BOOK REVIEWS


The All India Management Association (AIMA), the apex body of professional management in India, has published its first ever Business School Directory. AIMA, which had come out with a Best B-Schools Survey in 2008, has now compiled a comprehensive and exhaustive list of over 1,700 business...

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Great historical research but suspect prognosis The thesis of this book is simple. Starting from 1971, when defence manufacturing company Lockheed was rescued for $250 million, the US government has been consistently bailing out US companies. From loan guarantees for Penn Central in 1974...

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Read this story and see if you can find any parallels with investing. Zhuge Liang led an army to Qi Mountain six times. Eventually, he fell sick from exhaustion and passed away at an army base. Before he died, Zhuge Liang told his deputy, Jiang Wei to keep the news of his death a secret. He also...

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A fine new book that synthesises the latest market theories and offers practical solutions It is rare to come across a new book on markets with fresh ideas. This book does not pretend to be one. But this is one of the best recent books that synthesise the cutting-edge theories of how markets...

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Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were allowed to invest in India since 1993. In 2005, Indians were allowed to invest large sums overseas. Global investing may seem new but it is not. Before the Russian revolution, you could hear French investors discuss their Russian bond investments in...

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The secret behind Jamie Dimon’s rise to the zenith of US banking Jamie Dimon carries with him an A4-size paper in which he writes down and keeps track of any number of things, especially information that he has asked for. The paper is covered with dozens of little rectangles in blue ink:...

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A novel investment approach for those Americans who have no time or expertise What if there was a portfolio that could be all these things? One, keeps you from being too conservative – that is sticking to bonds or bank deposits and see your purchasing power getting eroded by inflation. Two,...

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Terry Burnham has written a book (Mean Markets and Lizard Brains, by Terry Burnham, John Wiley & Sons; $16.95; Pages 324), to help you “profit from the new science of irrationality.” But what it describes is not exactly a science and is not new. It is the good old behavioural finance theory. As...

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Jim Rogers is a legend of investing. After growing up in Demopolis, Alabama, he won a scholarship to Yale University. After graduation, he attended Balliol College at the University of Oxford, where he earned his first Guinness record as coxswain of the rowing crew. Back in the US, he worked for...

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The methods of 12 top investors The principal author of this book, John P Reese, was a successful businessman with degrees from MIT (a member of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) and Harvard Business School. He was a computer engineer who had built a networking company which he sold to...

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How do you evaluate the performance of a business? The most obvious answer is by looking at how much profit it has earned. But it isn’t as simple as it sounds, because organisations provide a plethora of reports at the end of the year to summarise their annual performance. Picking up key...

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Do leaders decide on the spur? Are making timely and effective ‘judgement calls’ crucial differentiators in leadership? They are, assert the authors. Boeing’s McNerney quickly made a judgement call to make a complete confession to the congressional committee on the misdeeds of his predecessor...

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Why governments must intervene in the financial markets to keep a free-market in the real economy going In mid-2008, when a whirlwind of credit crises hit the global economies, massive State intervention was needed to prop up the pillars of modern finance. Even as their institutions were kept...

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Was Alan Greenspan a serial bubble-blower with a history of bad decision-making? There are two opinions about Alan Greenspan. One, that he was a brilliant central banker managing market expectations. This is exemplified by the book, Maestro, by Bob Woodward. The second view is that Greenspan...

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There are generally two categories of books about places. One, travelogues that contain a lot of factual information about a city and two, biographical sketches, which trace the history of cities; they seek to bring a place alive by capturing its myriad moods. This book belongs to the latter...

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A unique approach to investing that suggests you watch economic trends, select the right sectors and invest through exchange traded funds Writing this book during the worst periods of market decline, Stein points out that “with the amount of pessimism that we’ve seen in the market, and with...

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Value investing and behavioural finance are among the most popular terms in the investing lexicon. The first says that, for superior gains from stocks, you simply need to buy shares that are below their intrinsic value which the market offers you at times of panic. The gap between the market...

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Ajit Mantagani 23 April 2009
Every customer has access to prices and specifications from suppliers anywhere on earth. Customers can play one supplier against the other. Under those conditions, long-standing relationships and good products are not enough.” How true, in a networked world! So, Ram Charan embarks on...

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Four books from Wiley capture the current financial crisis from four angles. Collectively, they offer interesting insights It is common among businessmen, fund managers, analysts and sundry experts in the media to label the current financial crisis as something so sudden and virulent that...

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Two recent books on India written by authors of two different generationspresent an embrassingly rosy picture of India As an assistant editor of Financial Express in 1989, I was asked to write about a new steel plant that was coming up in a place near Amethi, in UP, the constituency of the...

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