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Dear Chairman Book Summary : A sharp and illuminating history of one of capitalism’s longest running tensions—the conflicts of interest among public company directors, managers, and shareholders—told through entertaining case studies and original letters from some of our most legendary and controversial investors and activists. Recent disputes between shareholders and major corporations, including Apple and DuPont, have made headlines. But the struggle between management and those who own stock has been going on for nearly a century. Mixing never-before-published and rare, original letters from Wall Street icons—including Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Ross Perot, Carl Icahn, and Daniel Loeb—with masterful scholarship and professional insight, Dear Chairman traces the rise in shareholder activism from the 1920s to today, and provides an invaluable and unprecedented perspective on what it means to be a public company, including how they work and who is really in control. Jeff Gramm analyzes different eras and pivotal boardroom battles from the last century to understand the factors that have caused shareholders and management to collide. Throughout, he uses the letters to show how investors interact with directors and managers, how they think about their target companies, and how they plan to profit. Each is a fascinating example of capitalism at work told through the voices of its most colorful, influential participants. A hedge fund manager and an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, Gramm has spent as much time evaluating CEOs and directors as he has trying to understand and value businesses. He has seen public companies that are poorly run, and some that willfully disenfranchise their shareholders. While he pays tribute to the ingenuity of public company investors, Gramm also exposes examples of shareholder activism at its very worst, when hedge funds engineer stealthy land-grabs at the expense of a company’s long term prospects. Ultimately, he provides a thorough, much-needed understanding of the public company/shareholder relationship for investors, managers, and everyone concerned with the future of capitalism.
Dear Committee Members Book Summary : A Best Book of the Year: NPR and Boston Globe Finally a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary." Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville's Bartleby. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Dear CEO Book Summary : This collection of specially-commissioned letters offers clear, calming and concise advice from across the spectrum of current leadership thinking. Written by respected business thinkers around the world, these 50 letters provide guidance, wisdom and personal insight into the particular challenges facing the business world today and anyone in a senior position. Contributors include high-profile names such as Tom Peters, who stresses the importance of focussing on the people within an organization; Liz Mellon, who writes to her CEO about gender equality in the workplace; Chris Zook, explaining how a change of mentality can lead to exponential growth; and Linda Brimm, who discusses managing global cosmopolitans and a modern workforce. Dear CEO also features a foreword by Zhang Ruimin, Chairman and CEO of Haier Group.
Barbarians in the Boardroom Book Summary : Activist investors have sent shockwaves through corporations in recent years, personally targeting directors and executives at some of the world’s largest companies. No longer satisfied with operating on the fringes of business, they are now a firm fixture in the boardroom. Up to a quarter of public companies could be targeted by activist campaigns in the coming years, with directors and executives at those corporations threatened with losing their jobs. The trend, which began in corporate America, has spread to the UK, Europe and Asia, taking in several high profile companies. Barbarians in the Boardroom tells a compelling story of boardroom bust ups, dumped CEOs triumphant activists and pared back companies. It reveals real-life examples and interviews with executives and investors to explain why and how activist investors have managed to storm Wall Street and tear down City citadels. Owen Walker provides an insight into the way activists think, how they decide to target a company and how directors and executives could possibly work with them rather than against them.
Dear Founder Book Summary : The Los Angeles Times and USA Today bestseller! Wise, practical, and profitable letters to entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, and business owners in every field—from a leading executive, investor, and business founder More than 600,000 new businesses are launched each year. How can a start-up find the funding it needs to survive? When, if at all, should a company go public? How does an entrepreneur build and manage a workplace—and create a lasting legacy? Maynard Webb has helped found, fund, and grow dozens of successful companies, and has driven strategic change at Salesforce, eBay, Everwise, and Visa, among other worldwide corporations. Known for offering savvy insight, encouragement, and a dose of reality in the form of engaging personal letters to a select group of business leaders, Webb now shares his lessons with the rest of America’s aspiring entrepreneurs—at any age and stage in their careers—in Dear Founder. Featuring more than eighty inspiring, informative, and instructive letters, Dear Founder is rich with sound advice on an array of business topics, from turning your idea into a reality to building a culture, to reaching key financial goals. This book is an indispensable guide to navigating the realities, risks, and rewards of being your own boss—and founding the company of your dreams.
