I am an avid eclectic reader.
I must admit up front that I have never been in a Wal-Mart store and there is no Wal-Mart store anywhere near where I live. My second disclaimer is I absolutely hate to shop; I rush in and obtain the items I need and rush out of the store. Since the 1960 I have made it a mission of mine to buy products made in the United States even if I have to pay more or do without if I cannot find products made in the United State or Canada.
Fishman has done extensive research for this book. He has drawn on unprecedented interviews with former Wal-Mart executives; pursued a wealth of business and economic data and has created an interesting look at the corporation.
Fishman states the story of Wal-Mart is really the story of the transformation of the American economy over the past twenty years. Fishman presents a case for Wal-Mart (mostly consumer benefit) and against Wal-Mart. Fishman puts the reader inside the company’s penny-pinching mindset and shows how Wal-Mart’s mania to reduce prices has driven suppliers into bankruptcy and sent factory jobs overseas.
The “Wal-Mart effect” has become a common phase in the vocabulary of economists, and includes a broad range of effects, such as forcing local competitors out of business, driving down wages, and keeping inflation low and productivity high. Fishman discusses the replacement of quality with cheapness. The author sees Wal-Mart as neither good nor evil, but simply a fact of modern life. I enjoyed the fact he told stories and named the product and or company he spoke of to demonstrate the good or bad effect. I found the afterword the most important part of the book.
The book is well written and well organized. Fishman has made the book understandable and easy to read. Alan Sklar narrated the book.
The book is about the decline of the dollar era, and what might come after it if the dollar fails as the reserve currency of choice. Rickard’s believes “The Fed’s insolvency is looming.” The author claims the reason for this is the US Federal Reserve has mismanaged the financial crisis and recovery. Rickard thinks they should have let the market correct itself without intervention. The author discusses inflation and deflation in detail as well as the role of banks, central banks and the IMF. I found his history of the global financial system interesting. He covered the financial history of a few countries in-depth, they are Japan, Germany, Russia, China, Brazil, Britain and the U.S. as well as the formation of the European Union. He also covers in detail gold and the gold standard; he lists the countries that have built up gold reserves and why they have done it. The author says the Euro will be the surviving currency and recommends the purchase of gold and land to survive the fall of the dollar. Richards failed to discuss oil, energy and the reckless and fraudulent behavior of the financial industry except in a brief comment. It is an interesting book, a bit gloomy but a good review of the global financial system. I will understand a bit more when listening to the financial news. Sean Pratt did an excellent job narrating the book.
I have always had a fascination with cars. Back in the fifties I use to think the car’s looked beautiful but now they all look the same. I remember in High School I was furious because the administration would not allow me to take auto shop, they said only boys could take the course. I do enjoy reading about automobiles planes and ships and now no one call tell I cannot read the book.
Americans are a nation of car cultures, plural. Automobile racing is a popular spectator sport. The early adoption of the automobile for private transportation and the restoration of old cars to the making of street rods are popular.
It is surprising that there are few authoritative scholarly histories of automobile companies written. Last year I read the biography of Henry Ford and found it most interesting. So when I saw this book on Chrysler displayed on Audible, I bought it.
Hyde tells the story behind Chrysler- its products, people and performance over time with particular focus on the company’s management including Lee Iacocca. The author begins with the story of Walter P Chrysler in 1925 and ends with the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz in 1998. I was hoping this was a biography of the Chrysler brothers but it is primarily a business history book. Hyde discusses assembly line production and the architecture of automobile plants and their management. Hyde is an economic historian and an industrial archaeologist. He is a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit since 1974.
The book is balanced and Hyde does not shy away from making critical observations. I found the book an interesting story of the smaller component of the big three American auto companies. Dave K. Lawson narrated the book.