Books that were sold at the annual Berkshire Hathaway meetings

The Oracle of Omaha has picked these books to disperse his wisdom.
The Women of Berkshire Hathaway: Lessons from Warren Buffett's Female CEOs and Directors
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The Women of Berkshire Hathaway: Lessons from Warren Buffett's Female CEOs and Directors

by Karen Linder

About the book:  A fascinating look at the top women at Berkshire Hathaway and how they got there Although proportionally women continue to lag far behind men as CEOs and board members at major institutions, there has been a marked uptick in the number of female business leaders in recent years. Looking at the changes that have happened at Berkshire Hathaway—Warren Buffett's holding company, The Women of Berkshire Hathaway: Lessons from Warren Buffett's Female CEOs and Directors provides a unique look at the gradual shattering of the glass ceiling at one of America's top firms. An influx of female leadership over the past few years—today there are four female CEOs, up from just one a decade ago—has invigorated Berkshire Hathaway with energy and unique female insight. Profiling these remarkable women, the book provides motivational and management information for a wide range of readers, from business students to Buffett fans. Looks closely at the female board members of Berkshire Hathaway and the female managers who run Berkshire Hathaway companies Follows the paths that brought these women to their current positions Explores their working relationship with their employees and Warren Buffett, and how they balance work and their private lives The only book focusing on eight of the most powerful women at Berkshire Hathaway, The Women of Berkshire Hathaway is an inspirational read about the triumph of a group of remarkable women within a company once dominated by men.


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Limping on Water: My 40-Year Adventure with One of America's Outstanding Communications Companies.
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Limping on Water: My 40-Year Adventure with One of America's Outstanding Communications Companies.

by Phil Beuth

About the book:  PHIL BEUTH spent his entire broadcasting career with one company. As the first employee of a fledgling media startup in 1955, Phil worked his way up over a 40-year span, as Capital Cities grew to become one of America's most influential and successful media companies. Limping on Water is a Dickensian rags-to-riches tale of a disadvantaged boy, born with cerebral palsy who, through luck, pluck, strength of character, skill, persistence and loyalty, rose to become a top executive at one of America's most respected and successful media companies, Capital Cities Communications; "The minnow that swallowed the whale." Phil was born in a blue-collar neighborhood of Staten Island to parents of English and German stock in 1932. To state that his origins were humble is like saying the Yankees know a thing or two about baseball. The young struggling family was crushed by the tragic death of Phil's father when Phil was just four, causing his mother to park her young, physically impaired son with her step-father, an embittered, war-wounded veteran (of the Spanish-American War!), who ran a ramshackle "Sanford and Son" junk business out of his backyard. What propelled this boy to raise himself by his orthopedic bootstraps to become a respected and honored leader in his field, a member of two Broadcasting Halls of Fame, head of Good Morning America and a Division President of ABC? What comes through this very personal account peppered with interesting and amusing anecdotes about his partners and celebrities like Ted Knight, Lowell Thomas, Charlie Gibson, Sir Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Cher, Jackie Robinson, Red Barber, Nelson Rockefeller, Barbara Walters, Warren Buffett, Sammy Davis Jr., Burt Reynolds, Red Skelton, Muhammad Ali, and many more is Phil's generosity, self-deprecating humor, unbound creativity and warm-hearted congenial talent. More than simply recollections of a career at a celebrated company and the famous people encountered along his path, Phil's story is a keen insider's chronicle of that "Mad Men" golden era of television; a time when broadcasting as we know it came into being. It is also a powerful lesson in forging a career that is ethical and prosperous; "doing well and doing good."


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Getting There: A Book of Mentors
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Getting There: A Book of Mentors

by Gillian Zoe Segal

About the book:                                    The path to success is rarely easy or direct, and good mentors are hard to find. In Getting There, thirty leaders in diverse fields share their secrets to navigating the rocky road to the top. In an honest, direct, and engaging way, these role models describe the obstacles they faced, the setbacks they endured, and the vital lessons they learned. They dispense not only essential and practical career advice, but also priceless wisdom applicable to life in general. Getting There is for everyone—from students contemplating their futures to the vast majority of us facing challenges or seeking to reach our potential.


