And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out)

Wall Street, the IMF, and the Bankrupting of Argentina

At the outset of the 20th century, Argentina was one of the wealthiest nations in the world and appeared to be on the right path to lasting prosperity. However, as it usually happens with things that are “too good, too fast,” the nation seemed to be so overwhelmed with its momentary success, that in the end wasted its chances to achieve a beautiful future. It all started in 1991, when, after the nation experienced many years of hyperinflation and poor monetary performance, a new Economy Minister –  Cavallo was appointed. He embraced a radical framework to impose a fiscal discipline on the country; his system fixed the exchange rate: 1 Argentine peso = 1 U.S. dollar. Many people disagreed that such a step is wise. Nonetheless, in spite of many cynics, this convertibility framework succeeded to tame Argentina’s hyperinflation and to set up the financial establishment for future economic prosperity.

In the meantime, the Argentine government focused on other problem areas as well. They removed trade barriers, deregulated industry, privatized government companies and did everything they could do to make the market stronger. Despite a few issues with corruption in the privatization program, in general, the new “order” appeared to work magnificently. Cavallo quickly became a national legend. In 1997, the IMF gave its approval to Argentina by setting up a “precautionary” program to give the country crisis monies if necessary. In any case, Argentina was just starting its road of success, and nobody thought that it could ever require these emergency funds.

Allured by its booming market, investors continued to buy Argentina’s bonds. However, their interest and investments indebted the country more than it was recommended. Very soon the country’s debt – to GDP ratio climbed beyond frugal levels. The IMF warned the state that a market crash might be on the way, but this warning was quickly brushed aside. Overnight, just as the IMF suspected, things got out of hand.

The rise and the fall of Argentina’s bubble is a product of irresponsible governing and inexcusable greed, and let to the unexplainable anguish that reached the whole world. People starved, kids died, families lost everything as the economy broke down. The way that a darling of the worldwide capital markets could reach such a despicable end fuels the anti-globalization movement. The Argentine financial collapse had adverse outcomes for the population of Argentina and moreover – for the world.

Who is this book for

This book is a delightful presentation of the rise and the fall of Argentina’s market. First, it shows the way the country succeeded in overcoming decades of financial troubles and started moving towards economic growth. Moreover, it explains the way the nation sunk into financial chaos, bigger than ever before. Author Blustein is not “objectively” telling the story. On the contrary, he argues that brokerage companies and international banks are the main culprits in destroying Argentina’s economy. Furthermore, he does not cast a light on what happened to all the money that flowed into the country during its booming years.  On the other hand, he presents us his expert opinion about the dark side of globalization and underlines some current problems in the international financial system. We recommend this book to anyone that is interested in economics and global finance.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Paul Blustein has written about economic and business topics for more than 20 years. He is a writer at The Washington Post and has authored The Chastening: Inside the crisis that rocked the global financial system and humbled the IMF.

Key Lessons from

1.      The Argentine Recession
2.      The Beginning of the End
3.      The Fall

The Argentine Recession

In 1999, Brazil devalued its currency, and therefore hastened the crisis. Since Brazil was an important export market for Argentina, the devaluation increased Argentina’s export costs. Consequently,  as one could anticipate, Argentina’s exports decreased. In the meantime, global commodity prices were declining as well, cutting Argentina’s profit from wheat and other horticultural products. Finally, investors started to stress over Argentina’s capacity to service its debts. Argentina got itself caught in an endless loop. The recession prompted greater budget deficits, which, accordingly, prompted more market sketchiness. These events drove the markets to request higher interest rates on Argentine securities, thus prompting a much more profound recession.

The Beginning of the End

In December 2000, the International Monetary Fund gave consent to give a loan to Argentina. The loan’s worth was $14 billion and was supposed to provide the administration with some breathing space to deal with its difficult issues. Experts scrutinized Argentina’s fiscal discipline, and fret that regardless of the possibility that it stayed on the course of budgetary control, it would not have the ability to develop economically and to improve its debt to-GDP proportions. Of course, their worries came true. Soon, everybody realized that Argentina’s economic situation was unsustainable. It had taken more loans than it could repay. The Argentine economy kept on declining.

The Fall

The Argentine story continued developing as a tragedy. By late 2001, the circumstances were critical to the point that international investors suggested that Argentina should start restructuring its debts. Adequately, they were requesting that Argentina paid them less of what it owed. The Argentine government reacted with a plan of debt-restructuring, that would cut Argentina’s interest installments by $4 billion every year. Rating agencies replied by minimizing Argentina’s bond rating. Instantly, everyone started going to the banks, trying to take out their money, before the banking system collapsed.

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In Spite of the Gods

To begin with, the transformation is perhaps the most challenging part. Witnessing of it comes second.

For hundreds of years, India has been the most prominent representative of spirituality. Its spiritual destiny gave birth to numerous saints, religious people, and religions. In essence, no one can deny the significant impact that this country had (and still has) over the world, especially Westerners. The cultures differ, but the bridge of connection carries the same burden. The powerful pull and notion of India remain a mystery even now.

“In Spite of the Gods” is s book that answers and resolves many stereotypes linked to India, back and forward. Not even Winston Churchill’s claim that – India is a beastly country with a beastly religion” managed to ruin the reputation of the Indian people. Nevertheless, spirituality according to experts contributed a lot to India’s poverty and lack of economic opportunities.

The reformer Mahatma Gandhi used only love to transform the rural parts of India and help it to progress. The village life and poverty were taken as a starting point for the building-block to appear. These urban centers and industries were a turning point for the Indian people because it helped millions to improve their standard of living. This is a process, which lasts to this day, so obstructions emerge naturally. Mahatma didn’t oppose the challenges linked to the new reforms; he embraced them with utmost sincerity. The desire to improve lives was a motivation to reshape the Indian culture.

