Billion Dollar Loser
THE EPIC RISE AND SPECTACULAR FALL OF ADAM NEUMANN AND WEWORK
An enjoyable read of a well-written book, I still spent most of my time reading it just dumbfounded at the set of circumstances that ever allowed this story to take place. A magnetic and charismatic leader who kicked off most meetings with tequila shots, WeWork was believed by some of the smartest institutional investors in the world to be the next multi-billion dollar star. It proved to be yet another over-leveraged shared office space real estate play. But the story is not about people believing a questionable business model could be something different than it was; the real story is how FOMO can lead to people believing the unbelievable, even from totally not-credible people.
I could read this book ten more times, I enjoyed it so much. Not only is Kessler one of the great contemporary defenders of markets, but this book (written in 2003) about his ride on Wall Street from 1985 through the blow-up of the dotcom tech bubble is gripping drama, providing readers a remarkable glimpse into the old relationships between analysts, traders, and deal bankers. Written in defense of the need for Wall Street to provide capital access to businesses, it is neither self-righteous, defensive, or naive. Rather, it is a splendid bit of history juxtaposed with commentary – and that commentary has only grown in its relevance and urgency since 2003.
The Maker Versus the Takers
I don’t know that I will ever read a more exegetically sound defense of private property and free enterprise than this masterful and well-researched book by my dear friend, Jerry Bowyer, one of the most impressive economic minds I have ever been around. A careful and proficient talent for textual study leads Jerry to successfully make the case that what you are often told is the gospel view on riches is wildly off the mark.