HR Management & Compliance

Hot List: The Library Journal’s Best Business Books of 2009, Part 2

In its 133rd year of publication, Library Journal is the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field, with review sections evaluating nearly 7000 books annually, along with hundreds of audiobooks, videos, databases, web sites, and systems that libraries buy.  Recently, Library Journal released its list of the 32 best business books of 2009, dividing the books into nine categories. Here are the second three categories.

Financial Crisis, 2008–09

The Sellout: How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System by Charles Gasparino. CNBC’s Gasparino provides one of the year’s most readable accounts of the crisis, illustrating how Wall Street’s acceptance of enormous risk and the SEC’s inability to regulate those activities led to the housing meltdown and the loss of several major investment banking firms.

In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic by David Wessel. Wessel (economics editor,Wall Street Journal) offers perhaps the most evenhanded take on Ben Bernanke’s leadership at the Federal Reserve during the recent financial crises and suggests that his “whatever it takes” solutions have made the Fed more powerful than ever.

The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History by Gregory Zuckerman. Long regarded as a somewhat lackluster hedge-fund manager, John Paulson (no relation to treasury secretary Henry Paulson) defied expectations when he anticipated the 2008–09 mortgage crisis, shorted the housing bubble, and pulled off the “greatest trade ever,” earning more than $15 billion for his firm.

Globalization

Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the Tactics Behind China’s Production Game by Paul Midler. Business consultant and Hong Kong resident Midler exposes some truly disturbing practices behind Chinese production efficiencies and business tactics in this very readable memoir.

The Miracle: The Epic Story of Asia’s Quest for Wealth by Michael Schuman. Although his concluding assertion that free trade will be as beneficial for the United States as it has been for Asia is (perhaps) overly optimistic, the real value of Schuman’s history is its overview of the last century of economic development in Japan, Taiwan, China, and India (among others).


Investing/Personal Finance

The Forever Portfolio: How to Pick Stocks That You Can Hold for the Long Run by James Altucher. Altucher (founder, Stockpickr.com) makes his argument for following demographic trends in health, technology, and lifestyle when investing in stocks. An easy-to-read guide, with lots of examples.

Save Your Retirement: What to Do If You Haven’t Saved Enough or If Your Investments Were Devastated by the Market Meltdown by Frank Armstrong III and Paul B. Brown. Primarily for those 15 years or closer to their retirement (but with good information for all), this guide offers some of the clearest suggestions for mapping your route to retirement, no matter the economy.

The AARP Retirement Survival Guide: How to Make Smart Financial Decisions in Good Times and Bad by Julie Jason. Jason’s (Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers) straightforward and reasonably priced retirement guide provides a good starting point for those seeking basic but solid investing information.