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About Gillian Tett
Gillian Tett serves as the chair of the editorial board and editor-at-large, US of the Financial Times. She writes weekly columns, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues. She is also the co-founder of FT Moral Money, a twice weekly newsletter that tracks the ESG revolution in business and finance which has since grown to be a staple FT product.
Previously, Tett was the FT’s US managing editor from 2013 to 2019. She has also served as assistant editor for the FT’s markets coverage, capital markets editor, deputy editor of the Lex column, Tokyo bureau chief, Tokyo correspondent, London-based economics reporter and a reporter in Russia and Brussels.
Tett is the author of The Silo Effect, which looks at the global economy and financial system through the lens of cultural anthropology. She also authored Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe, a 2009 New York Times bestseller and Financial Book of the Year at the inaugural Spear’s Book Awards. Additionally, she wrote the 2003 book Saving the Sun: A Wall Street Gamble to Rescue Japan from its Trillion Dollar Meltdown. Her next book, Anthro-Vision, A New Way to See Life and Business will come out in June 2021.
Tett has received honorary degrees from the Carnegie Mellon, Baruch, the University of Miami in the US, and from Exeter, London and Lancaster University in the UK.
In 2014, Tett won the Royal Anthropological Institute Marsh Award. She has been named Columnist of the Year (2014), Journalist of the Year (2009)and Business Journalist of the Year (2008) at the British Press Awards, and won two awards from the Society of American Business and Economics Writers. Other awards include a President’s Medal by the British Academy (2011), and being recognized as Senior Financial Journalist of the Year (2007) by the Wincott Awards
Before joining the Financial Times in 1993, Tett was awarded a PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University based on field work in the former Soviet Union. While pursuing the PhD, she freelanced for the FT and the BBC. She is a graduate of Cambridge University.
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Books By Gillian Tett
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The Times and Financial Times Book of the Year
A revelatory model that explains how we buy, sell, work and live.
'Absolutely brilliant.' Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
Meet the business anthropologists seeking to explain how we buy, sell, work and think.
From supermarkets to factories, trading floors to tech firms, their methods are revealing the hidden codes that define our lives.
The result is a wholly new way to see human behaviour: anthro-vision.
One of the World's Top 50 Thinkers - Prospect
'This engaging book argues why more businesses (and people) should look to anthropology if they want to succeed.' Books of the Year, The Times
'Will turn your world upside down in the best possible way. Fun, profound and bursting with important insights.' Tim Harford
'A terrific piece of work.' Thomas Friedman
'Anyone working to rebuild a more equal world will benefit from Tett's well-argued case that to solve twenty-first-century problems, we must expand our fields of vision and fill in old blind spots with new empathy.' Melinda Gates
'Tett provides readers with a new intellectual framework - grounded in her deep understanding of anthropology and her path-breaking journalism - that can fundamentally transform how we approach solving society's most wicked problems . . . I cannot recommend it highly enough.' Mariana Mazzucato
'In a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, we need an antidote to tunnel vision, argues Gillian Tett. That antidote is Anthro-Vision . . . Admirers of her journalism will love this book, but they will also learn a great deal from it.' Niall Ferguson
'A timely call for decision-makers to wean themselves off their dependency on big data and embrace the full complexity of human life.' Financial Times
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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.
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'A truly gripping narrative . . . The fact that Tett is able to reproduce such raw private communications is a tribute to her journalistic abilities' Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
'Her blow-by-blow story is an impressive piece of detective work. She pulls back the curtain on a closed, unaccountable world of finance' Will Hutton, Guardian
In the mid 1990s, 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 - a perfect storm for the credit crunch
Saving the Sun tells the story of the world's largest private equity deal where American investors made billions of dollars rehabilitating Shinsei, a failed Japanese bank. Within that business saga is the dramatic tale of Japan's brightest financial minds, the men who made the Japanese economic miracle come to life, and their struggle against the economic failure in the 1990s. Into this climate of despair, where Japan seemed incapable of reviving prosperity, came a group of wily and determined Americans who would discover just how different the Japanese really are.
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