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Since 2009, IFD Kapital Group has been part of a federal project to promote financial literacy, actively assisting in publishing books on significant historical economic developments. The books selected for publication in Russia are page-turning business thrillers written by true professionals that make an exciting and instructive impression based on real-life events.

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The Industries of the Future. Alec Ross

In December 2016, another business bestseller was added to the IFD Kapital Group library, Industries of the Future by Alec Ross, translated into Russian with assistance and financial support by the Group.

The book tells the story of industries that will drive economic and social change during the next 20 years. Robotics, the commercialization of genomics, Big Data, money codification, and cybersecurity are not just universally discussed trends. They are what is shaping the world and the society in which we are going to live in the near future.

The author, Alec Ross, is one of the leading American experts in technical innovation, specializing in issues at the intersection of politics, the market, and network technology. He served as a senior innovations advisor to the US Secretary of State for four years. He is named among the 100 Global-Thinkers (Foreign Policy magazine), 10 Game Changers in Politics (Huffington Post), and has won multiple awards.

Immediately after its publication in the U.S. in 2016, the book became a tremendous bestseller: for several weeks in a row, it was rated No. 1 by New York Times while occupying top positions on the Amazon.com rating.

“An exciting glance into the future. The Industries of the Future reads like a portable TED conference where you have been seated next to the smartest guy in the room. This book is filled with glimpses of cutting-edge biotech research, statecraft, and entrepreneurship” — Forbes.

“This book is undoubtedly worth reading... Mr. Ross does a good job of describing the advantages and disadvantages of the third wave of the post-industrial revolution, which is just beginning” — Washington Times.

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Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China. Evan Osnos

In December 2015, IFD Kapital Group supported the publication of Age of Ambition, a book by Evan Osnos: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China.

The book deals with the culture, politics, and economy of China, and primarily with the people of this rapidly changing country. At the end of the 20th century, the Chinese people dreamed of rising one step higher, changing their future, and living a better life. Some succeeded, others did not, but the ambitions of millions lay the foundation of the new Chinese capitalism, or “socialism with specific Chinese traits,” or the “age of ambition,” in Osnos’s terms.

The author of the book, Evan Osnos, was awarded the Overseas Press Club Аward and the Asia Society’s Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence, along with a number of other awards for young journalists. Before joining The New Yorker, he ran the Beijing office of the Chicago Tribune and, together with his colleagues, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism in 2008. The book, Age of Ambition, was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize in 2015, for General Nonfiction.

“Osnos... better than any author in both the West and the East... describes China’s “gilded age,” its aspirations and challenges” - The Washington Post.

“A portrait of a people extremely concerned about their identity, values, and future” — The New York Times.

Hedge Hogs. Barbara Dreyfuss

Barbara Dreyfuss’s bestseller Hedge Hogs is the fifth title in the business literature series translated into Russian with the support of IFD Kapital Group.

The book describes the tremendous crash of the Amaranth Advisor hedge fund, which, at its peak, managed $9 billion of assets. However, this giant was practically annihilated in a matter of a few weeks in September 2006. The investigation by Barbara Dreyfuss, a Wall Street analyst, recreates the historical context of those events and paints psychological profiles for the book’s two main characters Brian Hunter and John Arnold, two young and ambitious traders.

Observers for major business magazines on Hedge Hogs:

The new book by Barbara Dreyfuss is a must-read for legislators, regulators, and judges interested in this industry. It is an excellent and educational story from Amaranth Advisors… Barbara Dreyfuss, a Wall Street analyst, conducted a journalistic investigation: she analyzed hundreds of minutes and shorthand reports and added her own detailed comments. As a result, she managed to compile this mass of material into an incredibly exciting story. — Washington Post

An illuminating example of how traders sometimes just get lucky, and how nothing intoxicates them more than an opportunity to speculate with other people’s money. — Economist

Barbara has put in an extensive effort, placing the absolutely unchecked trader, Amaranth, into historical context and explaining how a complete lack of regulation led to the colossal damage dealt by a single person, i.e. Brian Hunter. — Bloomberg

The book made it to the Top-10 Business & Economics Books, according to Publishers Weekly.

King of Capital. David Carey and John Morris

In December 2013, King of Capital, written by famous American journalists David Carey and John Morris, was published with strategic and financial support from IFD Kapital Group.

The book deals with the world’s largest investment company, Blackstone, and its impressive success. With the company as an example, the book tells the story of the investment evolution which has transformed Wall Street and significantly impacted the global economy.

The book received considerable favourable reviews from leading business journals.

The authors begin the narration with Blackstone’s early days before the M&A boom, when the company consisted only of its two founders and a secretary. The book reviews the company’s largest transactions in detail, which made Schwarzman and his partners rich, while zeroing in on curious details about many currently famous Wall Street players who have worked for Blackstone. — New York Times DealBook

The book is an unbiased analysis of the direct investment market. David Carey and John Morris... received a rare opportunity to contact Blackstone’s top management..., who, in an exciting manner, allowed them recreate the company’s 25-year history based on numerous interviews. — Blooberg Brief - Mergers

The authors link the Blackstone Group story to the large-scale expansion of direct investments. They explain, in a straightforward manner, how debt markets have developed from junk bonds to securitized loans, and how the structure of transactions financed by direct investment funds has changed. — The Economist

Crash of the Titans. Greg Farrell

In 2012, the Russian edition of Crash of the Titans, a book on finance by famous American journalist Greg Farrell, was published with the strategic participation and financial support of IFD Kapital.

Crash of the Titans is a financial thriller based on a journalistic investigation of the gravest financial crisis in history, i.e. the downfall of Merrill Lynch.

Based on information from unique sources – Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Greg Farrell’s book uncovers the inner world of a once major Wall Street company, which embodied American confidence in the stock market. In his book, Greg Farrell provides a detailed description of the actions of real people who were in charge of billions of dollars of other people’s money, their irresponsible play to gain more influence and bigger bonuses, and the behavior and decisions which led to the crash of one of America’s legends and nearly destroyed the American economy.

In the words of Olga Plaksina, Chairman of the Management Board of IFD Kapital Group, “The tragic events, so brilliantly and excitingly narrated by Greg Farrell in his Crash of the Titans, on one hand, amaze you with their scale, the heat of passion, and dramatic rise and fall, and on the other hand, these events further amaze you with their cyclical nature, their fatal recurrence throughout history... I recommend everyone read the new book by Greg Farrel, primarily bank executives, risk managers, and auditors.”

The author, Greg Farrel, a Financial Times reporter, winner of the American Business Press' Jesse Neal award for investigative journalism and the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship award for business journalism. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MBA from the Graduate Business School at Columbia University.

Crash of the Titans received many positive reviews by observers at major business magazines.

Farrel combines all of the facts into a single cohesive story... detail after detail, describing the inner world of Merrill Lynch, a Wall Street company which enabled ordinary Americans to make good money on the stock market. (USA Today)

Based on many hours of interviews, Farrell tells a story which, in its full force, blows you over like a hurricane. (Forbes.com)

Impeccable... Farrell has found one of the biggest stories of the financial crisis, an untold drama. (Financial Times)

Crash of the Titans is a most exciting financial thriller that shows how ignoring the basic principles of prudent risk management led to the downfall of Wall Street’s greatest company. (RBC)

Lords of Finance: the Bankers who Broke the World. Liaquat Ahamed

For two years in a row, IFD Kapital Group has been part of a federal project to promote financial literacy and actively assist in publishing books on significant historic economic developments. The books selected for publication in Russia are page-turning business thrillers written by true professionals that make an exciting and instructive impression based on real-life events.

In 2010, the Russian edition of Lords of Finance, written by American investment banker Liaquat Ahamed, was published with the support of IFD Kapital. The book has received many prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, and was recognized as the Business Book of the Year 2009 by Financial Times and Goldman Sachs.

The main characters of the book are four financiers: Montague Norman, who led England’s Central Bank, Benjamin Strong, Head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Yalmar Schacht, President of Reichsbank, and Emile Moreau, Head of the Central Bank of France. Describing their lives, the author leads the reader to the unhappy post-war era of debt, reparations, hyperinflation, hard times in Europe and prosperity in America when the economic boom was followed by a debilitating recession, and the hopes for peaceful times crashed after a short period of 20 years. Liaquat Ahamed shows the reader that the Great Depression and the crash of the global economy were caused not only by unfortunate circumstances, but also by particular actions by the “financial four,” who prescribed a treatment to the sick economy which was highly detrimental to its woeful state.

In the preface to the Russian edition, Mr Ahamed wrote:

“Apparently, we are now standing at a breaking point in the history of world economic leadership, in a situation hardly different from the one witnessed at the beginning of the 20th century.”

According to Olga Plaksina, Chairman of the Management Board of IFD Kapital Group, “Events like the Great Depression are caused by unfortunate circumstances which, like a tornado, devour the fates of entire generations. Liaquat Ahamed, however, is not afraid to look at history in a different way; he shows that the particular actions of people with power can make drastic changes to an era. This book is another reminder that people in control of complicated mechanisms are still ordinary people who can make mistakes.”

The Russian edition of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, a book by American investment banker Liaquat Ahamed, aroused interest among Russian readers, and the project turned out to be a commercial success for IFD Kapital. The book sold twice as many copies on average for business literature.

Serpent on the Rock. Kurt Eihenvald

Since 2008, IFD Kapital, in association with the Russian Ministry of Finance, has been an active contributor to a program to promote financial literacy across various Russian population groups.

In 2009, IFD Kapital found, translated, and published the Russian edition of a book by globally renowned journalist Kurt Eichenwald entitled Serpent on the Rock: Just Another Day on Wall Street in History's Biggest Corporate Swindle. The book investigates fraud in private investments, a topic which became highly relevant in 2009.

New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald, one of the most influential financial journalists in the U.S., wrote a book on one of the greatest scandals that has ever shaken America’s financial world, the story of the rise and fall of Prudential-Bache Securities, founded in 1944. 

In the preface to the Russian edition, Mr Eichenwald wrote:

“My book appeals to honesty, to the natural inclination to run a business in good faith. It is of utmost importance that Russian businessmen learn from these lessons. Modern Russia is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world; its power increases every day. However, explosive growth and exhilarating opportunities always come with great dangers.”

The book hit the shelves for a broad network of used book stores in mid-December 2009. By April 2010, almost every copy had sold out; negotiations are under way to print a new batch.

Nearly all Russian business media showed interest in Kurt Eichenwald’s book.

“In order to recreate the story of the rise and fall of Prudential-Bache Securities in detail, Kurt Eichenwald did an enormous amount of research based on hundreds of interviews, documents, and testimonials. Untangling the web of intrigues surrounding the company’s management, the author comes to the sad conclusion that the Pru-Bache case was a clear but unnoticed alarm, a sign of the corrosion which is gradually gnawing away at America’s corporate world,” Ivan Pishchikov, Russian Business Paper, March 16, 2010.

“This is a story of how management issues, never-ending lies to investors, and lowering the company’s ethical standards ended in disaster. The result is an excellent textbook filled with other people’s mistakes for us to learn from,” Konstantin Milchin, Vedomosti, February 5, 2010.

“You can read it like a detective story with an exciting plot, or like a research paper with a meticulously verified list of sources and expert opinions. The fiction-like narration by no means is a detraction, and is actually justified since Eichenwald was one of the actors in this scandal, investigating it on the pages of the New York Times,” Sekret Firmy magazine, March 8, 2010.

“It is noteworthy that, unlike most authors exploiting a popular topic, Eichenwald does not bore the reader with specialized terms, but rather explains the matter in simple words,” Profile magazine, December 28, 2009.

A Chronicle of Russia’s Artistic Life During the Economic Crisis. A Comparative Analysis.

As part of its culture promotion social program, IFD Kapital published a book on the history of Russian art over the past ten years in late 2008.

The catalog, titled A Chronicle of Russia’s Artistic Life During the Economic Crisis. A Comparative Analysis, is built around the idea of an expert comparative cultural examination of two periods essential for modern economic history, i.e. the years 1998 and 2008. Based on data obtained in cooperation with art market pundits, the authors built a sort of chronological hybrid which, essentially, is a close interconnection between society, money, and art, which serve as logical complements to each other.

Renowned experts on Russian art contributed to the catalog. The text was written by Nikolay Molok, Chief Editor of Artkhronika magazine; the archive data were provided by the Art Projects fund, Sotheby’s auction house, and the Ogilvy SPN Russia agency.

In the preface, Nikolay Molok wrote: “A retrospective look at 1998 revealed that the rise of Russian art, which reached its peak in 2008, began just ten years ago. If it is fair to say that a crisis gives birth to something new, we are very hopeful that this is what will happen after the 2008 crisis.”

Olga Plaksina, Chairman of the Management Board of IFD Kapital, on the project:

“Over the past 10 years, Russia has made a gigantic leap in both the economic and art markets. According to Sotheby’s data alone, sales at Russian auctions in London were 20 times greater in 2008 than in 1998. In the 98+10 project, we made an attempt to show, in a simple and concise format, exactly what changes drive the figures reflecting Russian art market growth over the period.”

The catalog was not intended for public sale, and was distributed as part of a cooperation with the Kandinsky Award in Russian modern art. The guests of the Kandinsky Award ceremony showed great curiosity in the project.

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