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Cold Steel (Book Review)

Cold Steel

The setting was the global steel industry in the years preceding the Global Financial Crisis. The companies involved were Mittal Steel and the Luxembourg based Arcelor. The combatants were Lakshmi and Aditya Mittal’s vision of a globalised steel industry, a vision of rationalisation and economies of scale; Guy Dolle’s vision of a global steel industry was a European Arcelor focused on the high end of the market. Mittal Steel served mainly the low end of the steel industry in volume; Arcelor served the higher end of the steel industry with quality… and never the twain shall meet.

In the Tim Bouquet and Byron Ousey non-fiction novel Cold Steel: Laksmi Mittal and the multi-billion dollar battle for a global empire the reader is taken behind the scenes on perhaps the largest hostile corporate takeover of all time. It was also the most complex due to the immensity of the two organisation’s respective footholds in various parts of the world, coming under various authoritative bodies and numerous governments. There were the race cards, the backroom handshakes and the inevitable retinue of corporate bankers, spin doctors and strategists. This is the inside story of a hostile corporate takeover through the eyes and perspectives of the significant players.

This book came across my desk as a textbook in the MBA unit BMA799 Strategic Management so I cannot say if this review would ever had occurred without that exposure to a required reading list. However, having read Cold Steel it really read like the thriller it promised in a chess game format – move for move strategies employed by either side. I would highly recommend anybody interested in business to give it a read.

I guess the most disturbing point from my perspective as somebody who is worried that we’re too focused on economy, exploitation and greed is that the world is in fact run this way. More is more is the general philosophy that you have to buy into to agree with either side of this takeover battle… its a globalisation adventure story for potential CEOs and Board members of the future.

My suggestion is read Cold Steel simply to understand how globalisation leaders tick and how governments work, sometimes counter to the ideals of free trade that they espouse externally. Understanding how our resources are being exploited and in what volume because that provides some insight into why we need to keep corporations under control.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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