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Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment
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Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment

by Peter Buffett

About the book:  From composer, musician, and philanthropist Peter Buffett comes a warm, wise, and inspirational book that asks, Which will you choose: the path of least resistance or the path of potentially greatest satisfaction?You may think that with a last name like his, Buffett has enjoyed a life of endless privilege. But the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett says that the only real inheritance handed down from his parents was a philosophy: Forge your own path in life. It is a creed that has allowed him to follow his own passions, establish his own identity, and reap his own successes. In Life Is What You Make It, Buffett expounds on the strong set of values given to him by his trusting and broadminded mother, his industrious and talented father, and the many life teachers he has met along the way.Today’s society, Buffett posits, has begun to replace a work ethic, relishing what you do, with a wealth ethic, honoring the payoff instead of the process. We confuse privilege with material accumulation, character with external validation. Yet, by focusing more on substance and less on reward, we can open doors of opportunity and strive toward a greater sense of fulfillment. In clear and concise terms, Buffett reveals a great truth: Life is random, neither fair nor unfair. From there it becomes easy to recognize the equal dignity and value of every human life—our circumstances may vary but our essences do not. We see that our journey in life rarely follows a straight line but is often met with false starts, crises, and blunders. How we push through and persevere in these challenging moments is where we begin to create the life of our dreams—from discovering our vocations to living out our bliss to giving back to others.Personal and revealing, instructive and intuitive, Life Is What You Make It is about transcending your circumstances, taking up the reins of your destiny, and living your life to the fullest. From the Hardcover edition.


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40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World
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40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World

by Howard G Buffett

About the book:  With a foreword by Warren Buffett, 40 Chances is an “inspiring manifesto…both an informative guidebook and a catalyst for igniting real changes” (Booklist) in the struggle against world hunger.If someone granted you $3 billion to accomplish something great in the world, what would you do? In 2006, legendary investor Warren Buffett posed this challenge to his son Howard G. Buffett. Howard set out to help the most vulnerable people on earth—nearly a billion individuals who lack basic food security. And Howard gave himself a deadline: 40 years to put the resources to work on this challenge. 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World captures Howard’s journey. Beginning with his love for farming, we join him around the world as he seeks out new approaches to ease the suffering of so many. Each of the 40 stories here provides a compelling look at the lessons Howard learned, ranging from his own backyard to some of the most difficult and dangerous places on Earth. But this message goes beyond the pages of this book, it’s also a mindset: a way of thinking that speaks to every person wanting to make a difference. It’s about reasons to hope and actions we can take. 40 Chances “recounts Howard’s personal and professional experiences in surprisingly candid and colorful fashion…successfully blending personal stories with a tough look at the struggle to fight domestic food scarcity and world hunger…A satisfying read” (Publishers Weekly) that provides inspiration to transform each of our limited chances into opportunities to change the world.


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Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger, 3rd Edition
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Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger, 3rd Edition

by Peter Bevelin

About the book:  Peter Bevelin begins his fascinating book with Confucius' great wisdom: "A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake." Seeking Wisdom is the result of Bevelin's learning about attaining wisdom. His quest for wisdom originated partly from making mistakes himself and observing those of others but also from the philosophy of super-investor and Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charles Munger. A man whose simplicity and clarity of thought was unequal to anything Bevelin had seen. In addition to naturalist Charles Darwin and Munger, Bevelin cites an encyclopedic range of thinkers: from first-century BCE Roman poet Publius Terentius to Mark Twain-from Albert Einstein to Richard Feynman-from 16th Century French essayist Michel de Montaigne to Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. In the book, he describes ideas and research findings from many different fields. This book is for those who love the constant search for knowledge. It is in the spirit of Charles Munger, who says, "All I want to know is where I'm going to die so I'll never go there." There are roads that lead to unhappiness. An understanding of how and why we can "die" should help us avoid them. We can't eliminate mistakes, but we can prevent those that can really hurt us. Using exemplars of clear thinking and attained wisdom, Bevelin focuses on how our thoughts are influenced, why we make misjudgments and tools to improve our thinking. Bevelin tackles such eternal questions as: Why do we behave like we do? What do we want out of life? What interferes with our goals? Read and study this wonderful multidisciplinary exploration of wisdom. It may change the way you think and act in business and in life.


