Superhubs: How the Financial Elite and their Networks Rule Our World

Superhubs: How the Financial Elite and their Networks Rule Our World

by Sandra Navidi


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Superhubs: How the Financial Elite and their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

A BLOOMBERG Best Book of the Year

Winner, Silver Medal, Axiom Business Book Awards 2018

$UPERHUBS is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how the world's most powerful titans, the -superhubs- pull the levers of our global financial system. Combining insider's knowledge with principles of network science, Sandra Navidi offers a startling new perspective on how superhubs build their powerful networks and how their decisions impact all our lives. $UPERHUBS reveals 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 exclusive 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, economy and society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473669949
Publisher: Quercus
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 462,045
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sandra Navidi is the Founder and CEO of BeyondGlobal, a consulting firm, where she renders macroeconomic and strategic positioning advice. Previously, Ms. Navidi worked closely with economist Nouriel Roubini as Director of Research Strategies and Senior Relationship Manager at Roubini Global Economics. Prior to that Ms. Navidi had positions as investment banker at Scarsdale Equities, general counsel at Muzinich & Co. and consultant at Deloitte. Ms. Navidi holds a law degree from the University of Cologne School of Law, Germany, and a Master-of-Law Degree in Banking Corporate and Finance law from Fordham University School of Law, USA. She is admitted to practice law in the Federal Republic of Germany as well as in the State of New York. As an expert commentator on financial markets, Ms. Navidi has given over 600 interviews on international media outlets and has keynoted at dozens of large industry events.

Table of Contents

Foreword xix

Introduction xxiii

Genesis xxiii

About This Book xxiv

The Financial Industry and the Power of Networks xxv

Applying the Lens of Network Science: Systems Thinking xxvi

Crisis Alert xxvii

Author's Note xxviii

Chapter 1 The Financial Universe: An Innately Human System 1

The Stratosphere of Power: Davos 1

The Orbit of the Financial Elite: The Gravitational Force of Networks 4

The Financial System: Applying the Lens of Network Science 6

The Human Factor: The Power of Personal Connections 7

Introduction: Meet the "Superhubs" 8

Fault Lines: The Fragility of Our Financial System 12

Chapter 2 Superhubs: The Financial Elite and Their Networks 15

The Superhub Prototype: Hedge Fund Titan George Soros 15

A Blueprint for Networks: Nodes, Hubs, and Superhubs-Bankers, Executives, and CEOs 18

Financial Superhubs: Network Equals Networth 21

Network Geography: Location Matters 21

Location: Reputation Matters 22

Reputation: Access Matters 23

Access: Social Capital Matters 25

Chapter 3 The Links That Connect Superhubs: Money, Information, and Opportunities 29

Network Nucleus: Larry Fink 29

Network Power: Money 31

The Printing Presses: Central Banks 32

Federal Reserve Chairman: In Charge of the World's Reserve Currency 34

Central Bank of Central Banks: The Bank for International Settlements 37

A Primer on Banks: Regular and Shadow Banks 37

The Perpetual Crisis Manager: The International Monetary Fund 38

Network Currency: Information 39

The Influence of Personal Connections 41

Information Access and Proximity 42

The Benefit of Connections in Tumultuous Times 45

Thought Leaders-Superhubs of Valuable Information 47

Network Investments: Social Capital 51

Money + Information + Social Capital = Infinite Opportunities 52

Chapter 4 The Matrix: Decoding the Superhub DNA 55

The Alpha Personality: Jamie Dimon 55

EQ: Connecting Emotionally 58

Master Closers: Steve Schwarzman 59

Inquiring Minds 62

Inventing Ideologies 63

The Cult of Failure 64

CEOs-Chief Ego Officers: Bill Gross 65

On a Monomaniacal Mission: Ray Dalio 69

Chapter 5 Homophily: Similarity Breeds Connection 75

The Charitable Superhub Network: The Robin Hood Gala 75

A Law of Nature: Why the Rich Get Richer 77

Global Conquest: The Transnational Financial Elite 77

Meeting of the Minds: Circle of Trust 78

The Hegemony of Homogeneity 79

The IQ Elite: A Master's Degree in Networking 81

Network Plutocracy: "The Old Boys' Club" 82

That's Rich: Superhubs and Super-Riches 85

The "Flocking Effect": The Superhub Habitat 89

Chapter 6 Executive Networking: Relational Capital 93

The Superhub of Superhubs: Klaus Schwab 93

Friends with Benefits: Capital Networks = Network Capital 97

More an Art than a Science: Attraction + Interaction = Transaction 98

Digital Bits versus Human Touch 99

Beyond Networking: How to Win Friends and Influence People 100

The Alchemy of Chemistry: Charm Offensive 102

The Lords of Networks and Their Creations 103

Negative Notions on Networking 104

Think Tanks: Network Motherboards 105

INET: Connecting the Connected at Bretton Woods 106

Chapter 7 Members Only: The Exclusive Networking Platforms of the Global Super-Elite 109

