe followed. Tett's access to Dimon and the J.P. Morgan leaders who so skillfully steered their bank away from the wild excesses of others sheds invaluable light not only on the untold story of how they engineered their bank's escape from carnage but also on how possible it was for the larger banking world, regulators, and rating agencies to have spotted, and heeded, the terrible risks of a meltdown. A tale of blistering brilliance and willfully blind ambition, Fool's Gold is both a rare journey deep inside the arcane and wildly competitive world of high finance and a vital contribution to understanding how the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression was perpetrated.
In the still of a snow-covered morning in upstate New York, a girl out riding her horse is hit by a 40-ton truck. Though horribly injured, both thirteen-year-old Grace Maclean and her horse Pilgrim survive. But the impact on their lives is devastating.
Grace is the only child of prominent New York magazine editor, Annie Graves, and her lawyer husband Robert. In a way that none of them at first understands, their destiny comes to depend on Pilgrim's. So mutilated and traumatised is he that even the vet who saved him wishes he hadn't. Annie refuses to have him put down, sensing that if she does, something in Grace will die too.
Then Annie hears about a man called Tom Booker, a 'whisperer' who is said to have the gift of healing troubled horses. Abandoning her job, Annie sets off across the continent with Grace and Pilgrim to find him. Under the massive Montana sky, all their lives are changed for ever.
A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It?s our nature.
Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger. But more important, they?re enabling countless new tribes to be born?groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.
And so the key question: Who is going to lead us?
The Web can do amazing things, but it can?t provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals? people just like you who have passion about something. The explosion in tribes means that anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at her fingertips.
If you think leadership is for other people, think again?leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma leads a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, runs her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle. All they have in common is the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.
If you ignore this opportunity, you risk turning into a ?sheepwalker??someone who fights to protect the status quo at all costs, never asking if obedience is doing you (or your organization) any good. Sheepwalkers don?t do very well these days.
Tribes will make you think (really think) about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers. . . . It?s not easy, but it?s easier than you think.
The author describes his entrepreneurial experiences starting and developing a successful international travel adventure company, G Adventures, and discloses his unique management secrets that keep both customers and employees happy. Simultaneous.