Dear Shareholder Book Summary : The shareholder letters of corporate leaders are a rich source of business and investing wisdom. There is no more authoritative resource on subjects ranging from leadership and management to capital allocation and company culture. But with thousands of shareholder letters written every year, how can investors and students of the corporate world sift this vast swathe to unearth the best insights? Dear Shareholder is the solution! In this masterly new collection, Lawrence A. Cunningham, business expert and acclaimed editor of The Essays of Warren Buffett, presents the finest writers in the genre of the shareholder letter, and the most significant excerpts from their total output. Skillfully curated, edited and arranged, these letters showcase the ultimate in business and investment knowledge from an all-star team. Dear Shareholder holds letters by more than 20 different leaders from 16 companies. These leaders include Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Tom Gayner (Markel), Kay Graham and Don Graham (The Washington Post and Graham Holdings), Roberto Goizueta (Coca-Cola), Ginni Rometty (IBM), and Prem Watsa (Fairfax). Topics covered in these letters include the long-term focus, corporate culture and commitment to values, capital allocation, buybacks, dividends, acquisitions, management, business strategy, and executive compensation. As we survey the corporate landscape in search of outstanding companies run by first-rate managers, shareholder letters are a valuable resource. The letters also contain a wealth of knowledge on the core topics of effective business management. Let Dear Shareholder be your guide.
Rebooting Work Book Summary : From Silicon Valley leader Maynard Webb, how we can leveragetechnology to change how we work Maynard Webb has always been the go-to guy when Silicon Valleycompanies have thorny problems. Whether revamping eBay's crashingservers (transforming their technology weaknesses into acompetitive strength) or investing in emerging technologystart-ups, Webb brings strategic and operational savvy to everyissue and venture. In his first book, Webb brings this same focusto tackle outdated models of work, created a century ago, which nolonger sync up with either individual or employers' needs. Through a unique framework, Webb identifies 4 different mindsetsaround work (the company man, CEO of your own destiny, disenchantedemployee, and the aspiring entrepreneur). It organizes those whoare self-motivated versus those who are waiting to be discoveredand aims to give readers the tools to become more self-actualized,happier, and ultimately more fulfilled in their careers. Inidentifying a paradigm shift that is already under way, Webbdemonstrates clearly how to harness technology to embrace our ownpersonal happiness, allowing people to become more productive atwork and also spend more time with their families. Contains a framework that demonstrates how we can leveragetechnology to create better job opportunities and foster morebalanced lives Written by Maynard Webb, chairman of LiveOps, former COO ofe-Bay, founder of Webb Investment Network (WIN), and board memberof Yahoo! and salesforce.com Includes personalized worksheets and empowering action-orientedadvice Rebooting Work reveals how anyone can take control of hisor her own future, finding greater fulfillment, productivity, andhappiness.
Dear Girls Book Summary : The New York Times bestseller Ali Wong's heartfelt and hilarious letters to her daughters cover everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mum in a male-dominated profession and how she trapped their dad. In her hit Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, Wong told the world her remarkably unfiltered thoughts on marriage, sex, Asian culture, working women and why you never see new mum comics on stage but you sure see plenty of new dads. The sharp insights and humour are even more personal in this completely original collection. She shares the wisdom she’s learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life off stage, including the brutal single life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco and parenting war stories. Ali Wong's letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving and enlightening (and gross) for all.
