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$uperhubs: How The Financial Elite & Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

The Blurb On The Back:

$uperhubs is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how the world’s most powerful titans pull the levers of our global financial system. Sandra Navidi reveals how these “SuperHubs” build their powerful networks and how their decisions impact all our lives

Learn what happens at the exclusive, invitation-only platforms – The World Economic Forum in Davos, the meetings of the International Monetary Fund, think-tank gatherings, and galas. This is the most vivid portrait to date of the global elite: the bank CEOs, fund managers, billionaire financiers, and politicians who, through their interlocking relationships and collective influence are transforming our increasingly fragile financial system and societies.




Sandra Navidi runs her own management consultancy with personal connections that have taken her to some of the most exclusive gatherings of the financial world, providing her with an up-close view of how these networks work. In this book, she purports to reveal how these networks developed and grew their power and how the decisions taken by those networks impact on global finance and the lives of everyday 99% like her readers. Unfortunately what she delivers is a slick but superficial summary of social network and regulatory theory, some anecdotes ripped from other sources about the financial crisis of 2007/2008, precious little analysis of how these networks actually operate or implement discussions, a grudging acknowledgement that the networks are a big part of the problem in social and financial inequality and a total failure to offer any solutions to the same.

The big problem with the book is that Navidi is too close to the source material. Her breathless accounts of being among the rich and powerful at these events prevents her from looking too closely at any individuals within them and indeed at times reads more like a not-so-subtle advert for her rolodex of contacts (I lost count of how many times she complimented the renown of Nouriel Roubini who she once worked for or George Soros). She despairs of the ‘old boys network’ mentality to the superhubs she describes, is disapproving of the sexism and racism that prevents the introduction of diversity (which she believes would be beneficial) and yet comments on Christine Lagarde’s “slim and elegant” appearance without irony. There’s no analysis of nepotism in these networks (although she discusses homogeneity), even though two of the few women in positions of financial power gained their roles courtesy of their parentage. The only ethnic minorities she dwells on are those who suffered juicy downfalls. Most damning though is the fact that she clearly hasn’t bothered asking her contacts whether there’s any appetite for change within the superhubs she describes, and I couldn’t help but draw the conclusion that this was because she didn’t want to bite the hand that feeds her. Ultimately, this read like Navidi’s attempt to build her own ‘intellectual expertise’ within her sector to further her value and while I can’t fault the lady for wanting to get ahead, nor can I recommend this book to anyone with a serious interest in the subject matter.

The Verdict:

Sandra Navidi runs her own management consultancy with personal connections that have taken her to some of the most exclusive gatherings of the financial world, providing her with an up-close view of how these networks work. In this book, she purports to reveal how these networks developed and grew their power and how the decisions taken by those networks impact on global finance and the lives of everyday 99% like her readers. Unfortunately what she delivers is a slick but superficial summary of social network and regulatory theory, some anecdotes ripped from other sources about the financial crisis of 2007/2008, precious little analysis of how these networks actually operate or implement discussions, a grudging acknowledgement that the networks are a big part of the problem in social and financial inequality and a total failure to offer any solutions to the same.

$uperhubs: How The Financial Elite & Their Networks Rule Our World will be released in the United Kingdom on 26th January 2016. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the ARC of this book.
Tags: amazon vine programme, business and finance, economics, non-fiction, psychology, sandra navidi
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