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Washington wants to step up regulation of these complex instruments, hut new rules may not be enough to tame them. Volume 160, Number 1, July 06, 2009

Genre: Non-fiction

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When Hank Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was appointed in 2006 to become the nation's next Secretary of the Treasury, he knew that his move from Wall Street to Washington would be daunting and challenging.

But Paulson had no idea that a year later, he would find himself at the very epicenter of the world's most cataclysmic financial crisis since the Great Depression. Major institutions including Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup, among others-all steeped in rich, longstanding tradition-literally teetered at the edge of collapse. Panic ensnared international markets. Worst of all, the credit crisis spread to all parts of the U.S. economy and grew more ominous with each passing day, destroying jobs across America and undermining the financial security millions of families had spent their lifetimes building.

This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime economic nightmare. Events no one had thought possible were happening in quick succession, and people all over the globe were terrified that the continuing downward spiral would bring unprecedented chaos. All eyes turned to the United States Treasury Secretary to avert the disaster.

This, then, is Hank Paulson's first-person account. From the man who was in the very middle of this perfect economic storm, is Paulson's fast-paced retelling of the key decisions that had to be made with lightning speed. Paulson puts the reader in the room for all the intense moments as he addressed urgent market conditions, weighed critical decisions, and debated policy and economic considerations with of all the notable players-including the CEOs of top Wall Street firms as well as Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Sheila Bair, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, and then-President George W. Bush.

More than an account about numbers and credit risks gone bad, is an extraordinary story about people and politics-all brought together during the world's impending financial Armageddon.

Perkins, a former chief economist at a Boston strategic-consulting firm, confesses he was an "economic hit man" for 10 years, helping U.S. intelligence agencies and multinationals cajole and blackmail foreign leaders into serving U.S. foreign policy and awarding lucrative contracts to American business.

For most people, the Great Crash of 2008 has meant troubling times. Not so for those in the flourishing poverty industry, for whom the economic woes spell an opportunity to expand and grow. These mercenary entrepreneurs have taken advantage of an era of deregulation to devise high-priced products to sell to the credit-hungry working poor, including the instant tax refund and the payday loan. In the process they've created an industry larger than the casino business and have proved that pawnbrokers and check cashers, if they dream big enough, can grow very rich off those with thin wallets.

“‘As far as I can determine there is only one solution [to the CEO’s demand to save more money]’, the HR representative wrote to her superiors. ‘That would be the death of all existing retirees.’”

It’s no secret that hundreds of companies have been slashing pensions and health coverage earned by millions of retirees. Employers blame an aging workforce, stock market losses, and spiraling costs- what they call “a perfect storm” of external forces that has forced them to take drastic measures.

But this so-called retirement crisis is no accident. Ellen E. Schultz, award-winning investigative reporter for the , reveals how large companies and the retirement industry-benefits consultants, insurance companies, and banks-have all played a huge and hidden role in the death spiral of American pensions and benefits.

A little over a decade ago, most companies had more than enough set aside to pay the benefits earned by two generations of workers, no matter how long they lived. But by exploiting loopholes, ambiguous regulations, and new accounting rules, companies essentially turned their pension plans into piggy banks, tax shelters, and profit centers.

Drawing on original analysis of company data, government filings, internal corporate documents, and confidential memos, Schultz uncovers decades of widespread deception during which employers have exaggerated their retiree burdens while lobbying for government handouts, secretly cutting pensions, tricking employees, and misleading shareholders. She reveals how companies:

Siphon billions of dollars from their pension plans to finance downsizings and sell the assets in merger deals

• Overstate the burden of rank-and-file retiree obligations to justify benefits cuts while simultaneously using the savings to inflate executive pay and pensions

• Hide their growing executive pension liabilities, which at some companies now exceed the liabilities for the regular pension plans

• Purchase billions of dollars of life insurance on workers and use the policies as informal executive pension funds. When the insured workers and retirees die, the company collects tax-free death benefits

• Preemptively sue retirees after cutting retiree health benefits and use other legal strategies to erode their legal protections.

Though the focus is on large companies—which drive the legislative agenda-the same games are being played at smaller companies, non-profits, public pensions plans and retirement systems overseas. Nor is this a partisan issue: employees of all political persuasions and income levels-from managers to miners, pro-football players to pilots-have been slammed.

Retirement Heist

The 40th Edition.Parachute

For forty years now job-hunters and career-changers have been turning to this, the , confident that each new annual edition will give them the most up-to-date information about the job-market and how to find meaningful work—even in the midst of challenging economic times such as these.

This year’s edition of has been vastly rewritten, because job-hunting has increasingly become a survival skill. Career expert Richard N. Bolles describes the five strategies most needed to survive, and explains how to incorporate social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter into your job-search.

