I went to the party for Dan Gross‘s new book Pop! Why Bubbles are Great for the Economy, last (Wednesday) night in this cool little wood-paneled room with views of Central Park in the Newsweek building called “Top of the Week.” The cameraphone photo above is of Dan making a shockingly touching tribute to his wife and kids. Seriously, I got a little teary-eyed, and I barely know the guy.
Which leads to a Big Confession: Since arriving at Time in January, I haven’t read a single book all the way to the end. The closest I’ve gotten is about halfway through Sebastian Mallaby’s The World’s Banker, about Jim Wolfensohn and the World Bank, which is pretty danged good. I’ve committed to participate in a discussion on Dan’s book at TPM Cafe next week, so I really do have to read it. It shouldn’t be too hard. For one thing, it’s only 202 skinny, generously spaced pages. For another, it begins with this wonderful analysis of last year’s GooTube deal (well, actually, I skipped the first nine sentences):
“It sounds like a tale from the late 1990’s dot-com bubble,” wrote astute deal observer Andrew Ross Sorkin in the New York Times. Less astute deal observer Matt Lauer seconded the notion, opening the October 11 Today show with this irresistible teaser: “Bubblicious. Could Google’s billion-dollar purchase of YouTube signal another dot-com boom?”
Despite the media’s rush to portray the deal as a return to the glory days of 1999, before Lauer’s hairline and CNBC’s ratings had receded so dramatically, the Google-YouTube tie-up emphatically did not herald a return of the dot-com bubble. Rather, it was a logical and historically resonant result of the 1990s bubble. …
More on this later. Before I read on, though, here’s another really bad photo of Dan: