James Surowiecki writes a financial column for the magazine The New Yorker. A graduate of the University of North Carolina (1988), Surowiecki has written for New York and Fortune magazines, and during the late 1990s wrote for the online publications The Motley Fool and Slate. His anthology Best Business Crime Writing of the Year (2002) hit the shelves in time to capitalize on the Enron scandal of the early 2000s, and its success allowed Surowiecki to work on his next book, The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations (2004). Now famous as an expert on "collective wisdom," Surowiecki argues that a diverse, independent and decentralized group of people, under the right conditions, makes the smartest choices. His book, usually simply called The Wisdom of Crowds, is a counterpoint to the influential book by 19th century English poet Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841).