The improvements are visible and even tangible because “rural” India, has become an economic and military power in the digital age. More and more Indians are prone to learn the Western way of life and implement some of the things in their culture. However, the Gandhi’s ideology and social ideas encountered resistance in those days. According to young entrepreneurs, his methods are primitive and useless. Bhimrao Ambedkar, for example – the leader and creator of the untouchable Dalit caste, actively confronted the term and ideology known as Gandhianism. According to him, the village mentality would only keep India trail behind in centuries to come. He despised the shallow perspective and firmly believed in democracy as a tool for fighting the oppressive caste system.

Unfortunately, the assassination of Gandhi brought India back to the early beginnings. Jawaharlal Nehru – India’s first prime minister, re-organized the country by enforcing some socialist-oriented perspective and ideology. The growth of democracy was put on hold, at least for some time. The secular, socialist path was in one way or another a new start for India. The Nehru’s politics and socialism included the creation of Non-Aligned Movement in association with other North African nations and Yugoslavia.

The capital-intensive industries in allegiance with a socialist policy did very little to solve India’s massive unemployment situation. The poorness, derived from all sides, and this was a case of one-sided interest that protected the entrenched industrial interest. For this reason, the government enforced some educational programs, conveying the same message, leading to far greater poverty. As shown above, India was trapped in illiteracy and a shortage of top-quality universities available to everyone. However, this remained a privilege for the upper class.

Dozens of similar books share the same passion but not the same information and ingenuity. Although, India currently doesn’t have the largest population, inevitably experiences class division and underdevelopment. “Chindia,” is a term used for conducting comparison among the world’s most populous nations. Edward Luce makes it very clear that comparing countries is a perfect way of assessing the analytical, economic, and intellectual capacity of some country.

Who is this book for

GetNugget, recognized the value, originating from this one-of-a-kind piece of writing. This excellent, well-written book is much more than a reportage on India. The author – Edward Luce, take matters on to the next stage, by providing a colorful, eye-catching picture of the country with a traditional background. Its spiritual path is probably the most significant indicator of India’s culture and technological development. However, even religiousness comes at a price.

This book is not just a history material, that may or may not be amusing to some individuals. “In Spite of the Gods” is a first-class comprehensive, fact-filled book that explains India’s difficulties from the beginning of the 20th century. As such, it is highly recommendable to all people, motivated enough to learn a little more about the Indian culture, history, and way of life.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Edward Luce was born on June 1st, 1968 in Sussex – England. He is an author, columnist, journalist and the chief of The Financial Times located in Washington D.C and South Asia based in New Delhi. During Clinton’s mandate, Edward worked as a speechwriter, with a team of experts.

Key Lessons from “In Spite of the Gods”

1.      India’s cultural richness has no beginnings nor endings
2.      The power of diplomacy
3.      Indian Muslims remained in India

India’s cultural richness has no beginnings nor endings

Thousands of perspectives have sprouted and collapsed over some time. This so-called country of wisdom and spiritual movement endured for a long time to keep its secrecy and cultural richness. People are accustomed to change!

The power of diplomacy

The United States decided to use India, as a counterpart to defy the Chinese growth and military potential. In short, the U.S without hesitation accepted India’s nuclear status, as a result of China’s economic and military arsenal.

Indian Muslims remained in India

Even though many questioned their loyalty to India, Muslims from India without doubt, decided to live and fight for their country during and after the Indo-Pakistani conflict. According to them, there is nothing wrong with being faithful to your country and religion.  

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A Splendid Exchange

How Trade Shaped the World

Nowadays people are used to buying goods from other states, no matter how far they are. Foreign trading has always been a part of human’s lives and played an essential role in society’s development.  Archeologists have found some clues that show that even in ancient times people were exchanging goods over long distances. The earliest trade by water is thought to be an exchange between farmers and hunter-gatherers. However, people transported only the most precious items and trading everyday goods were not as frequent as it is today: first because the costs for transport were too high, and second because transporting was a dangerous activity.

Bandits wandered around, looking for merchants who they could kill and take their products. Water trade was overwhelming: navigation was primitive, ships were rickety, pirates were all over the place, and the unsafe weather sank many ships. Nonetheless, products kept on moving, driven by the vast profits to be made by trading.

During the late Pleistocene time, that lasted until 10,000 years ago, a bridge (Beringia), existed between the eastern and western sides of the equator. As a result, animals and plants were able to pass from the Old to the New World and vice versa. People moved west to the New World, and camels and stallions – east into the Old World. Camels can store water, so they can last a long time without needing hydration. Apart from that, they sweat less and consequently lose less of the stored liquid than other species, making them a perfect fit for life in parched areas. Camels rapidly became essential for transporting products all around Asia. Traders sometimes used donkeys as well, but the camels did the most significant portion of the work.

At first, dealers carried just the products that were the most significant and held a reasonable market value, like perfumes, incense, and body oils.  The demand for such goods was quite high in the period when people wore the same garments over and over again and rarely showered. Along these products, silk, myrrh, and frankincense were the most cherished merchandise. Amid the 14th to the 17th centuries, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and different goods supplanted incense and scents as the most valuable trade products. By the 16th century, the Portuguese ruled the ocean trade with Asia, closely trailed by the Genoese and Venetians, and after that the Dutch.

Distant trading had many positive aspects, especially for those who engaged in it: from wealthy individuals who wore ravishing silk to nations who utterly depended on imported grains for sustenance. Be that as it may, apart from goods, trade in ancient times transported lethal illnesses as well, for example, the grisly Black Death, a plague unintentionally brought from Asia to Europe and the East, where it murdered somewhere around a hundred million men and women.  

