Monday, July 09, 2007

Read some good books recently, the sort of books one should chew on rather than gulp down.

- Man Behind the money
This is a biography of Alan Greenspan, lucidly written with lots of anecdotes about his Jazz days, association with Ayn Rand and the tumultuous times with the various Presidents, and how the cult of Greenspan came into vogue.

- Sumantra Ghoshal on Management
Consists of a collection of essays written by India's foremost Management Guru ( He had some resemblance with Satyajit Ray).
One controversial issue tackled well is as follows:

Milton friedman once said that "only social and moral responsibility of a business is to increase its profit" Ghoshal disagrees, he says it has given rise to asshole management (taking tough decisions and being ruthless). Economics and transaction cost theories have denuded managerial roles, they have made business reducible to a type of physics in which managerial actions are shaped by economic ,social , and pyschological laws, a sort of causal determinism.
He says management is more holistic in nature, and cannot be reduced to the level of a deterministic decision tree.

- Investment Biker, Jim Rogers
The book is about the world travels of investment maven Jim Rogers in his BMW bike along with his companion Tabitha. Jim describes his incredible adventures as he traverses more than 50 countries, and also comments on the economic and investment climates of these countries. A bit dated though as it is the early 90s. And "No" he doesnt travel through India.
Some of his predictions come true are those regarding China, Chile, Turkey etc. He is wrong about Ireland and East European countries as he was very pessimistic about them.

- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma
Though some may call it a spoon feeding and trivializing of philosophy, but the appeal of the book lies in its simplicity. Definitely worth a read, and if we can imbibe even a quarter of the learnings it will enrichen our lives.

- How To Have a Beautiful Mind, De Bono
Another common-sense book, on how we can better utilize our minds , to have more meaningful conversations, be more interesting persons, improve our creativity and tackle problems effectively.