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You are here: Home > Suggested readings > Mantle - For Whom The Bell Tolls: The Scandalous Inside Story Of The Lloyd's Crisis - ISBN 0749314877 - 3.5/5

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Mantle, Jonathan
For Whom The Bell Tolls: The Scandalous Inside Story Of The Lloyd's Crisis
BookID 79479622
ISBN 0749314877
(see LibraryThing.com card)
Description (from Amazon)Lloyd's of London, a unique and world-famous institution, is said to be in crisis. Thousands of people around the world have lost money in investments which have gone wrong. There have been breakdowns, suicides and lawsuits both in Britain and America. Lloyds's has experienced the worst run of losses in its 300 year history. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" attempts to go behind-the-scenes of this club to tell the story of financial scandal and negligence. The book explains how, contrary to its claims that it can regulate itself, Lloyd's has allegedly allowed a climate to exist in which complacency, negligence and possibly even fraud have grown to crisis proportions.
My review: 3.5/5I reread this book (1993 edition read in April 1994) 20 years after the first time, as part of my ""knowledge fixing and update""

also if you are not interested in insurance or partnerships or investment management, it is worth reading, to recognize signs that are way too common when the source of resources and risk allocation aren't working under the same set of goals and assumptions (to say nothing of prizes and penalties)

along with ""Accounting for Growth"" http://www.librarything.com/work/1059471/book/79481997 and few others, this book actually helped me over the last couple of decades in turning down some offers to act as an organizational development consultant and help set up structures that would have incurred into some of the same conflicts of interests, e.g. by setting some ""ground rules"", and it was certainly useful while auditing contracts and suppliers- it is a matter of spotting ""behavioral patterns"", adapted to the specific context, resources, conditions

outside business (but that too is considered a ""business"" by somebody), it could also help in social advocacy, setting up NGOs, or plain political action groups: there too the same mis-alignment can result in moral ""slippery slopes"", e.g. as shown by some political groups and non-profits that, in various countries, ended up focusing too much on generating an income from their investment or building a large and visible organization, and not enough on their stated aims of helping _you insert your cause here_

but could also help in the definition of the oversight and governance of private and public bureaucracies set up to solve an issue, bureacracies that keep justifying their own existence and self-policing, and keep expanding- also when the issue that they were supposed to solve grows as much as the organization supposed to solve it (showing at best that they aren't the right tool, and at worst that they can turn into a breeding ground to turn the issue from epidemic to pandemic)

there are plenty of ""temporary bureaucracies"" that turn into de facto corporations with neither targets nor deadlines nor markets or ""services""- except their own continuity

I published this review as part of my #SYNSPEC bibliography on expert team building and management (see here the free edition of the book: http://www.slideshare.net/robertolofaro/synspec-xxi-century-expert-team-building-and-management-37319572)"
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