Who is this book for

This book offers an understandable and valuable insight into the timeline of world trade, wrapped inside splendid bits of writing. Furthermore, along the way Bernstein tosses in enchanting little-known facts and details, which make the book even more fascinating. For instance, he demystifies the Boston Tea Party, the event that helped the American Revolution, which in reality was not a demonstration of patriotism. Conversely, it was a sneaky trick by smugglers and dealers that cost the colonists a considerable amount of money. Then, he talks about how an Ethiopian herder may have stumbled upon coffee when he saw his goats and camels running around joyfully throughout the night after eating the red berries of an unfamiliar bush, etc.

Although Bernstein has filled his book with such details, his principal goal is evident: presenting a comprehensive report on global trade from its ancient beginnings to the present day. We are sure that any reader will enjoy this piece of adventurous writing, as well the historical insight on a topic that is an inseparable part of all of our lives.

Author’s expertise and short biography

William Bernstein, Ph.D., M.D., is a retired neurologist situated in Oregon. Famous for his site on asset allocation and portfolio theory Efficient Frontier, Dr. Bernstein is a co-chief in the money administration company Efficient Frontier Advisors. He is the author of a few best-selling books on finance and history and is frequently cited in the national financial media.

Key Lessons from “Manage Your Mind”

1.      Discovery of the New World
2.      A small world
3.      Free trade

Discovery of the New World

In the late 1400s, Genoese sailor Christopher Columbus requested that the Spanish government subsidized his voyage west to reach the famous markets in China and India. At this point, most educated individuals accepted, as did Columbus, the fact that the Earth was round. In any case, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella considered his expedition so difficult and unreliable that they disagreed with it at first. Be that as it may, at the end they authorized his undertaking. In 1492, Columbus and his three boats got to the New World. At the same time, Portuguese pilgrim Vasco da Gama cruised at total 28,000 miles around the globe. His ships were on the sea for 95 days. At the time, these were incredible accomplishments, and after them, worldwide exchange and business could never be the same.

A Small World

As the world became more accessible and, hence, “smaller,” worldwide trade changed profoundly. After the 1700s, ranchers in numerous areas were able to deliver New World products of high value, for example, cotton, coffee, sugar, and tea. By the 1700s, cotton turned out to be more alluring than silk. These progressions changed global trade. The 1800s brought significant transportation innovations and improvements, including railways, steamships and refrigeration strategies. Manufacturers had a more extensive choice of means of transport, and thus, could ship their goods further and faster,  and all that for a smaller price. These advances significantly stimulated world trade.  

Free Trade

The U.S. used to favor protectionism by setting high import charges. When it comes to parties, Republicans support protectionism, while Democrats are less fascinated by it. The 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff, increased the already extreme taxes on imports, inciting different countries to respond in the same way. Thus, global trade nearly stopped in the mid-1930s. Cordell Hull, secretary of state under President Roosevelt, utilized his influence to encourage free trade. Nowadays, free trade benefits a lot of people around the world.

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The Consolation of Philosophy

How a condemned Roman back in the 6th century found the strength to confront himself using only the “mysterious” Christian philosophy.

The book starts with a story that really represents the beginning of one incredible journey. Boethius find himself before a Roman prosecutor after being charged for high-treason. The time spent in a chamber in almost unbearable conditions inspired something in him. As an illustration of this call of inner nature, the author explains the pull of poetry and art. Even though it wasn’t a dungeon, it evidently felt that way. The miserable condition was supported by unclear thoughts and ideas of salvation.

Boethius was moved and struck by the inspiration that these creatures conveyed everywhere they went. He took refuge in the sea of poetry, allowing no one to disturb the peaceful harmony – floating in the air. The culmination of the story happens with the appearance of the female version of Boethius. In pursuance of respect, this character gradually enters the story with a new judgemental attitude towards the muses. Her long gown reflects the individuality that arises out of her. The right hand is busy with a scepter, while the left hand is for books. This ancient “ghost” condemns the muses for their inability to perform well and leave them little choice but to flee. The plot continues with Boethius’s punishment as a consequence of not recognizing the female version and for self-pity.

As a successful scholar and politician, Boethius magically interpreted the future. Early in his career, he merged the Christian Philosophy with the Ancient Greek theories. He believed that these so-called influential treatises were the beginning of new times. Aristotle’s logic interpreted with a dose of Christianity meant everything for him.

Even the Roman rulers greeted his name because they saw great potential in him. Today’s historians claim that Rome was the beginning of western civilization and rule of democracy. However, before another step towards equality is made, the readers should understand that Rome brought knowledge to all aspects known to humans. This range of values marked the birth of modern society.

The crafty vision enabled him to take advantage of many opportunities that appeared before him. He believed in change, although people were aversive back then as they are now. His world actually collapsed, when King – Theoderic accused him of being unfaithful to him and Rome.

Such a devastating turn of events questioned the justice of Rome. Locked and desperate, Boethius had a lot of time to think things over. The community had granted him the final opportunity to change his perspective by showing regret for his actions. Instead, he devoted his time and energy studying Aristotle’s views. Waiting for execution or worst – torture is perhaps that worst-case scenario that a person can experience. A limited amount of time and a lot to think about, Boethius transformed into a philosopher. Translated in mostly in verse and partly in prose, P.G. Walsh outlines the idea that worldly things don’t have the power to make us happy. Boethius’s monologue is taken as a starting point to indicate how happiness comes to light. GetNugget gladly presents this five-star books, to all people who are striving for success and contentment.

Who is this book for

Back in the days, Rome was the center not only of military strength and influence but also intelligence, progress, and prosperity. Around 480 C.E., our main character Boethius was born in order to become the next renowned scholar of Rome. His successful educational-campaign shapes the thinking patterns and life-philosophies that he’d cherish for many years.

This is only one part of the story, the rest of it remains a secret until you read the book. Remember some of the examples here are just a indications of similar situations. According to the author, if you ever encounter a similar case, that drives you to self-pity think about Boethius. Apparently, this old and yet highly effective approach to problems has led many readers to believe that the ancient civilization (especially Rome) forged the modern world.