Big Magic Book Summary : The instant #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller "A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life... I dare you not to be inspired to be brave, to be free, and to be curious.” —PopSugar From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of. Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
What If Chairman Mao Woke Up Today Book Summary : Just for a moment, consider: What If Chairman Mao Woke Up Today? Proud of being Chinese, author Lei Shi finds it interesting to revisit China now that she lives overseas, and wonders if Mao would feel the same. What would he think of modern China? Her cleverly humorous novel follows an American businessman and his wife visiting China for a month. Chairman Mao “wakes up” and wishes to go undercover with the couple to discover how China has changed in the nearly forty years since his passing in 1976. Science preserved Chairman Mao, and he discovers a newly powerful and fruitful China that has superseded his dream for the country. The fear that a rich Chinese people would overturn his agenda proved not to be the case. After Chairman Mao meets dozens of women under the influence of Western and modern culture, he falls in love.
Deep Value Book Summary : The economic climate is ripe for another golden age of shareholder activism Deep Value: Why Activist Investors and Other Contrarians Battle for Control of Losing Corporations is a must-read exploration of deep value investment strategy, describing the evolution of the theories of valuation and shareholder activism from Graham to Icahn and beyond. The book combines engaging anecdotes with industry research to illustrate the principles and methods of this complex strategy, and explains the reasoning behind seemingly incomprehensible activist maneuvers. Written by an active value investor, Deep Value provides an insider's perspective on shareholder activist strategies in a format accessible to both professional investors and laypeople. The Deep Value investment philosophy as described by Graham initially identified targets by their discount to liquidation value. This approach was extremely effective, but those opportunities are few and far between in the modern market, forcing activists to adapt. Current activists assess value from a much broader palate, and exploit a much wider range of tools to achieve their goals. Deep Value enumerates and expands upon the resources and strategies available to value investors today, and describes how the economic climate is allowing value investing to re-emerge. Topics include: Target identification, and determining the most advantageous ends Strategies and tactics of effective activism Unseating management and fomenting change Eyeing conditions for the next M&A boom Activist hedge funds have been quiet since the early 2000s, but economic conditions, shareholder sentiment, and available opportunities are creating a fertile environment for another golden age of activism. Deep Value: Why Activist Investors and Other Contrarians Battle for Control of Losing Corporations provides the in-depth information investors need to get up to speed before getting left behind.
The Activist Director Book Summary : Some of the worst corporate meltdowns over the past sixty years can be traced to passive directors who favored operational shortcuts over quality growth strategies. Thinking primarily about placating institutional investors, selective stockholders, proxy advisors, and corporate management, these inattentive and deferential board members have relied on short-term share price increases to sustain their companies long term. Driven by a desire for prosperity, not posterity, these actions can doom any company. In The Activist Director, attorney Ira M. Millstein looks back at fifty years of counseling companies, nonprofits, and governments to actively govern their corporations and constituencies. From the threat of bankruptcy and the ConEd blackout of 1970s New York City, to the meltdown of Drexel Burnham Lambert in the late 1980s, to the turnaround of General Motors in the mid-1990s, Millstein takes readers into the boardrooms of several of the greatest catastrophes and success stories of America's best-known corporations. His solution lies at the top: a new breed of activist directors who partner with management and reject short-term outlooks, plan a future based on growth and innovation, and take responsibility for corporate organization, strategy, and efficiency. What questions should we ask of potential board members and how do we know they'll be active? Millstein offers pragmatic suggestions for recruiting activist directors to the boardroom to secure the future of the corporation.
Fooling Some of the People All of the Time A Long Short Story Book Summary : In 2002, Einhorn spoke publicly about Allied Capital--a leader in the private finance industry--presenting it as an excellent short opportunity. Einhorn describes the incredible events that followed his speech and how Allied and the investment community attacked him to protect the company--and its stock price. Informative and intriguing, "Fooling Some of the People All of the Time" details how the current environment on Wall Street--and the world of hedge funds in particular-- not only allows for such behavior, but how it protects the companies and attacks those who attempt to uncover them.--From publisher's description.