What We’re Reading
Preeti Aroon The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs, by Charles D. Ellis. Goldman Sachs has certainly fared better than Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. The secret to its success in surviving rocky times, including the Great Depression, is revealed in this book, reviewed in the New York Times yesterday. Jerome Chen It’s no secret ...
The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs, by Charles D. Ellis. Goldman Sachs has certainly fared better than Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. The secret to its success in surviving rocky times, including the Great Depression, is revealed in this book, reviewed in the New York Times yesterday.
It’s no secret that water is considered a precious resource in much of the developing world (and also in California, to be sure). "Ebb without flow: Water may be the new oil in a thirsty global economy," published by the folks at Wharton, my alma mater, explores water’s crucial role in development and addresses some of the attendant ethical issues. For example, when oil prices rise, many can afford to cut back. But water? Not so much.
Aisha Labi looks at the global rankings of universities in "Obsession with Rankings Goes Global," in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Whether it’s to boost their funding, their applicant pool, or merely their national pride, universities have started pandering more and more to the reviewers. Nothing wrong with accountability, but some would prefer the students — rather than the rankings — to the be the test.
Warren Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist. Thirteen years later, Roger Lowenstein’s portrait of the Sage of Omaha remains the definitive biography. But if you’re seeking insight into how to be like Buffett during this financial crisis, good luck. "Never lose money" isn’t exactly actionable advice for most of us.
The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. A great look at the extent to which the U.S. legal system is largely defined by the idiosyncratic personalities of a small group of sometimes very odd people. Gossipy details like Clarence Thomas’s love of RV travel and Anthony Kennedy’s hideous office carpet alone are worth the read. And if you believe Noah Feldman’s recent account of U.S. judges, it is those very quirky characters who are the movers and shakers of the world policy stage.
According to two former military intercept officers, whose tale makes up ABC’s "Inside Account of U.S. Eavesdropping on Americans," the U.S. military is spying on telephone conversations of ordinary Americans who happen to be living in the Middle East and have nothing to do with terrorism. The military interceptors often shared "salacious or tantalizing phone calls" made by U.S. military officers, journalists, and aid workers for their own amusement.
Elizabeth Dickinson is International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.
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