One of my all-time favorite business writers is Joe Nocera. Here’s been at the New York Times for since 2005 – writing a weekly column on Saturdays titled “Talking Business” that’s always a joy to read. He often uses his Executive Suite blog to extend the discussion from his column and to gather reader comments. I last wrote about Joe while reading his most recent book last summer.
I met Joe once at Fidelity Investments in Boston in 1989. At the time he was doing research for what he published in 1994: “A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class” (see the New York Times review of that book).
When I met Joe, I had recently left Visa (only to return again less than two years later) and Joe was doing some other writing for a Fidelity magazine publication named Worth. He learned of my recent arrival at Fidelity and sought me out to ask a bunch of questions about life and times at Visa.
In this Sunday’s New York TImes Book Review in a review titled “Flying Blind“, Joe takes a look at a book about the depression years – Liaquat Ahamed’s “Lords of Finance”. The Times calls the book “a grand narrative of the events leading to the Great Depression, built around the stories of four powerful central bankers.” For Joe, the parallels between the book’s description of those times and our present economic situation are too familiar. In his review, he writes:
Here at this critical moment…, “Lords of Finance” poses an unsettling question. Do we really understand the workings of that delicate machine any better than our forebears did? Or do we only think we do?
Here’s a quick profile of Joe that is also included in the Sunday Book Review.