Michael Bloomberg rose from middle-class Medford, Massachusetts to become a pioneer of the computer age, mayor of New York, one of the world’s most generous philanthropists, and one of America’s most respected—and fearless—voices on gun violence, climate change, public health, and other issues. And it all happened after he got fired at the age of 39.
This is his story, told in his own words and in his own candid style.
After working his way through college and graduating from Harvard Business School, Bloomberg landed on the bottom rung of a Wall Street firm and worked his way up to partner. But in 1981, he was forced out of the firm. With an idea for computerizing financial data, Bloomberg started his own company. And, since personal computers barely existed, he built his own. Specially designed for Wall Street traders and analysts, the Bloomberg Terminal revolutionized the world of finance. Under Bloomberg’s leadership, his company grew rapidly, playing David to the Goliaths of finance and media—and making Bloomberg one of the world’s wealthiest men.
Bloomberg by Bloomberg offers an intimate look at the creative mind and driven personality behind the Bloomberg brand. He describes in vivid detail his early Wall Street career, both the victories and frustrations, including a personal account of what it was like to be fired and given $10 million on the same day.
The 2020 US presidential election campaigns, both the primaries, and then, once the dust settles, the main campaign itself, could be a really interesting period. We’re looking at, already five female Democrat candidates declared, John McAfee keen to make a solo run, and, surely, Mike Bloomberg too. Perhaps you have to reach the low point on the curve to encourage, inspire and motivate a range of people, and opinions to get out there and campaign to show people that they do have a choice. Hopefully, democracy is not a bust flush yet, and we are merely at the mercy of a series of algorithms that can mine and manipulate who we are to influence our voting intentions.
Maybe Mike Bloomberg will win, maybe not, but as you read this book, you do think that the US could do far worse than to have it’s policies and economic strategies guided by someone who has actually been round the block, and not merely on the back of inherited wealth and a series of benign bankruptcies that seem to have affected everyone except the person at the centre of them. Bloomberg tells his story well. He worked hard, assessed how his mentors treated people, aimed to keep his relationships with people human and to treat them with respect.
The rise of the Bloomberg financial terminals, and then subsequently Bloomberg News is told well, coming against a series of challenges that happen when you are at the bleeding edge and others struggle to even see the value and potential of your idea. Naturally he gets to narrate this story from the perspective of ultimate success, but thankfully also informed by a desire to then use this wealth to help and impact on the lives of others less fortunate than himself.
No one is perfect and in any autobiography, the narrator gets to shape the story and the message that it tells. But in a time when to even be a decent person, non hate inspiring, fact-checked, non fake news speaker is not currently considered to be important element in someones electability, then books like this do allow for some hope going forwards. This book is worth reading for a variety of reasons, and here’s hoping that the world gets the US presidential candidate it deserves in 2020.