Christian society remained strict and inflexible, bypassing any links to past. To gain the favor of the crowd, he became a respected senator. This book is more than a classic philosophical endeavor, whose interests lies in shifting people’s shallow views. It’s a mighty guide that is highly recommended for historians, students, all people eager to learn new every-day moves.

Authors’ expertise and short biography

Boethius was a Christian philosopher born in Rome to a wealthy family in 480 AD. The love for philosophy and literature emerged from many scholars and senators that were present in his life. In fact, from a young age, Boethius was fluent in Greek. The translator P.G. Walsh was born on August 16, 1923, in Accrington. He proudly served Britain during WW2 in the Intelligence Corps. Patrick died on January 16, 2013, in Glasgow.

Key Lessons from “The Consolation of Philosophy”

1.      A new life for a philosopher
2.      The mirror of philosophy
3.      God and the concept of goodness

A new life for a philosopher

The danger of not having a life that he dreamed of made him paranoiac. A threat was lurking behind every corner, so he uncovered a new “poetry-craftsman” that dwelled in him to deal with this phenomenon. All of a sudden, an urge for change emerge due to various poetic muses that came into the room.

The mirror of philosophy

Philosophical attitude is a mirror for people feeling stress and anxiety – a theory well learned by Boethius. Human life needs to be filled with joy and pleasure, but the relevant aspect doesn’t always find common ground with reality. Find truth in philosophy and theology.

God and the concept of goodness

Undoubtedly there is a source from which all the good deeds emerge. However, finding it – has been a mystery ongoing for centuries. According to “The Consolation of Philosophy” God is the only real representative of moral virtues.

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The End of Faith

Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

Ever since the beginnings of religion, some people were not entirely taken by it. But as the world evolves, a significant number of people overthrow faith and the worldview it creates. One of those people seems to be the author of this book. In this narrative, he presents his opinions on the destructiveness of religion. He claims that religious tolerance as a concept needs we need to destroy since it only harms this world. In his view, religious faith makes people believe impossible things, and extreme believers are prone to violent behaviors. Although religion can help people reach higher states of mind, the same can be achieved without religion also.  He firmly claims that science and reason should guide people, and not premises painted by religion.

Words are just words until you attach emotion to them. And belief and faith are the most potent emotions you can connect to something. The author emphasizes this to explain his view on the ways religion shapes the lives of people. According to him, faith is not naïve. On the contrary, it is complicated, and it engraves itself deeply in your mind. It has the power to shape our experiences, the picture we have of ourselves and the way we go about living your life.

In the modern world, religion is getting even more dangerous. Most of the wars nowadays start because of religious differences. The author believes that religion provokes violence. If religious faith did not exist, the world would be a safer place. Although many people think that moderation is the key, the author does not agree. In fact, he does not even accept the notion of religious restraint. The true religion, he says, lies in fundamentalism, and anyone who is moderate is not religious. And, numbering some real-life examples, he goes on with his thesis that fundamentalism pushes people to war.

Lastly, he underlines the difference between faith and spirituality. He explains the difference between the two based on how rational they are. He defines spirituality as a sensible concept. He states that belief in things that humans cannot explain or see only blocks truth. He strongly condemns faith as being irrational and unschooled, and truly bad for society.

Who is this book for?

Sam Harris has written a controversial book. He faults religion for many wrongdoings in the society incited by the nonexistent reconciliation between faith and religion. He presents his thoughts in a wordy, compelling manner, and he pushes readers to examine their own beliefs. One of his central questions is: if there is God, why does he permit evil. It is an ancient question, but it still does the trick. When confronted by it people are provoked to face their philosophies on life and the world. But, Harris writes in a way that not only is openly against religion but also against everyone that glorifies it. If provoking believers or tinkering with ancient philosophical questions in modern times is in the domain of your interest.

Authors’ expertise and short biography

Sam Harris is an author of a handful of books, published in more than 20 languages. Among the titles he penned are the bestsellers The End of Faith, Free Will, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Waking Up, Lying, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue (with eMaajid Nawaz). He has graduated from Stanford University on the department of Philosophy and did his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at UCLA. Time, The New York Times, Nature, Rolling Stone, Scientific American, Newsweek, and many other journals have discussed his works.

Key Lessons from “The End of Faith”

1.      Religion is bloody and violent
2.      Religion and Ethics
3.      God the Author

Religion is violent and brutal

Historical events teach us that religion has bloody routes. Christians have burned heretics, who proclaimed the truth about the world that was false according to religious truths. People that could have made an impact on the scientific revolution of the world were tortured and killed for centuries. Islam is the same. Muslim extremists practice an extreme faith. They take each word of the Koran to heart and follow the directions they believe it gives them. The Koran, according to the author, is not a peaceful book. He illustrates that it is full of passages about violence and intolerance. The author points out that people that practiced some faith or the other have indeed contributed to society. But, it is important to note that it has nothing to do with their faith. He even claims that if people were not so religious, inventions could happen sooner.

Religion and Ethics

Defendants of religious faith repeatedly insist that humans were able to build the ethical system thanks to religion. Needless to say, they claim this with no sufficient evidence. In reality, the society’s moral system is most probably rooted in our genes. The image of God has not been invented to help people differentiate between good and evil. Most of the time, they can do so without an external push. It was created by humankind to explain the unexplainable and justify events that are unjustifiable. If God existed, horrors would not. And yet, we live in a world full of horrors, out of which many started in the name of religion.

God the Author

Religious beliefs can neither be proved nor disproved. But, even without religion, humankind can tell right from wrong and pleasant from unpleasant. Humans enjoy love, not envy and hatred. People should just move away from doing others well because there is someone bigger than us who is watching, and do good just because it feels nice. In essence, religion will not lead to better humanity. Only higher consciousness can achieve that.