A Dinner of Consequence: Attack on the Euro 109

Conspiracy Theories: An Explanation for Attempted Explanations 111

Why Networks Need Platforms: Connectivity 112

The Annual Power Circuit: Dispatch from Davos 112

The Global Financial Power Center: The International Monetary Fund 117

Washington, D.C.: The Financial Shadow Capital 117

IMF Meetings in Istanbul: Dancing on the Titanic 118

Power Summit: The Bilderberg Conference 120

Stealth Power: Family Office Gatherings 122

Feeding Off Power: Power Lunches 124

Power Workout: Networking, Working, and Working Out 125

"Superhub-Nobbing": Private Parties 126

The Higher Purpose of Networking: The Charity Circuit 128

Chapter 8 Opportunity Costs: The Downside of the Upside 131

Missing Out on Memorable Moments 131

Stress Test: When Being a Superhub Is Not So Super 133

Married to Their Jobs: Work-Family Life Imbalance 135

Media Madness: Living Under a Microscope 136

Super-Sick: Paying the Ultimate Price 137

Clash of the Titans: Close Combat and Coups d'État 139

Triumph and Defeat: A Turbulent Career 141

Chapter 9 "Womenomics": The Missing Link 147

The Gender Gap: Women Missing in Action 147

The Access Gap: Exclusive Means Excluding 148

The Networking Gap: Schmooze or Lose 151

The Assessment Gap: Performance versus Potential 152

The Wage Gap: Selling Women Short 153

The Failure Gap: Demoting Promotions 154

Tile Mentoring Gap: Missing Out on Mentoring 154

The Sexism Gap: The Wolves of Wall Street on the Prowl 155

The Resilience Gap: Male Might and Female Feebleness 156

Closing the Gender Gap: Superhub Christine Lagarde 158

Chapter 10 Revolving Superhubs: Creating Network Monopolies 163

Psychological Kidnapping 163

The Revolving Door 164

The Oscillating Megahub: Robert Rubin 165

Open Doors: Tony Blair 170

Cross-Connections: Cooperating Constructively in Times of Crises 172

Launching a President 173

"Legalized Corruption": The Best Democracy Money Can Buy 175

Purchasing Political Protection 175

Relationship Power: Diffusing the Euro Time Bomb 176

Super-Entity: The Capitalist Network That Runs the World 178

Chapter 11 De-Linked: Expulsion and Comeback 181

Sent into Exile: Dick Fuld 181

Shock-Resistant: Larry Summers's Network 184

Meteoric Rise 185

Against All Odds 186

The Bull in Charge of the China Shop 187

Den of Thieves: Mike Milken 190

Complete Network Collapse: Dominique Strauss-Kahn 193

Ponzi Schemes and Sex Scandals: Buddy Fletcher and Ellen Pao 196

Omni-Connected: Michael Klein 203

Chapter 12 Super-Crash: "Executive Contagion" 207

The Crash of a Titan: John Meriwether 207

The Big Picture: Capitalism in Crisis 209

Debt and Financialization 210

Wealth Gap and Inequality 210

Globalization Winners versus Globalization Losers 211

Approaching the Tipping Point 212

When an Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Object: Brexit 213

Tiie Next Crisis: Systemic Failure and Contagion 214

Tlte Culprit: The Superhubs or the System? 214

Disequilibrium: Superhubs Preventing the System from Correcting Itself 215

"Executive Contagion": Executives Becoming Super-Spreaders of Risk 216

Averting Collapse: Thinking Differently 218

The Growth Premise: A Paradox? 219

Culture: The Value of Our Values 220

Recalibrating the System: Revolution or Evolution? 221

The Law and Ethics 222

Corporate Culture: Psychological Detachment and Willful Blindness 223

Incentives 224

A Sense of Purpose: Creating Value for Society 225

An "Evolving Revolution" 226

Acknowledgments 229

About the Author 233

Notes 235

Index 263

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