Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Escape Artists by Noam Scheiber

However you feel about the current administration, I think it is important and helpful to get a fair and balanced account of how it works. Call it due diligence for the 2012 election.  The selections below meet that test.

The Escape Artists by Noam Scheiber describes the inner workings of the Obama administration's approach to manage the economy. In this well-researched book, Scheiber describes the history of the main actors, including their flaws and strengths, how decisions were made and what the conversations were. This book fits in the Bob Woodward genre; however, unlike Woodward, Scheiber does not use quotations as extensively. While I love reading Woodward, his books seem to quote people so extensively that it is hard to believe that everything is a "real time" quote. Scheiber does a masterful job of explaining the meltdown and the actors involved.  Areas that Scheiber tackles is the post-2008 election stimulus package, the deficit fight and the budget standoff. A similar book, Confidence Men, came out in 2011.  Similar topics, similar analysis and a bit more Woodward-ian. If the topic appeals to you, you cannot go wrong with either one.

If you are interested in the auto industry rescue, I would recommend Steve Rattner's Overhaul. It was a marvelous account of the how the government intervened and approached that restructuring. If you are in the restructuring field, it is a must read.

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