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Collapse of an Empire by Yegor Gaidar – Book Summary

Are you a history lover? Soviet Union’s breakdown wasn’t the end of the ex-socialist republics. Get the big picture of how The Russian Federation managed to conduct political reforms.  

100 years after the collapse of the great Russian empire, people still wonder what would have happened if Russian society remained loyal to the Tsar. Nowadays, skepticism prevails among all classes because nostalgy entered deep into the community. Such a force, and military power endeavors to help other countries to overcome political crisis, and oppose foreign influences. However, it is important to mention that sentimentally is not an attribute which characterizes a particular nation or race. The world shares this notion about something that could have been done better.

The effulgence of glory is often followed up by several collapses and defeats. Separatist movements on European Soil kept going full steam ahead especially in the 20th century. The economy demolished by war threatened the everyday life of almost all European residents back in those days. Countries stood firm and adhered to some core principles and their constitution, but that wasn’t enough to stop the terror which was lurking behind every corner. The mind-games played a significant role despite the resistance to oppose this campaign. The European people suffered the consequences of this brutality. 

In fact, every nation struggled to defend its borders against the “disease” that struck the continent. The 20th century was seconds away from meetings its final hours which could have produced an unequal society torn up by conflict. According to numerous historians and experts, those days divided Europe into two categories. Moreover, these empires encountered different challenges, typical for their state regulation. The first kind consisted of the widespread British, Dutch and Portuguese influence which was known by the well-designed division between cities and their colonies. Not long after these empires lost their outlined territories, a new Europe was born. On the other hand, The Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires were much more integrated, considering the fact that these countries had all their cities located inside the borders.

This remarkable, easily accessible, lucid survey of modern Russian history is more than a fact-filled book because it covers many aspects ranging from agriculture to external affairs. Readers would be utmost trilled, with numerous subjects presented in the book. Russia spread their influence across the globe, interested in various matters. The author of “Collapse of an Empire” – Yegor Gaidar, was working under the former prime minister Boris Yeltsin for several years. His views are integrated into a straightforward and all-inclusive summary of how the Russian Empire progressed throughout the 20th century. Numerous lessons are capable of answering many questions that an average reader may have. His primary objective is to clarify some mysteries surrounding the Soviet Union.

The glory days of the communist era is described in several chapters. GetNugget is thrilled with the broad and exclusive information displayed in the book. From the 90s, Russia has undergone a series of economic reforms that transformed the society and privatized the country. To sum it up, this book is highly recommendable for all people eager to learn more about the Russian progress.

Who is this book for

The end was evident, and these so-called empires fell apart due to numerous reasons. After the collapse, many people lost their state power, and influence to a point where someone also complained against discrimination. Prestige was a “hard-to-reach” concept, and the society came to a definite seeing that neither one perspective is eternal. For instance, the Germans experienced repressions as a minority in the newly established Czechoslovakia. In the 90s, when the Soviet Union’s met its end, 20 million people mostly Russians became a minority in post-Soviet countries. The same suffering occurred in Yugoslavia, and Third-World new nations emerged. Such situation forced a modern imperial nostalgia to come to light.

Every person living in these countries is familiar with the consequences of transition. There is not one nation which has not experienced severe times at some point, from the independence until now. Under these circumstances, the author unselfishly presents various perspectives which emerge as a result of these changes. In the light of this discovery, people need to adopt a new word for the term crisis. This book is adequate for various profiles; some sections can intrigue even the most skeptical persons. Don’t hesitate to feel the pull arising from this historical call-to-action guide.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Yegor Gaidar was born on 19th March 1956 in Soviet – Moscow. During young age, Yegor has expressed affection for political matters and economy. He even at one point during his political career, had a prime minister position after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1992.

Key Lessons from “Collapse of an Empire”

1.      The major turning point from crisis to dissolution
2.      Unreliable system and economy
3.      The difficulty of managing resources

The major turning point from crisis to dissolution

It all started as a simple economic crisis and ended in a way that the Great Soviet Union reached its downfall. The debt service has claimed that the nation could no longer afford – the costs of maintaining a socialist state. The U.S.S.R.’s ability to handle with fiscal problems was doubtable.

Unreliable system and economy

Russia as a part of the USSR, before the total collapse, has suffered a “pricing crisis” which experts described as – import-export matter. The country wasn’t able to profit through exporting because the commodities got a new pricing tags.

The difficulty of managing resources

The socialist countries located in Europe in the 20th century relied on independent production. Finding resources was a challenge, and as a result of that situation, many exceptions took place on Soviet soil. The incapability of dealing with such drastic issues has led to the creation many separatist movements and ultimately collapse.

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The Equity Culture – Book Summary

As market trading had its ups and downs throughout history, counter-effects emerged: people learned the impact of risk, the probability of its arising, and evaluation of side-effects.

The stock market originates from ancient times, or precisely from the mighty power of ancient Rome. The early form of capitalism occurred in The Roman Republic. People divided lands and titles among their trusted nobles, which caused the occurrence of privatization. Even then, the desire for a leader or ruler drove people to initiate a process that created a powerful state. Roman law enforcement was so sophisticated back in those days that other countries even up to fifteen centuries later weren’t able to produce the same amount of law-effectiveness existing back then. The ability to collect taxes, build temples for worshiping their Gods and creation of private communities to share expertise on numerous subject is only a part of the Roman Advanced Culture. The word “Publicani” probably doesn’t ring any bells, but corporates know that this term started the corporate era.

The digital word derives from ancient civilization – the most prominent one of all is, of course, The Roman Republic whose influence has spread on three continents. Something very similar to corporations was discovered by the Romans, even though their methods were cruel, they inflicted knowledge and imparted wisdom on the people they’ve conquered. Investors had an opportunity to trade “partes,” near to the “Temple of Castor,” which was located in a neighborhood named the Forum.

