As evidence of how nervous we are about global finance, James Rickards‘ book on the subject, released on November 15, has shot all the way to # 3 as a debut selection. News about this appeared in the Wall Street Journal Business Best-Seller Hardcover list, published on November 26-27, p. C14.
Rickards’ title is The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis (New York: Portfolio). The book is currently # 1 in three Business and Money categories on Amazon.com
This is not Rickards’ first book. As I both paraphrase and quote from his biography published on Amazon.com, he is the Editor of Strategic Intelligence, a financial newsletter, and Director of The James Rickards Project, an inquiry into the complex dynamics of geopolitics and global capital. He is the author of The New Case for Gold (April 2016), and two New York Times’ best-sellers, The Death of Money (2014), and Currency Wars (2011) published by Penguin Random House. “He is a portfolio manager, lawyer, and economist, and has held senior positions at Citibank, Long-Term Capital Management, and Caxton Associates. In 1998, he was the principal negotiator of the rescue of LTCM sponsored by the Federal Reserve. His clients include institutional investors and government directorates. He is an Op-Ed contributor to the Financial Times, Evening Standard, New York Times, and Washington Post, and has been interviewed on BBC, CNN, NPR, C- SPAN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox, and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rickards is a guest lecturer in globalization and finance at The Johns Hopkins University, The Kellogg School at Northwestern, and the School of Advanced International Studies.”
The essence of this book appears in a description on Amazon.com: “As Rickards shows in this frightening, meticulously researched book, governments around the world have no compunction about conspiring against their citizens. They will have stockpiled hard assets when stock exchanges are closed, ATMs shut down, money market funds frozen, asset managers instructed not to sell securities, negative interest rates imposed, and cash withdrawals denied.”
It remains to be seen whether we will present this book at an upcoming First Friday Book Synopsis. Part of this depends upon the critical reviews the book receives, and how well it performs on upcoming best-seller lists. But, there is little question that the book will continue to receive much attention over the next several months.
You may remember that two years ago, I presented a synopsis of Simon Sinek‘s best-seller, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (New York: Portfolio, 2014) . He is described as an optimist, and touts inspiration as his key deliverable in business. Sinek’s TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” is the third most-watched of all time, with nearly 29 million views. You can watch it by clicking HERE.
So, this weekend, his newest book released on September 13, has already cracked the business best-seller list. The book debuted at # 5, published by the Wall Street Journal (October 1-2, p. C16). It is entitled Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration (New York: Portfolio, 2016).
The book is already in the top 20 in three different business book categories according to Amazon.com. Here is how that site describes the book:
“Life is a series of choices. Do we go left or right? Jump forward or hold back?
“Sometimes our choices work out for the better…and sometimes they don’t. But there is one choice, regardless of every other decision, that profoundly affects how we feel about our journey: Do we go alone or do we go together?
“It is the courageous few who ask for help. It is the giving few willing to help others. We can all find the courage we need and know the joy of service – the minute we learn that together is better.
“Filled with inspiring quotes, this richly illustrated fable tells a delightful story of three kids who go on a journey to a new playground and take a stand for what they believe. The story is a metaphor for anyone looking to make a change or wondering how to pursue their dreams. And the message is simple: relationships – real, human relationships – really, really matter. The stronger our relationships, the stronger the bonds of trust and cooperation, the more we can accomplish and the more joy and fulfillment we get from our work and personal lives.
“The three heroes are archetypes who represent us all at various points in our lives. Their main challenge is the same one we face every day: How can we find the things we’re looking for? According to Sinek, if we each do our part to help advance a shared vision, we can build the world we imagine.
“In addition to the story itself, Sinek shares such profound lessons as:
· A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.
· Fight against something and we focus on the thing we hate. Fight for something and we focus on the thing we love.
· Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.
· A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him become stars.
“This book was designed to be given as a gift to someone you want to inspire, or to say thank you to someone who inspires you.”
We will wait and see if this becomes a book that we present at our First Friday Book Synopsis. As of this writing, it is not yet on the New York Times business best-seller list. And, I don’t like books that are based upon fables.
On Friday, I present a synopsis of Laura Vanderkam‘s best seller, “I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time” (Portfolio, 2015). The book is based upon time diaries of 1001 days, divided into 1/2-hour chunks, from 150 women who make at least $100,000 a year with at least one child under 18 who lives at home,
To register for the synopsis at the Park City Club on March 4 at 7:30 a.m., simply click here.
This week, I finished reading #GIRLBOSS (New York: Portfolio, 2014) by Sophia Amoruso, the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal. It remains a blockbuster business best-seller, with more than two months on all the major lists. Even today, it is # 7 on the Wall Street Journal hardcover business best-seller list, and #37 on the Amazon.com all-book types best-seller list.
I’m not a #, nor a girl, nor a boss, but I wouldn’t want to follow this anyway. I found it to be a tired rags-to-riches story, and the book is unprofessional, laced with vulgarity and profanity, even in chapter titles.
I am unimpressed with a story about someone who bucked authority while young, ate food out of dumpsters, ran away with and from weird boyfriends, refused to take prescription medicine for treatment, shoplifted strategically, among a host of other maladies in her background.
I am glad this all worked out for her, but it is hardly a model I would want anyone else to follow. I assume that by now, people buy this out of curiosity, as she has been the topic of many magazine articles, such as Inc., and Marie Claire, and the darling of numerous internet features and interviews. As a result of this type of coverage, the book has received much publicity.
The book does not offend me. But, I choose to be offended. It’s a free country. People can write what they want, and read what they want, and form their own views as they choose.
But, if this is how you get ahead, I want no part of it. It seems to me there are unique and even radical paths to success that don’t do it this way. Contrast this book with other radical approaches, such as Rules for Renegades. You quickly learn that you can be different without being offensive.
I doubt if I am alone. I perceived an astonished, rather than an appreciative or even understanding audience following its presentation at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas on July 11. When so many people asked me, “how did you select this book,” I got the sense that there was quite a bit of offense, even from an edited presentation.
The winner took the book home, but I would not have been surprised had she left it on our give-away table. And, I understand this post may sell a few more copies. Comments like these always inspire curiosity. But, if you buy it, and read it, ask yourself if this is really how you would like your daughter to be successful? And, would you trade less success in favor of a different path to get there?