For more than a decade, Japan's dismal economy - which has bounced from deflationary collapse to fitful recovery and back to collapse - has been the biggest obstacle to economic growth. Why has the world's second largest economy been unable to save itself? Why has a country, whose financial might in the 1980s was the most feared force on the globe, become the sick man of the world economy? Saving the Sun answers these questions and more in the riveting and remarkable story of Long Term Credit Bank, one of the world's most respected financial institutions, and its attempts to transform itself into a Western-style bank and reconcile the cultural gulf that still exists between Japan and the international banking community.'Smart and engaging-it's a riveting tale with important insights into Japan's culture and its sclerotic system.' BusinessWeek'Saving the Sun is not simply about the fate of one Japanese bank. It is about the clash of two visions of finance-and how hard it is to reconcile them.' The Wall Street Journal Europe
In the mid 1990's, at a vast hotel complex on a private Florida beach, dozens of bankers from JP Morgan gathered for what was to become a legendary off-site meeting. It was a wild weekend. But among the drinking, nightclubbing and fist-fights lay a more serious purpose - to assess the possibility of building a business around the new-fangled concepts of credit derivatives.The group at the heart of this revolution was an intense team, made up of individuals with a supreme sense of loyalty to each other and to the bank - for years, nothing could break them apart. But when, finally, the team dispersed, the innovations spread far beyond their original intentions, producing perversions in the mortgage market that ultimately culminated in disaster. Part real-life thriller, part investigation and exposé, this searing narrative takes us deep inside the shadowy world of complex finance and derivatives.
Ever since civilised society began, we have felt the need to classify, categorise and specialise. It can make things more efficient, and help give the leaders of any organisation a sense of confidence that they have the right people focusing on the right tasks. But it can also be catastrophic, leading to tunnel vision and tribalism. Most importantly it can create a structural fog, with the full picture of where an organisation is heading hidden from view. It is incredibly widespread: the chances are these 'silos' are rife in any organisation or profession, whether your business, or your local school or hospital.Across industries and cultures, as this brilliant and penetrating book shows, silos have the power to collapse companies and destabilise financial markets, yet they still dominate the workplace. They blind and confuse us, often making modern institutions act in risky, silly and damaging ways.Gillian Tett has spent years covering financial markets and business, but she's also a trained anthropologist, having completed a doctorate at Cambridge University and conducted field work in Tibet and Tajikistan. She's no stranger to questioning the assumptions and practices of a culture. Those in question - financial trading desks, urban police forces, surgical teams within medical clinics, software debuggers and consumer product engineers - have practices and rituals as ordered and intricate as those of any far-flung tribe.In The Silo Effect, she uses an anthropological lens to explore how individuals, teams and whole organisations often work in silos of thought, process and product. With examples drawn from a range of fascinating areas - the New York Fire Department and Facebook to the Bank of England and Sony - these narratives illustrate not just how foolishly people can behave when they are mastered by silos but also how the brightest institutions and individuals can master them. The Silo Effect is a sharp, visionary and inspiring work with the insight, prescriptions and power to remove our organisational blinders and transform the way we think for the better.