The buying-selling process included “partes” as well as trading with slaves, land, ownership, ships, vehicles, foreign currencies – almost anything tangible in those days. According to historians, everything associated with market, and equity culture derived from Rome. When Rome fell, the economy collapsed, and the economic progress stagnated for many centuries. Romans used to say – while Egypt builds useless pyramids, we’ve invented an irrigation system that would go on for thousands of years. After Christians took possession of the newly established Republic, Europe started to starve. The markets were no longer able to satisfy the needs of the people. The black market took advantage of the situation because people could no longer afford the essential daily requirements.

The Bible enforced some strict rules which didn’t produce any effect on the community. People became more desperate and eager for change. Not everyone could enjoy the luxury of having a proper daily meal. To sum it up, economic progress and financial stability were not invented in the new days; they hail from ancient civilizations.

Smith demonstrates how, when, why trading took place. It examines the benefits of it, and why the world’s economy experienced its ups and downs. In the first place, ordinary people will place wars, culture, religious constraints, and unacceptable societal behavior as the greatest culprits who opposed prosperity. However, many more mysteries are buried beneath the surface – waiting to be excavated.

Interpret this masterpiece, like a walk through a market museum with a well-educated person (author in this case) as your only guide. The skeptical ones are entitled to their opinions, but they should at least give a chance to this beautiful, fact-filled book. All things considered, trading- mysteries surely are worthy of your attention, because whether we like it or not, the economy is a part of our collective evolution. The craft of trading gets even more amusing with dozens of anecdotes contained in the book. GetNugget warmly recommends this book to all people interested in economics, financing, and trading secrets.  

Who is this book for

“The Equity Culture” clarifies the drastic economic reform that the market has experienced and outlines the major financial setbacks that prevail today. There is no room for panic if the people are aware of the situation. Many quotes and examples from renowned market theorists, such as Harry Markowitz, Joseph de la Vega, Louis Bachelier are present in the book. Their influence extends on a global scale, targeting the greatest economies and affecting third-world countries.  

This book awakens the free-minded attitude in others, as a concise guide with an easily-digestible flow it targets only the most experienced economists, financiers, investors, bankers, etc. Come to the roots of the economy, don’t be afraid to exploit the mistakes of our ancestors. Markets nowadays have evolved due to numerous technological possibilities and solutions that exist. However, not even that can simply eliminate all the ancient techniques used by the Romans. The author – B. Mark Smith, starts with ancient Rome and continues to spread information about financial markets covering even the first years of the 21st century.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Mark Smith is mostly known for his stock-trading activities. He is also the author of Toward Rational Exuberance: The Evolution of the Modern Stock Market. Momentarily Smith lives in Manhattan.

Key Lessons from “The Equity Culture”

1.      Understand the stocks and markets
2.      Markets are evolving all the time
3.      The need for central banking

Understand the stocks and markets

The first ever theorist who undertook a scientific research to understand how markets actually function was Louis Bachelier. The Theory of Speculation – is more than some case study or theory because it relies on statistical analyses and techniques. He discovered that stock prices are random and changeable.

Markets are evolving all the time

No one stops the evolutionary progress of trading. The resistance will be meaningless – the best thing would be to reach out an acceptable accommodation. The world even now cannot identify how far this change is willing to go. However, the society must realize that markets have matured and periodic crisis are an integral part of that process.

The need for central banking

Many economists throughout the late 19th and early 20th century have realized that money needed central management. This operation targeted all the money in England because the capital supply line required improvement in order to reduce market inefficiency.

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Alexander the Great’s Art of Strategy – Book Summary

Leadership according to Alexander the Great: If you think you rule the world, maybe you do.

One of Greece’s greatest poets Archilochus once said that “the fox is open for new knowledge, but the hedgehog sticks to the thing it knows best.” 356 years before Christ on July 26, one extraordinary boy was born in the capital of ancient Macedonia known by the name – Pella. The legacy started with a name Alexander the Third. He began and ended his education began with none other than Aristotle, a philosopher who taught him (over the years) how to combine Fox’s broader knowledge with hedgehog’s wisdom.  Aristotle advocated for universality and discovering the human’s essence. History remembers him not only as the teacher to the greatest conqueror that ever-existed “Alexander the Great” but also as a theorist and philosopher.

The military impact of Alexander the Macedon has its difficulties to be expressed without any exaggeration; the same goes for his excellent tutor. According to many, Alexander is above everyone – whether you see him as a great warrior or a Ruler. Alexander’s sharp mind and strategic thinking are the embodiment of the influence he had over different conquerors and rulers through the ages. Many of them, were amazed by Alexander’s unique approach in a battle; among them, you’ll find names like Julius and Augustus Caesar, Sultan Suleiman, Hannibal, Napoleon Bonaparte, Niccolò Machiavelli, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Erwin Rommel and others. Today’s kids, as well as the grown-ups, are introduced with Aristotle’s wisdom, which shows us a great depth even though his work dates 24 centuries ago. Army generals of the modern world are still using some of his techniques to fight terrorism. Indeed, a real leader must be open – knowingly or unknowingly – for new knowledge, the same thing that was mastered by Alexander.

The author of this thrilling book – Partha Bose has designed an impressive volume that positions itself equally well as a work of informative history and as a modern guide capable of affecting businesses and people. Every lesson related to historical events applied to a business volume has its path and balance between the past events and the present. For a book to be considered practical, it has to be enriched with lots of business examples from numerous subjects (from Toyota to Hewlett Packard to the war in Vietnam). Luckily, Partha tries to avoid the temptation to give some historical facts that can be misunderstood. According to him, you should not expect to find answers to questions like: Should I do that big acquisition deal? (Not a single person was able to succeed in life, by worrying and going to details all the time!) For a change, this breathtaking volume brings to life those timeless leadership lessons capable of awakening the unstoppable, unique and unchallenged Conqueror in you, as the Macedonian Great Ruler once realized.

