Editor’s note: I’ve read ten books on business and philanthropy over the least few months. None were worth sharing so I’ve been stuck on historical fiction but now it’s back to business. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s recommended it so I tried it. It was first published in the late 1960s so it took me a while to adjust to style and numbers and policies from the mid-20th century. Who remembers “Cornering” or the flash crash of 1962? As I adjusted, I realized that is what must have appealed to my business heroes. That in business, as in life, that never changes is that no matter the numbers, practices and policies, we are emotional and irrational beings.
Excerpt: “In 1964, these hints [of devaluation of the British pound] with their humiliating implications were not lost on the British people. The emotional terms in which many of them were thinking about were well illustrated in that celebrated forum the letters column of The Times when the crisis was at its height. A reader named I.M.D. Little wrote deploring all the breast-beating about the pound and particularly the whispering about devaluation – which he declared to be a financial, not a moral issue. Quick as a flash came a reply from a C.S. Hadfield among others: Was there ever a clearer sign of soulless times…devaluation not a moral issue?...Hadfield groaned in the unmistakable tone, as old in Britain as the pound itself, of the outraged patriot”.