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Genres Archives: Business & Economics

The Secret Club That Runs the World: Inside the Fraternity of Commodities Traders

The Secret Club That Runs the World
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The Secret Club That Runs the World

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Nestled deep in the towers of banking and finance are the commodities traders who spend their days gambling with oil, gold, and corn contracts. They’re highly-educated world travelers with a penchant for risk, and they’re here to bet big on the future of the raw materials that make our economies hum. They’re very wealthy, barely regulated, and can be a force for tremendous good—or ill.

In The Secret Club That Runs the World, Kate Kelly, the bestselling author of Street Fighters, shines light not just on the commodities market, but also on some of its key figures. Her characters include Pierre Andurand, a hedge-fund manager who generated the winningest annual performance ever for an oil trader in 2008, and Ivan Glasenberg, whose secretive Swiss commodities giant, Glencore, has been thrown into the spotlight.

Kelly paints a dramatic narrative of immense power in the hands of a few, and the so-far hapless efforts by the Obama Administration to rein in the cowboys.

Thirty Tomorrows: The Next Three Decades of Globalization, Demographics, and How We Will Live

Thirty Tomorrows
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Thirty Tomorrows

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“This book is a forecast.”

Over the next three decades, the aging populations in America, Europe, and Japan will begin to threaten our way of life. The ever-increasing pool of retirees will burden relatively diminished workforces, slowing the pace of growth and straining public and private finances. In stark contrast, the emerging economies—-India, Brazil, and China prominent among them—-enjoy the benefits of large, youthful, and eager workforces, and will do so for years to come. As seasoned economist Milton Ezrati argues, these differences will set the economic and financial tone for the next three decades or more.

But the author argues the future is nonetheless brighter than the media will have you believe. We can survive—-and even thrive—-in the face of challenges that force radical change on our workforce. America has the capacity to lead the globe in making needed reforms, including increasing the participation of women in the workplace, creating generally longer working lives, changing what and how economies produce, and much more.

Ezrati’s book will be a game changer for investors, owners of businesses both big and small, and for anyone else interested in what the future holds.

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline…and the Rise of a New Economy

The Myth of American Decline
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The Myth of American Decline

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Financial meltdown, a deep recession, and political polarization—combined with strong growth outside the United States—have led to a global bubble of pessimism surrounding America’s economic prospects. Bloated with debt, and outpaced by China and other emerging markets, the United States has been left for dead as an economic force. But in this time of grim predictions, Daniel Gross, Yahoo! financial columnist and author of Dumb Money, offers a refreshingly optimistic take on our nation’s economic prospects, examining the positive trends that point to a better, stronger future.

Widely respected for his Newsweek and Slate coverage of the crash and the recovery, Daniel Gross shows that much of the talk about decline is misplaced. In the wake of the crash, rather than accept the inevitability of a Japan-style lost decade, America’s businesses and institutions tapped into the very strengths that built the nation’s economy into a global powerhouse in the first place: speed, ingenuity, adaptability, pragmatism, entrepreneurship, and, most significant, an ability to engage with the world. As the United States wallowed in self-pity, the world continued to see promise in what America has to offer—buying exports, investing in the United States, and adopting American companies and business models as their own. Global growth, it turns out, is not a zero-sum game.

Better, Stronger, Faster is an account of the remarkable reconstruction and reorientation that started in March 2009, a period that Gross compares to March 1933—as both marked the start of unexpected recoveries. As the U.S. public sector undertook aggressive fiscal and monetary actions, the private sector sprang into action. Companies large and small restructured, tapped into long-dormant internal resources, and invested for growth, at home and abroad. Between 2009 and 2011, as Europe struggled with a cascade of crises, the U.S. got back on its feet—and began to run.

Through stories of innovative solutions devised by policy makers, businesses, investors, and consumers, Gross explains how America has the potential to emerge from this period, not as the unrivaled ruler of the global economy but as a healthier leader and an enabler of sustainable growth.