Who is this book for

Partha Bose agrees that “Alexander the Great’s Art of Strategy” book cannot be a part of strictly one genre. It is an intriguing book that involves numerous of categories as leadership, management, self-development, war, history, and philosophy. Aristotle advises people to expand their knowledge, don’t be a closed book, always be prepared to burst into flames of wisdom and never stick to your ignorance. It is not about money, states nor politics; it is about actual values and principles; it is about the uniqueness that this book carries. It is a military orientated, extraordinary and exciting book, which demonstrates the ability of a great leader to avoid rebellions from the conquered people against the state with love and kindness. Alexander once said: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep.” This quote shows the importance of real leadership. The book is intended mostly for people destined to become leaders, rather than sheep. Connect with people personally, and evolve into charismatic leader just like Alexander was.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Partha Bose momentarily has an executive role at Allen & Overy as a Marketing Director. Spreading throughout 26 countries, this is one of the largest law firm in the world with approximately 5,000 professional associates. Partha Bose’s role changed over the years; he worked as a Chief of Marketing Office until March 2003. Although Bose was born and grew up in India; he spends the majority of his in Boston and London. It is worth mentioning that Bose is a former partner at McKinsey & Company.

Key Lessons from “Alexander the Great’s Art of Strategy”

  1.       Globalization was practiced centuries ago
  2.       Be prepared for anything; make a plan for everything
  3.       The genuine approach

Globalization was practiced centuries ago

You think of Globalization as something new, right? Well, don’t be surprised to know that Alexander was practicing and understood the term globalization almost two thousand years ago. Every endeavor must start with mapping a strategy. Alexander’s approach was systematic, with a clear ultimate goal on his mind, and the rest will follow.

Be prepared for anything; make a plan for everything

What happens when a king has no successor?  At age 32 Alexander was experiencing the first signs of weakness, probably because of malaria. His army was demoralized because of his illness, and didn’t want to proceed in battle. Alexander had no son, so the people asked him: Who would succeed him when he dies? He barely replied, “I hope – the strongest one of all.”

The genuine approach

Aristotle had one fascinating philosophy that he shared with Alexander. Being a true leader means to be angry at the right person, at the right place, at the right time and most importantly for a good reason. Alexander memorized these words of wisdom and carried them in his heart.

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Long Walk to Freedom – Book Summary

Nelson Mandela’s amazing, heroic life not only that inspires individuals, but also it educates them because the terms “dignity” and “Integrity“ are unfamiliar to some people.

Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary born in a South African’s village on July 18, 1918. The birthplace of Mandela back in those days was known as Transkei region. Mandela’s name changed over the years, at first his father named him Rolihlahla, which in today’s language can be translated as a “troublemaker.” This nickname somehow proved prophetic because he was a member of a noble lineage. His father was not only a part of the Xhosa nation but a chief of the Thembu tribe as well. During his childhood, Mandela was helping his family with the herd of sheep and tending calves. At those days Africa was still in the process of development, countries from Europe colonized the continent which led to a massive hunger among the African population in those days. Mandela’s diet was composed mainly of “mealies” (corn). Despite the difficult surroundings he managed to educate himself by attending a small schoolhouse in his village, often wearing improvised pants secured by a string which stretched around the waist area. In early age, when Mandela was almost nine years old, his father and mentor died.

Those years were the toughest for him; he had lost his father, so his family decided that it is best for him to learn and live next to Thembu’s acting regent in Mqhekezweni – a Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo.  Dalindyebo insisted that Mandela should be a well-educated South African which will grant him the opportunity to be among the smartest people of his generation. The studying process started at Healdtown,  Wesleyan college in Fort Beaufort, and continued at the University College of Fort Hare, located in Alice. During his time as a student, the Regent thought that it would be for the best if Mandela married the Thembu priest’s daughter. Mandela didn’t want anyone to decide on his behalf, so he ran away to Johannesburg.

From a reader’s perspective, this amazing, magnificent account of Nelson Mandela’s life story cause some deeper feelings to emerge. Mandela was not a South African freedom fighter; he was a fighter for justice, not just for South Africa. Mandela wanted to remove those apartheid chains that killed the African community. Fighting for an equal society not just for his black countrymen but because it is the right of every human being in this world. 27 years falsely accused political prisoner tells his saga, of how the African National Congress struggled and succeeded to get him out of a prison cell. He had people’s full support; they backed his ideas and methods. That popularity led Mandela to become the first-ever black president of South Africa.

Who is this book for

This book has its roots buried deep beneath the surface. It will always represent the real victory against the apartheid, tyranny, and colonialism. The history and tradition of African people are presented in a straightforward, transparent way so that anyone (no matter race, religion or nationality) will finally know the truth of the slavery process that endured for thousands of years. Even though in today’s world we still have a different form of modern slavery, Mandela showed us that we must fight for justice. His personal and political ideas are expressed in a way that only an aware, kind and compassionate reader would comprehend the true message. The real question is why white communities or nation also feel love for Mandela? That is your answer; we must put the complicated past behind us and focus on building strong mutual community. Although It may seem difficult to understand –  people should stand up because even in the 21st, century we face different forms of stereotypes, racism, and cultural intolerance. The book is intended for all people; you have the power to show the world that every human being deserves equal treatment.

Author’s expertise and short biography

Nelson Mandela comes from a low-income family, but he has noble origins. As said, he was born on 18 July 1918, 95 years later Africa’s greatest politician, philanthropist, and freedom fighter died on 5 December 2013. After spending 27 years in a prison cell, Nelson Mandela deservedly became South Africa’s first president from 1994 to 1999.

