Selected by Strategy+Business magazine as one of the best business books for 2009 in the Globalization category Selected by The 800-CEO-Read Business Book Awards of 2009 in the Biographies & Narratives category - short list Today, Robert P. Smith is a legend in the world of finance. Part adventurer and part economic warrior, this Indiana Jones of the financial world was an advance man for the forces of globalization, having spent more than thirty years traveling through five continents, buying and selling high-risk securities in the world's most downtrodden economies. So tenuous was his operation and so covert the transactions, that an overnight fluctuation in a country's currency rate could mean the difference between a spectacular profit or a devastating loss. Today, the trade in emerging market debt is worth more than five billion dollars a day, but it was virtually nonexistent when Smith, a one-time collections lawyer, pioneered the business in the late 1970s. "Riches Among the Ruins" is the extraordinary story of Robert Smith's search to make money doing the riskiest kind of business. We are at his side as he travels through the treacherous and exhilarating world of the debt trader, dodging bullets and roadside bombs in post-Saddam Iraq, and risking his life on the chaotic streets of Nigeria. As he engages in a battle of wills with businessmen in Istanbul, and loses millions overnight in the ruins of the post-Soviet Russian economy, we experience all of the thrill and terror that accompanies making big money in emerging markets. At once adrenaline-fueled and utterly compelling, this is the gripping story of one man's quest for fortune where others fear to tread.
NEWS & OPINION: The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards of 2009
Posted December 15, 2009, 3:00 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
The 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year
Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—And Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Viking Books, 624 pages, $32. 95
Even though Too Big to Fail was written during the same year the financial collapse occurred, Andrew Ross Sorkin has written what we predict will be the definitive book on the subject. Sorkin not only tells a gripping “perfect storm” story—reporting the gory details as our 401k’s disappeared and our financial system became nationalized—but he humanizes the players as well, resulting in an imminently readable, albeit lengthy, book.
NEWS & OPINION: strategy + business Best Books of 2009
Posted November 25, 2009, 4:52 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
The strategy + business annual books list is always one of the finest and most anticipated of the year. They get really smart and talented people who know how to pick 'em, and have them write (always highly intelligent and insightful) essays on their category—and, of course, the books in it. I've listed the picks below, but it really is worth heading over to strategy + business for the essays.
NEWS & OPINION: Riches Among the Ruins
Posted November 11, 2009, 9:35 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Robert Smith is likely the only author who has a picture of himself in a bullet-proof vest on his website, but it's justified. This guy has spent his life traveling the globe and finding opportunities in countries some of us might never consider.
His book is called Riches Among the Ruins: Adventures in the Dark Corners of the Global Economy, and it details these travels, experiences, and the heart of the global economy and the possibilities that exist within it.