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2013 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards, Finance & Economics

Sally Haldorson

December 16, 2013

The entries were submitted, the books were read, the shortlists determined, and we are now ready to announce the category winners of the 2013 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards! In the Finance & Economics category. .


The entries were submitted, the books were read, the shortlists determined, and we are now ready to announce the category winners of the 2013 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards! In the Finance & Economics category... Neil Irwin's The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire from The Penguin Press takes the top spot.

"The alchemists of medieval times never did figure out a way to create gold from tin, but as it turned out, it didn't matter. A central bank, imbued with power from the state and a printing press, had the same power. With that power, it creates the very underpinnings of modernity. As surely as electric utilities and sewer systems make modern cities possible, the flow of money enabled by central banks makes a modern economy possible." The Alchemists, page 8-9

The Alchemists not only provides those on the macroeconomic scene today with a better understanding of the history and role of central banks and bankers, it gives the general public insight into a world that is extremely powerful and very (and possibly necessarily) opaque, and leaves for future scholars a first draft history of the unprecedented, ad hoc institutional reaction to one of the biggest financial meltdowns the world has ever seen. And, in spite of it's white collar content and buttoned-up policy wonkishness, it is also an interesting history lesson and a uniquely human drama that unfolds. Overall, it's simply an important and entertaining read from Neil Irwin and The Penguin Press.

To revisit the runners-up, check out our Finance & Economcs shortlist announced last week.

(Our top award for The Best Business Book of 2013 will be announced in early January. Stay tuned!)

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