Key Lessons from “Long Walk to Freedom”

  1.       Charge for high treason
  2.       Difficult times and fight for righteousness
  3.       Mandela was a real leader

Charge for high treason

In the 50s, South African secret police claimed that Mandela had been involved in a series of communist activities. During those days, 155 people (ANC leaders and Mandela among them) were arrested. Charged with high treason, the prosecutors tried to convince the judge that Mandela and his companions conspired against the current government by trying to enforce communist leadership. After a series of trials, the court found Mandela and the ANC officials not guilty.

Difficult times and fight for righteousness

Mandela prompted many black South Africans to join his fight for freedom. Although Mandela despised weapons, militant groups had to be formed. His speeches and approach increased The ANC’s popularity over the years. The heat among the Africans was visible; the situation escalated to armed conflicts. Back in 1985, the government came with an offer, to free Mandela if he renounces his ideas and methods. Mandela refused that offer, and the tense situation continued.

Mandela was a real leader

Nothing is finished, all the work remains to the next generations – he said. Mandela, also declared – “I haven’t achieved anything yet.” His ultimate goal was “to liberate the oppressed people from the oppressor,” he is happy because his country is on the right track.

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The Audacity to Win – Book Summary

Find out how the former American-president Barack Obama’s political campaign changed the course of history with an original mixture of guts, democratic politics, and advanced technology.

The 2008 legislative elections are known for its surprising turn of events – when Barack Obama’s presidential party campaign won and set a new record in the entire U.S. political and presidential history. Former President Obama defeated not only his fellow candidate for presidential elections Hillary Clinton but also he remarkably overcame The Republican Party’s veteran Senator John McCain in presidential elections, earning nearly seven million more votes than any other presidential candidate in U.S. history. His success was not just a mere luck; it was a result of hard work and dedication. As a matter of fact, his supporters’ efforts bear fruits when they somehow convinced Obama into taking the responsible role of becoming a presidential candidate due to the phenomenal audience reaction to his book “The Audacity of Hope” published in 2006. Since that, the American people started enjoying Obama’s full support nationwide in all political spheres from 2006 till this very day. As his reputation grew, Obama began expressing his political views transparently. Before the presidential elections, he also presented alternative solutions to George W. Bush’s unpopular foreign policies. Momentum reached its peak – the 2006 midterm elections provided The Democratic Party with full control of the Senate leading to confusion. However, the situation stabilized for the first time in 12 years.

Former American president totally deserves to be studied in all matters of politics, personal decisions, and goals. His political campaign is among those campaigns that provided the citizens with something far more significant than new political views. The focus was placed on different innovative businesses, foreign policies, violence matters, fundraising and the use of advanced technology. Who doesn’t want to hear an amazing story? It is not a fairy tale, but Obama’s exciting life will most certainly entertain you. He was a definite outsider, a political candidate who conquered America with its highly motivated authoritative speech that pulled off one of the greatest triumphs in modern history. Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe wrote a diary from a firsthand perspective that gives trustworthy insights about Obama’s victory previously known only to close associates. Even though the story is written chronologically, the anticipation builds as different rivals fight and fall by the road. This book is highly recommended for people willing to achieve extraordinary things; it is synonymous with the enthralling David-and-Goliath story. “The Audacity to Win” is written for true leaders, political candidates, technophiles and anyone else capable of defying all odds to become a real winner.

Who is this book for

This book has its roots deep in U.S. history and tradition presented to us in a straightforward, unique and exceptional way.  Obama’s personal and political ideas are expressed so that an average reader would understand the strength that followed him during his time as a president. If you aren’t politically active person, you may think that “The Audacity to Win” is not a type of book that you’d be interested in. Nevertheless, you’ll immediately realize your huge mistake because this book has nothing to do with politics. Although from time to time you as a reader will encounter some political topics, the point is far greater. The learning process refers to the campaign, the devotion needed and the Internet methods used to raise funds and awareness about Obama’s long-term plans. It doesn’t matter if you are American or Italian, black or white, here you’ll test your limits and your courage to move beyond the comfort zone? If you think you got what it takes, then this is the right book for you!

Author’s expertise and short biography

David Plouffe is an American-born political strategist, campaign manager, and a writer. He was born on May 27, 1967, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.  David comes from a Catholic family. The University of Delaware educated him, however, in 1989, he left the university to pursue a political career. His full-time political career started in 1990 when David began to work for Senator Tom Harkin. His Democratic orientation granted him the opportunity to manage campaigns of Congressman John Oliver, Charles M.Oberly, and former President Obama. In 2008 David Plouffe and David Axelrod were the leaders and in charge of Barack Obama’s political presidential campaign. After the success that David gave to Obama’s presidential operation, Plouffe insisted and set up “Organizing for America” an organization of 13-million American supporters of Barack Obama.

Key Lessons from “The Audacity to Win”

  1.      Good logistics and capable staff are two key elements for successful campaign
  2.      Always organize departments in a hierarchical way
  3.      Set the salaries before the campaign

Good logistics and capable staff are two key elements for successful campaign

At first, the campaign’s manager or in Obama’s case David Plouffe had to set up the necessary logistics, hire qualified staff and start the organization. Every campaign has its operational structure including different departments to handle operations, financial difficulties, schedules and advance work, public relations and communications, vital research of opposition’s strength and weaknesses, technological department and department for handling a relationship with states officials.

Always organize departments in a hierarchical way

With this method, the chain of command is much more efficient. This approach helped the managers to conduct discipline and a good working atmosphere.

Set the salaries before the campaign

During the campaign, only one individual earned more than $12,000 a month, and neither one of them received a raise or promotion. This rational salary process saved vital time and energy.

If you feel like this is the book for you, feel free to contact us for further information. You can download our mobile app and share your experiences with us. Between you and your book, there is a one click delay – check it on Amazon;