HOW THE WORLD RAN OUT OF EVERYTHING
Part Michael Lewis, part The Way Things Work: From the New York Times’s Global Economics Correspondent, an extraordinary journey revealing the worldwide supply chain—exposing both the fascinating pathways of manufacturing and transportation that bring products to your doorstep, and the ruthless business logic that has left local communities at the mercy of a complex and fragile network for their basic necessities.
How does the wealthiest country on earth run out of protective gear in the middle of a public health catastrophe? How do its parents find themselves unable to locate crucially needed infant formula? How do its largest companies spend billions of dollars making cars that no one can drive for a lack of chips?
The last few years have radically highlighted the intricacy and fragility of the global supply chain. Enormous ships were stuck at sea, warehouses overflowed, and delivery trucks stalled. The result was a scarcity of everything from breakfast cereal to medical devices, from frivolous goods to lifesaving necessities. And while the scale of the pandemic shock was unprecedented, it underscored the troubling reality that the system was fundamentally at risk of descending into chaos all along. And it still is. Sabotaged by financial interests, loss of transparency in markets, and worsening working conditions for the people tasked with keeping the gears turning, our global supply chain has become perpetually on the brink of collapse.
In How the World Ran Out of Everything, award-winning journalist Peter S. Goodman reveals the fascinating innerworkings of our supply chain and the factors that have led to its constant, dangerous vulnerability. His reporting takes readers deep into the elaborate system, showcasing the triumphs and struggles of the human players who operate it—from factories in Asia and an almond grower in Northern California, to a group of striking railroad workers in Texas, to a truck driver who Goodman accompanies across hundreds of miles of the Great Plains. Through their stories, Goodman weaves a powerful argument for reforming a supply chain to become truly reliable and resilient, demanding a radical redrawing of the bargain between labor and shareholders, and deeper attention paid to how we get the things we need.
From one of the most respected economic journalists working today, How the World Ran Out of Everything is a fiercely smart, deeply informative look at how our supply chain operates, and why its reform is crucial—not only to avoid dysfunction in our day to day lives, but to protect the fate of our global fortunes.
"Unflinching and authoritative, Peter S. Goodman's Davos Man will be read a hundred years from now as a warning, bellowed from the blessed side of the velvet rope, about a slow-motion scandal that spans the globe. Deliciously rich with searing detail, the clarity is reminiscent of Tom Wolfe loose in the Alps in search of hypocrisies and vanities.”
EVAN OSNOS, National Book Award-winning author of Age of Ambition and Wildland
HOW KLAUS SCHWAB BUILT A BILLIONAIRE CIRCUS AT DAVOS
Excerpt on Vanity Fair. com, January 18, 2022
"Klaus Schwab, the ringmaster of festivities at the World Economic Forum in Davos, has been known to tell underlings that he anticipates one day receiving a Nobel Peace Prize.
In a surprise to no one else, Oslo has yet to ring."
“Goodman mounts a scathing critique of the greed, narcissism, and hypocrisy that characterize those in 'the stratosphere of the globe-trotting class' ... An urgent, timely, and compelling message with nearly limitless implications.”
KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review, November 10, 2021.
(Full text here.)
"A biting, uproarious yet vital and deadly serious account of Davos Man and the profound damage the billionaire class is inflicting on the world. Peter S. Goodman guides the reader through the hidden stories and twisted beliefs of some of the titans of finance and industry, who continually rationalize their bad behavior to themselves."
JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, Nobel Prize-winning economist and best-selling author
"The lively onslaught of his book... expresses righteous — and largely justified — indignation at contemporary capitalism, from price gouging, anti-competitive behavior, and cosy corporate lobbying to the failure of trickle-down economics, the rise of international tax avoidance, growing inequality, and the pain of public sector austerity.”
Financial Times, May 9, 2022
"One of the great financial investigative journalists, Peter S. Goodman delivers a meticulously detailed account of how the billionaire class has hijacked the world's economy, feasting on calamity, shirking taxes, all the while spouting bromides about compassionate capitalism. I so wish this tale of limitless greed and hypocrisy were a novel or miniseries and not the truth about the world in which we live. Reader, prepare to be enraged."
BARBARA DEMICK, prize-winning author of Nothing to Envy and Eat the Buddha
"A meticulously researched, clearly reported and truly infuriating history of the way the top 1% of the world has systematically arranged the way societies operate in order to become even richer, all to the detriment of the rest of us."
San Francisco Chronicle, January 12, 2022.
(Full text here.)
"An impressively detailed recounting of the reordering of conventions of American capitalism by its uncontested contemporary winners. ...A well researched and lively explanation of how the global economy works, and the turning points that have enabled profiteering by the ultra-rich while undermining societal and democratic institutions."
Charter, in partnership with TIME,January 14, 2022.
(Full text here.)
'Davos Man is a passionate denunciation of the mega-rich.”
The Economist, January 29, 2022
"An authoritative account…. A must-read.”
The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy (Times Books, 2009).
How Main Street was hit by—and might recover from—the financial crisis, by The New York Times's national economics correspondent
When the financial crisis struck in 2008, Main Street felt the blow just as hard as Wall Street. The New York Times national economics correspondent Peter S. Goodman takes us behind the headlines and exposes how the flow of capital from Asia and Silicon Valley to the suburbs of the housing bubble perverted America's economy. He follows a real estate entrepreneur who sees endless opportunity in the underdeveloped lots of Florida—until the mortgages for them collapse. And he watches as an Oakland, California-based deliveryman, unable to land a job in the biotech industry, slides into unemployment and a homeless shelter. As Goodman shows, for two decades Americans binged on imports and easy credit, a spending spree abetted by ever-increasing home values—and then the bill came due.
Yet even in a new environment of thrift and pullback, Goodman argues that economic adaptation is possible, through new industries and new safety nets. His tour of new businesses in Michigan, Iowa, South Carolina, and elsewhere and his clear-eyed analysis point the way to the economic promises and risks America now faces.
PRAISE FOR PAST DUE
"Peter S. Goodman is a reporter's reporter--relentless, skeptical, fair, energetic, and eager to see things for himself. His instinct for the big story carried him for a decade through the landscape of our current economic crisis--the Internet bubble of Silicon Valley, China's roaring but unbalanced economy, and the upended American heartland. Past Due is a timely, deeply reported and clarifying book." —Steve Coll, Two-time Pulitzer prize-winning author; Dean of Columbia Journalism School
"A gripping tale of the current financial crisis and severe recession." —Nouriel Roubini, economist, New York University's Stern School of Business
"Goodman performs a tremendous service by showing how the context of market manias changes but the essential content remains the same." —Paul M. Barrett, The New York Times Book Review
“Peter S. Goodman is a reporter with a valuable thesis, reams of anecdotes and a habit of being in the right place at the right time. He puts these assets to work in a persuasive book on an all-too-familiar topic, Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy.” —Bloomberg News
"America's economic crisis has prompted much hand-wringing and recrimination but few clear-eyed, accessible examinations of the underlying problems. Goodman's persuasive new book is such an examination--and a captivating story to boot. It should be read by everyone who wants to know what went wrong with our economy, how the reckoning has affected our companies and our workers, and how we can get our country back on track." —Jacob S. Hacker, professor of political science, Yale University, and author, The Great Risk Shift