The new ideas are wrapped around the familiar core message of : WHAT, WHERE, and HOW, with an emphasis on finding your passion and identifying your best transferable skills. With fresh insights into resumes, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation, and how to start your own business, this book will give you the tools, exercises, and motivation you need to find hope, land a job, and fulfill your purpose in life. In the words of magazine:

“Parachute remains the gold standard of career guides.”

Genre: Non-fiction

Sir Richard Branson is one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and his Virgin Group is one of the most recognised lifestyle brands, trusted and enjoyed by many millions of people. Now, in his trademark charismatic and honest style, Richard shares the inside track on some of his greatest achievements over forty years in business as well as the lessons he has learned from his setbacks. In , he discusses why he took on one of the world’s biggest superbrands, how he built Virgin Mobile USA into the fastest growing company in history to reach a billion dollars in revenue, faster than Microsoft, Google or Amazon.com, and how Richard is the only person in the world to have built seven billion dollar companies from scratch in seven completely different sectors.

Richard tells the story behind the launch of Virgin America, his new airline in the USA, how Virgin Galactic is set to initiate a new era of space tourism from a spaceport deep in the Mojave desert, and what he has learned about business from a diverse group of leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Jack Welch, Herb Kelleher, Steve Jobs and the founders of Google. He also shares his thoughts on the changing face of the global economy and how businesses worldwide need to work together to tackle environmental challenges and invest in the future of our world.

Combining invaluable advice with remarkable and candid inside stories, is a dynamic, inspirational and truly original guide to success in business and in life. Whether you are an executive, an entrepreneur or just starting out in the business world, Richard strips down business to show how you can succeed and make a difference.

For all of the millions of Americans who are out of work, soon to be out of work, or wishing to be freed from unrewarding work—here is the must-have book that will show you how you can make a living by working when, where, and how you want.

Newly revised and updated, Barbara J. Winter’s guide to successful self-employment is now more relevant than ever before. Drawing on the techniques and ideas of her popular seminars as well as her own thirty years of business expertise and that of other successful entrepreneurs, Winter offers the practical, proven way to launch your own profitable venture. Her indispensable advice ranges from why creativity is more important than capital to how to avoid the most common pitfalls of self-employment and how to develop multiple profit centers.

And for this new edition, she has added timely advice on topics including:

• how to find opportunity in a chaotic economy

• why smart, small and spunky is the 21st Century business model

• using the Internet to open the door to fresh opportunities

• the best resources to help you create and grow a business that is uniquely your own

• how to leave Employee Thinking behind and build an Entrepreneur’s Mindset

• and much more

Here are all of the tools you need for getting the most profit out of life both professionally personally.

The author of this book about the future, Bill Gates, is the Harvard dropout who founded Microsoft based on his vision of a personal computer on every desk and in every home. Focusing on the so-called “information superhighway”, Gates describes the breathtaking changes that will affect us all, and how emerging technologies will transform human existence in unprecedented ways. Written in a personal style, free of jargon, this book ushers in the world of tomorrow in broad and confident terms. It debunks certain notions that have gained attention in the media, and makes projections grounded in the realities of today. Gates describes how the tools of the future will change the way we make choices about almost everything, from which toaster we buy to who our friends are and how we spend time with them; from how we earn and invest, to where we live and how we protect our families in an increasingly complicated world.

It’s business school, the Branson way.

Whether you’re interested in starting your own business, improving your leadership skills, or simply looking for inspiration from one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Richard Branson has the answers.

Like a Virgin

In his trademark thoughtful and encouraging voice, Branson shares his knowledge like a close friend. He’ll teach you how to be more innovative, how to lead by listening, how to enjoy your work, and much more.

In hindsight, Branson is thankful he never went to business school. Had he conformed to the conventional dos and don’ts of starting a business, would there have been a Virgin Records? A Virgin Atlantic? So many of Branson’s achievements are due to his unyielding deter­mination to break the rules and rewrite them himself. Here’s how he does it.

Genre: Non-fiction

In the go-go nineties Jordan Belfort proved to Wall Street that you didn’t need to be on Wall Street to make a fortune in the stock market. But his company, Stratton Oakmont, worked differently. His young Long Island wannabes didn’t know from turnaround plans or fiduciary trust. Instead, they knew how to separate wealthy investors from their cash, and spend it as fast as it came in—on hookers, yachts, and drugs. But when Jordan’s empire crashed, the man who had become legend was cornered into a five-year stint cooperating with the feds.

This continuation of his bestseller, tells the true story of his spectacular flameout and imprisonment for stock fraud. In this astounding account, Wall Street’s notorious bad boy—and original million-dollar-a-month stock chopper—leads us through a drama worthy of , from his early rise to power to the FBI raid on his estate to the endless indictments at his arrest, to his deal with a bloodthirsty prosecutor to rat out his oldest friends and colleagues—while they were doing the same. With his kingdom in ruin, not to mention his marriage, the Wolf faced his greatest challenge yet: how to navigate a gauntlet of judges and lawyers, hold on to his kids and his enraged model wife—and possibly salvage his self-respect. It wasn’t going to be easy. In fact, for a man with an unprecedented appetite for excess, it was going to be hell.