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Habit of Labor: Lessons from a Life of Struggle and Success
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Habit of Labor: Lessons from a Life of Struggle and Success

by Stef Wertheimer

About the book:  "There's no better way to explain the miracle of Israel than to examine the amazing life of Stef Wertheimer." ―Warren Buffet Forced to flee Nazi Germany with his family at age 10, Stef Wertheimer came to British Palestine in the late 1930s. He promptly dropped out of school, learned a trade through apprenticeship, and played a meaningful role in Israel’s War of Independence.  He also started a company―ISCAR―that began in a shed and ultimately made him one of the world’s great self-made industrialists. In The Habit of Labor, Wertheimer shares the lessons he learned from a life of strife and struggle in one of the world’s newest industrial powers. Both a pragmatist and a visionary, Wertheimer has devoted much of his life to promoting Jewish and Arab economic development through innovative educational and vocational programs, along with the establishment of a series of thriving industrial parks in Israel and in Turkey. The future of Israel, he believes, is not in military might or diplomatic alliances but in its growing economic clout.


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Dream Big (Sonho Grande): How the Brazilian Trio behind 3G Capital - Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira Acquired Anheuser-Busch, Burger King and Heinz
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Dream Big (Sonho Grande): How the Brazilian Trio behind 3G Capital - Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira Acquired Anheuser-Busch, Burger King and Heinz

by Cristiane Correa

About the book:  My friend - and now partner - Jorge Paulo and his team are among the best businessmen in the world. He is a fantastic person and his story should be an inspiration to everybody, as it is for me." - Warren Buffett In just over forty years, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira built the biggest empire in the history of Brazilian capitalism and launched themselves onto the world stage in an unprecedented way. Over the past five years, they have acquired no fewer than three globally-recognized American brands: Budweiser, Burger King and Heinz. This has been achieved as discreetly as possible and they have shunned any personal publicity. The management method they developed, which has been zealously followed by their employees, is based on meritocracy, simplicity and constant cost cutting. Their culture is as efficient as it is merciless and leaves no room for mediocre performances. On the other hand, those who bring in exceptional results have the chance to become company partners and make a fortune. Dream Big presents a detailed behind-the-scenes portrait of the meteoric rise of these three businessmen, from the founding of Banco Garantia in the 1970s to the present day. In 1971, when the Brazilian stock market was going through an euphoria, Harvard graduate, tennis champion and underwater fishing enthusiast from Rio de Janeiro Jorge Paulo Lemann decided to start a new business. He assembled some partners and put out a newspaper ad: "Brokerage wanted." Days later, Lemann began running what would become the cornerstone of his fortune and those of over 200 other people. Its name was Garantia. The "Garantia model" was based on businesses that impressed Lemann, such as Goldman Sachs in finance and Walmart in retail. Its philosophy gave the best workers the opportunity to become shareholders.


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Giving it All Away: The Doris Buffett Story
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Giving it All Away: The Doris Buffett Story

by Michael Zitz

About the book:  When she was a toddler in Omaha, her parents called her Mary Sunshine.Warren Buffett's big sister Doris has never lost that quality, despite personal problems that would have soured others on the world. The "retail" philanthropist known as the Sunshine Lady derives such joy from helping others on a one on one basis that emotional abuse by a mother who may have been bipolar, a string of horrific marriages, nearly losing her home after the 1987 stock market crash, two bouts of cancer, and, worst of all, estrangement from her own children, have never hardened her heart. Instead, her own problems have caused empathy for others, evident since childhood, to deepen over the years. She has donated $100 million of her own money, mostly to individuals in trouble through no fault of their own, often taking the time to call them personally to determine the best way to help. At 82, her goal is to give away her entire fortune, which remains substantial despite her generosity and the stock market crash of 2008."She identifies with the underdog," Warren says.Perhaps more important than the material gifts she bestows is her message, resonating through her own example: We can all write our own destiny. We can all maintain nobility, optimism and selflessness in the face of uncertainty and pain. And caring for others more than we do for ourselves is the most rewarding thing in life.


