The Big Con, by Mariana Mazzucatto

Staff Pick

What does the botched rollout have in common with Sweden's Karolinska Solna, the world’s most expensive hospital construction project? Both were wrecked by the massive (and highly regarded) consulting firms that oversaw them. The Big Con gives much needed critical attention to the public sector consulting work that is gutting in-house capacity, draining talent, and turning governments around the world into incompetent shells unable to provide the services their constituents elected them to perform; rather, they fund enormous for-profit companies and bear all the risk--and blame--when the projects fail, and the consultancies make off with the lucre. This book is an engaging, readable, and well-documented case for the inherent conflicts of interest and long-term dangers posed by public sector consulting.  

The Big Con: How the Consulting Industry Weakens Our Businesses, Infantilizes Our Governments, and Warps Our Economies By Mariana Mazzucato, Rosie Collington Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593492673
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Press - March 7th, 2023

Limitless, by Jeanna Smialek

Staff Pick


Whether staving off total economic collapse during the 2008 financial meltdown, countering the shocks of the covid-19 pandemic, or, most recently, struggling to lower inflation, the Federal Reserve has taken its emergency powers to new lengths. Jeanna Smialek, who covers the Fed for The New York Times, describes this expanded activism and makes clear the result has been a fundamental change in the Fed’s purpose and function in America’s economy. In telling the story of how the U.S. central bank is wrestling to define itself in a changing world, Smialek not only recounts the inside debates, but provides revealing portraits of key players, among them current Fed chairman Jerome Powell. All in all, an engaging and informative narrative.

Limitless: The Federal Reserve Takes on a New Age of Crisis By Jeanna Smialek Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593320235
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Knopf - February 28th, 2023

Davos Man, by Peter Goodman

Staff Pick

As The New York Times economics correspondent Peter Goodman notes in his prologue, many people do a lot of ogling at the lives of billionaires, marveling at their outlandish parties, their trophy estates, and the details of their vastly expensive divorce settlements. But Goodman makes an impassioned and detailed case that these richest people in the world have done great harm to the rest of us. He describes how, while often extolling philanthropy and social justice, they’ve deliberately engineered systems of business and government to serve their own interests and, in doing so, have enhanced their own wealth at the expense of the welfare and economic security of many others. All the more so, Goodman asserts, during the current pandemic.

Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World By Peter S. Goodman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063078307
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Custom House - January 18th, 2022