From a wired conversation at an Italian restaurant, where Jordan’s conscience finally kicks in, to a helicopter ride with an underage knockout that will become his ultimate undoing, here is the tale of a young genius on a roller coaster of harrowing highs—and more harrowing lows. But as the countdown to his moment in court begins, after one last crazy bout with a madcap Russian beauty queen, the man at the center of one of the most outrageous scandals in financial history sees the light of what matters most: his sobriety, and his future as a father and a man. Will a prison term be his first step toward redemption?

Genre: Non-fiction

“A cocky bad boy of finance recalls… [his] career as a master of his own universe…. A hell of a read.”

“A memoir that reads like fiction…. [concerning] the vast amount of sex, drugs and risky physical behavior Belfort managed to survive.”

Turned into a major motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio

By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting. From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids waiting at home, and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king and did his bidding, here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called…

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

In the 1990s Jordan Belfort, former kingpin of the notorious investment firm Stratton Oakmont, became one of the most infamous names in American finance: a brilliant, conniving stock-chopper who led his merry mob on a wild ride out of the canyons of Wall Street and into a massive office on Long Island. Now, in this astounding and hilarious tell-all autobiography, Belfort narrates a story of greed, power, and excess that no one could invent.

Reputedly the prototype for the film Stratton Oakmont turned microcap investing into a wickedly lucrative game as Belfort’s hyped-up, coked-out brokers browbeat clients into stock buys that were guaranteed to earn obscene profits—for the house. But an insatiable appetite for debauchery, questionable tactics, and a fateful partnership with a breakout shoe designer named Steve Madden would land Belfort on both sides of the law and into a harrowing darkness all his own.

From the stormy relationship Belfort shared with his model-wife as they ran a madcap household that included two young children, a full-time staff of twenty-two, a pair of bodyguards, and hidden cameras everywhere—even as the SEC and FBI zeroed in on them—to the unbridled hedonism of his office life, here is the extraordinary story of an ordinary guy who went from hustling Italian ices at sixteen to making hundreds of millions. Until it all came crashing down…

Genre: Non-fiction

Russell Gold, a brilliant and dogged investigative reporter at , has spent more than a decade reporting on one of the biggest stories of our time: the spectacular, world-changing rise of “fracking.” Recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award for his work, Gold has traveled along the pipelines and into the hubs of this country’s energy infrastructure; he has visited frack sites from Texas to North Dakota; and he has conducted thousands of interviews with engineers and wildcatters, CEOs and roughnecks, environmentalists and politicians. He has also sifted through reams of engineering reports, lawsuit transcripts, and financial filings. The result is an essential book—a commanding piece of journalism, an astounding study of human ingenuity, and an epic work of storytelling.

Fracking has vociferous critics and fervent defenders, but the debate between these camps has obscured the actual story: Fracking has become a fixture of the American landscape and the global economy. It has upended the business models of energy companies around the globe, and it has started to change geopolitics and global energy markets in profound ways. Gold tells the story of this once-obscure oilfield technology—a story with an incredible cast of tycoons and geologists, dreamers and drillers, speculators and skeptics, a story that answers a critical question of our time: Where will the energy come from to power our world—and what price will we have to pay for it?

Eric Schlosser has visited the state of the art labs where scientists recreate the flavours and smells of everything from cooked chicken to fresh strawberries in the test tube and he has spoken to workers at meatpacking plants with some of the worst safety records in the world. He explores the links between Hollywood and the fast food trade, and the tactics used to target ever younger consumers. In a meticulously researched and powerfully argued account, reveals the full price of our appetite for instant gratification.

Genre: Non-fiction

Ha-Joon Chang is a heterodox economist and institutional economist specializing in development economics. Currently a Reader in the Political Economy of Development at the University of Cambridge, Chang is the author of several widely-discussed policy books, most notably Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective Chang was ranked by Prospect Magazine as one of the top 20 World Thinkers in 2013.

The acclaimed Ha-Joon Chang is a voice of sanity-and wit-in this lighthearted book with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists have spun since the Age of Reagan. uses twenty-three short essays (a few great examples: ) to equip readers with an understanding of how global capitalism works, and doesn't, while offering a vision of how we can shape capitalism to humane ends, instead of becoming slaves of the market.

Praise for :

"A lively, accessible and provocative book."- (UK )

"Chang, befitting his position as an economics professor at Cambridge University, is engagingly thoughtful and opinionated at a much lower decibel level. 'The "truths" peddled by free-market ideologues are based on lazy assumptions and blinkered visions,' he charges."-