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The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success
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The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

by William N. Thorndike

About the book:  “An outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.” — Warren Buffett#1 on Warren Buffett’s Recommended Reading List, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter, 2012Named one of “19 Books Billionaire Charlie Munger Thinks You Should Read” in Business Insider.“A book that details the extraordinary success of CEOs who took a radically different approach to corporate management.” — Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation“Thorndike explores the importance of thoughtful capital allocation through the stories of eight successful CEOs. A good read for any business leader but especially those willing to chart their own course.” — Michael Dell, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of DellWhat makes a successful CEO? Most people call to mind a familiar definition: “a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise.” Others might point to the qualities of today’s so-called celebrity CEOs—charisma, virtuoso communication skills, and a confident management style. But what really matters when you run an organization? What is the hallmark of exceptional CEO performance? Quite simply, it is the returns for the shareholders of that company over the long term.In this refreshing, counterintuitive book, author Will Thorndike brings to bear the analytical wisdom of a successful career in investing, closely evaluating the performance of companies and their leaders. You will meet eight individualistic CEOs whose firms’ average returns outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of twenty—in other words, an investment of $10,000 with each of these CEOs, on average, would have been worth over $1.5 million twenty-five years later. You may not know all their names, but you will recognize their companies: General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway, General Dynamics, Capital Cities Broadcasting, TCI, and Teledyne. In The Outsiders, you’ll learn the traits and methods—striking for their consistency and relentless rationality—that helped these unique leaders achieve such exceptional performance.Humble, unassuming, and often frugal, these “outsiders” shunned Wall Street and the press, and shied away from the hottest new management trends. Instead, they shared specific traits that put them and the companies they led on winning trajectories: a laser-sharp focus on per share value as opposed to earnings or sales growth; an exceptional talent for allocating capital and human resources; and the belief that cash flow, not reported earnings, determines a company’s long-term value.Drawing on years of research and experience, Thorndike tells eye-opening stories, extracting lessons and revealing a compelling alternative model for anyone interested in leading a company or investing in one—and reaping extraordinary returns.


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The Great Crash 1929
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The Great Crash 1929

by John Kenneth Galbraith

About the book:  The classic examination of the 1929 financial collapse, with an introduction by economist James K. Galbraith Of John Kenneth Galbraith's The Great Crash 1929, the Atlantic Monthly said: "Economic writings are seldom notable for their entertainment value, but this book is. Galbraith's prose has grace and wit, and he distills a good deal of sardonic fun from the whopping errors of the nation's oracles and the wondrous antics of the financial community." Originally published in 1955, Galbraith's book became an instant bestseller, and in the years since its release it has become the unparalleled point of reference for readers looking to understand American financial history.


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Where Are the Customers' Yachts: or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street
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Where Are the Customers' Yachts: or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street

by Fred Schwed

About the book:  "Once I picked it up I did not put it down until I finished. . . . What Schwed has done is capture fully-in deceptively clean language-the lunacy at the heart of the investment business." -- From the Foreword by Michael Lewis, Bestselling author of Liar's Poker ". . . one of the funniest books ever written about Wall Street." -- Jane Bryant Quinn, The Washington Post "How great to have a reissue of a hilarious classic that proves the more things change the more they stay the same. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent." -- Michael Bloomberg "It's amazing how well Schwed's book is holding up after fifty-five years. About the only thing that's changed on Wall Street is that computers have replaced pencils and graph paper. Otherwise, the basics are the same. The investor's need to believe somebody is matched by the financial advisor's need to make a nice living. If one of them has to be disappointed, it's bound to be the former." -- John Rothchild, Author, A Fool and His Money, Financial Columnist, Time magazine Humorous and entertaining, this book exposes the folly and hypocrisy of Wall Street. The title refers to a story about a visitor to New York who admired the yachts of the bankers and brokers. Naively, he asked where all the customers' yachts were? Of course, none of the customers could afford yachts, even though they dutifully followed the advice of their bankers and brokers. Full of wise contrarian advice and offering a true look at the world of investing, in which brokers get rich while their customers go broke, this book continues to open the eyes of investors to the reality of Wall Street.


