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Sebastian Mallaby’s incisive biography of Alan Greenspan ‘The Man Who Knew’

sebastian-mallaby the man who knewFormer Washington Post columnist and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Sebastian Mallaby‘s biography of Alan Greenspan has generated exceptional coverage and reviews since its release on October 11.

The book explores Greenspan’s image as a hero/villain of the global economy and, most importantly, delves into whether Greenspan foresaw the financial crash in 2008 but refused to act.  In a nuanced and thought-provoking read, Mallaby speculates as to whether a different man in the same position could have prevented the economic crisis. The book has been shortlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award.


About the book:

Sebastian Mallaby brilliantly shows the subtlety and complexity of Alan Greenspan’s legacy. Full of beautifully rendered high-octane political infighting, hard-hitting dialogue and stories, The Man Who Knew is superbly researched, enormously gripping and the story of the making of modern finance.

“The Man Who Knew” is a tour de force, the story not just of Alan Greenspan’s career but equally of America’s economic triumphs and failures over five decades. This carefully researched and elegantly written book will be essential reading for those who aspire to make policy and for anyone who wants to divine what drives the choices that our leaders make.” – Professor Randall Kroszner, Wall Street Journal

“Mr. Greenspan is a fascinating subject because for so long he was considered a genius, only to later be blamed for the financial crisis. Mr. Mallaby does an exquisite job going beyond these two versions of the Greenspan narrative and taking the reader inside the complicated mind of a man who may have had one of the largest ever influences over our economy.” – Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

“A fascinating and balanced study of arguably the most important figure of the post-war global financial scene.” – Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, 2003–2013



“Sebastian Mallaby’s Biography Shows That Alan Greenspan Foresaw the Housing Crisis. Why Didn’t He Act?” in the Wall Street Journal

“Man in the dock: Was Alan Greenspan to blame for the financial crisis?” in The Economist

“The Greenspan effect: could he have done more to avert crisis?” in the Financial Times

“A Reading List of Tell-Alls, Strategic Plans and Cautionary Tales in Finance” in The New York Times



Sebastian Mallaby – The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan at Politics & Prose bookstore (Oct 17)

Systemic Risk Centre public lecture at London School of Economics (Nov 7)



Sebastian is available for keynotes and events worldwide, simply contact us if you’d like to know more about Sebastian’s topics, books or availability.

Watch >> Sebastian discuss systemic risk with The Economist





















Keynote speaker Rory Stewart embarks on Hadrian’s Wall hike

Writing in the Financial Times, Rory Stewart, a British politician, historian and expert keynote speaker, describes how he found history in almost every step as he followed the path of Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman-era fort in Northern England.

“I went out at first light. The farmhouse lay on a ridge, and I stood outside. The farm’s two collies seemed willing for a moment to leave their bald tennis ball and consider the view. Mist was rising from the river below, revealing the wall. Its rough stone face ran straight through the grass field – a border, drawn with a colonial ruler, cutting a landscape in two. A footbridge led up to Birdoswald fort, whose garrison had once been tall red-headed Dacians, from a homeland almost 2,000 miles away. But I could see nothing except the wallstone, and the fellside, scattered with Swaledale sheep, in a landscape where perhaps a hundred thousand people, from places stretching from Gaul to the Black Sea, had eaten olives, and gazed at the wet ground, and the scrub, and the distant line of hills, for 300 years.”

Click here to read on.

To book Rory as a speaker, please contact Alex Hickman, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004

Reasons to bet against Brazil by keynote speaker Simon Kuper

Simon Kuper, an expert on the business of football who is currently covering the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, recently put forward four reasons why one should bet against Brazil winning the 2014 World Cup.

  1. Although all six previous World Cups that were held in Latin America were won by Latin American teams, this was between the years 1930-86 when European players used to arrive from these transoceanic ship journeys overfed and under-trained. Modern footballers now arrive much more at ease and ready for action.
  2. A World Cup is so short that luck plays a big role, which often confounds favourites.
  3. The team’s current personnel in no way matches the line-up that one Brazil’s last World Cup in 2002.
  4. Lastly there is the Brazilian flaw that attackers don’t tire themselves out defending. That’s their weak point.

Click here to read on.

For information on Simon’s speaking availability, please contact our Managing Partner, Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8000

Geopolitics speaker Gideon Rachman on Asia’s territorial disputes

Gideon Rachman speakerCommenting in the Financial Times on Asia’s territorial disputes and increasingly angry nationalism, Gideon Rachman, a highly experienced political commentator, argues that rather than risk war over shoals and goats, all sides should submit to arbitration. “Keep the lid on Pandora’s box,” he warns, “or Asia will pay dearly.”

This follows from a bout of recent aggravations including: a near collision between Chinese fighter jets and a Japanese surveillance aircraft; a physical confrontation between Vietnamese and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea, the first since the two nations went to war in 1979; and North Korea firing shells at a South Korean ship and threatening a fourth nuclear test.

Gideon posits that Pandora’s box appears to be creaking open because the rapid rise of a richer and more powerful China – which has now overtaken the Japanese economy in size and by some measures has a larger economy than the US itself – has allowed for “increased military spending” whilst becoming “more assertive about longstanding territorial claims.”

He goes on to warn that “if conflict does eventually break out, it may rank as among the most senseless in history (and there is plenty of competition).”

Click here to read the full article.

To find out more about Gideon Rachman, or to book him as a speaker or moderator for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

“India needs its Thatcher moment” warns Gurcharan Das, expert keynote speaker

Gurcharan DasGurcharan Das, an expert keynote speaker on Indian economic development, recently wrote in the Financial Times that Modi needs to give India its Thatcher moment and initiate institutional reforms.

Gurcharan guides the reader through his own reasons for why he voted for Modi. After weighing the risks of choosing a “sectarian leader who might undermine secularism,” and who has also been argued to be “authoritarian,” Gurcharan “concluded that there was a greater risk in eschewing Mr Modi than in voting for him.” This follows the promises Modi made to change the way India is run, “by investing in infrastructure and skills training; cutting red tape to encourage private investment; eliminating unproductive subsidies; and tackling corruption.”

Gurcharan goes on to argue that India “is a discontented and politically troubled nation, similar in some ways to Britain in the late 1970s with high inflation, declining growth, high fiscal deficits and a government in denial. Britain yearned for a strong leader then, and in Mrs Thatcher it got one. In Mr Modi Indians, too, have chosen a strong leader.”

Click here to read the full article.

To book Gurcharan as a speaker, please contact our Managing Partner, Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8000

Interview: Yancey Strickler of Kickstarter

Peter Aspden, the Financial Times’ arts writer, interviewed Yancey Strickler of Kickstarter over the weekend. Co-founded with Perry Chen and one of our exclusive speakers Charles Adler, Kickstarter is the world’s largest marketplace dedicated to funding independent creative endeavours.

“We are all patrons of the arts now, says the 35-year-old CEO of the crowdfunding website. It has raised $1bn in five years to finance 60,000 creative projects – by both unknowns and high-profile artists such as Spike Lee”

Click here to read the full interview.

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