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The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns
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The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns

by John C. Bogle

About the book:  “There are a few investment managers, of course, who are very good – though in the short run, it’s difficult to determine whether a great record is due to luck or talent. Most advisors, however, are far better at generating high fees than they are at generating high returns. In truth, their core competence is salesmanship. Rather than listen to their siren songs, investors – large and small – should instead read Jack Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.” – Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, 2014 Annual Shareholder Letter. Investing is all about common sense. Owning a diversified portfolio of stocks and holding it for the long term is a winner’s game. Trying to beat the stock market is theoretically a zero-sum game (for every winner, there must be a loser), but after the substantial costs of investing are deducted, it becomes a loser’s game. Common sense tells us—and history confirms—that the simplest and most efficient investment strategy is to buy and hold all of the nation’s publicly held businesses at very low cost. The classic index fund that owns this market portfolio is the only investment that guarantees you with your fair share of stock market returns. To learn how to make index investing work for you, there’s no better mentor than legendary mutual fund industry veteran John C. Bogle. Over the course of his long career, Bogle—founder of the Vanguard Group and creator of the world’s first index mutual fund—has relied primarily on index investing to help Vanguard’s clients build substantial wealth. Now, with The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, he wants to help you do the same. Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing will show you how to incorporate this proven investment strategy into your portfolio. It will also change the very way you think about investing. Successful investing is not easy. (It requires discipline and patience.) But it is simple. For it’s all about common sense. With The Little Book of Common Sense Investing as your guide, you’ll discover how to make investing a winner’s game: Why business reality—dividend yields and earnings growth—is more important than market expectations How to overcome the powerful impact of investment costs, taxes, and inflation How the magic of compounding returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs What expert investors and brilliant academics—from Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham to Paul Samuelson and Burton Malkiel—have to say about index investing And much more You’ll also find warnings about investment fads and fashions, including the recent stampede into exchange traded funds and the rise of indexing gimmickry. The real formula for investment success is to own the entire market, while significantly minimizing the costs of financial intermediation. That’s what index investing is all about. And that’s what this book is all about.


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The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation
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The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation

by John C. Bogle

About the book:  Recommended Reading by Warren Buffet in his March 2013 Letter to Shareholders How speculation has come to dominate investment—a hard-hitting look from the creator of the first index fund. Over the course of his sixty-year career in the mutual fund industry, Vanguard Group founder John C. Bogle has witnessed a massive shift in the culture of the financial sector. The prudent, value-adding culture of long-term investment has been crowded out by an aggressive, value-destroying culture of short-term speculation. Mr. Bogle has not been merely an eye-witness to these changes, but one of the financial sector’s most active participants. In The Clash of the Cultures, he urges a return to the common sense principles of long-term investing. Provocative and refreshingly candid, this book discusses Mr. Bogle's views on the changing culture in the mutual fund industry, how speculation has invaded our national retirement system, the failure of our institutional money managers to effectively participate in corporate governance, and the need for a federal standard of fiduciary duty. Mr. Bogle recounts the history of the index mutual fund, how he created it, and how exchange-traded index funds have altered its original concept of long-term investing. He also presents a first-hand history of Wellington Fund, a real-world case study on the success of investment and the failure of speculation. The book concludes with ten simple rules that will help investors meet their financial goals. Here, he presents a common sense strategy that "may not be the best strategy ever devised. But the number of strategies that are worse is infinite." The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation completes the trilogy of best-selling books, beginning with Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years (2001) and Don't Count on It! (2011)


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Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street
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Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street

by John Brooks

About the book:  “Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read.” —Bill Gates, The Wall Street Journal What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened. Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. Longtime New Yorker contributor John Brooks’s insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history repeats itself. Five additional stories on equally fascinating subjects round out this wonderful collection that will both entertain and inform readers . . . Business Adventures is truly financial journalism at its liveliest and best.


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