This book will change how you think the world works

Recent discoveries by economists and scientists suggest that momentum exerts a far stronger influence on our world than previously assumed – and that its impact is increasing. The integration of communications, technology and markets has accelerated the velocity at which events unfold – and generates momentum on a massive scale.

In The Big Mo Mark Roeder tells the fascinating story of how people unknowingly become swept along by this powerful Momentum, which then takes on a life of its own. He argues that Big Mo was real driver of the recent global financial crisis, and that this mysterious force is also at work in spheres as diverse as the media, religion, politics and the environment.

This timely and provocative book charts the rise of Big Mo. Drawing on the latest research and real-life examples, it shows how easily even the most powerful people and organisations can succumb to the flow, and discusses how we can deal with it.

The Big Mo is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the new dynamics that are reshaping our world.


Learn more about the author


is an author, cultural commentator and corporate executive. He was global head of advertising at UBS, one of the largest banks in the world, and previously held senior positions at Zurich Financial Services and Westpac Banking Group.

He holds a master’s degree in business and technology (MBT) from the University of NSW. He has lived and worked in New York, London, Sydney and Zurich. Currently he works with David Hale Global Economics and lives in Sydney and Zurich.

Read an interview with Mark Roeder, author of The Big Mo

Reviews for THE BIG MO

"A compelling book that journeys seamlessly from finances to the Iraq war, from oil prices and climate change to religion and pop culture in an effort to explain how we behave and why we are so easily led. From start to finish, it's an entertaining read."
"Roeder's book is a revelation. In our personal,
political and economic lives we seem to be swept
along by circumstances. Our attempts to change direction are doomed. The Big Mo explains why.
It is a fascinating read."
"The 2003 Iraq war and the financial crisis are just two of the things ostensibly explicable by this book's titular concept, momentum, as are uninformative news media, the rise of "hot religion", the celebrity of Susan Boyle, and the internet's rotting of our brains."

Richard Evans Financial Times

Phillip Adams Broadcaster, writer and film producer

Steven Poole The Guardian Newspaper

"The Big Mo pulls together lots of strands of varied thinking from many fields. It will make people think
and reflect."
"What [Roeder] convincingly emphasises the way the significance of momentum has gathered alarmingly over the past few decades... Things have acquired a momentum of their own."
"I've always taken a dim view of Grand Unified Theories of global change. The Big Mo is making me re-think my position. Roeder catches a preposterously big wave - and rides it confidently and convincingly to shore."

Paul Marsh Emeritus Professor of Finance, London Business School

The Age Review of books

Susan Maushart Author of The Winter of Our Disconnect, and journalist

"Speed and size define the events of our age. As news travels ever faster, its impact increases. The strength of [Roeder’s} book is the idea that momentum's effects can be felt right across society, including in the media, where 15 minutes of fame is possible on a scale unimaginable a decade ago."
"I read this book as the uprising in Egypt gathered exactly the sort of momentum that Roeder explores here. He does a great job of looking at the various causes of momentum and it becomes really
interesting when he moves away from familiar themes to explore the deeper roots of this phenomenon. A fascinating book."
"We all talk about the 'pace' we now work at... how everything seems to happen instantly. The Big Mo helps explain this phenomenon and provides thoughtful insights into how the power of momentum can both help and hinder modern business and social structures."

Steven Matcham The Australian Review of Books

Director Magazine, UK

Kim McKay AO, National Geographic Magazine

"Mark Roeder has produced a fascinating history of the concept of momentum, and a clear explanation of the role it has played in producing the recent global financial crisis. The Big Mo is a unique history and analysis of a force which drives a great deal of human behavior. The author’s command of his material, infused with an inspiring, enlightening theme, is an entirely fresh approach to the human science of economics."
"Momentum is like the air around us. Everybody can feel its effects, the good, the ridiculous and the catastrophic. Almost nobody understands it. Mark Roeder does. In quiet, thoughtful prose at times reminiscent of Thomas Merton, he makes it starkly clear why it can never be 'business as usual' if we are to address the grave threat posed by the 'Big Mo' in all its guises. This book is a brilliant wake up call."
"An excellent analysis of how momentum has become the 'zeitgeist of our times'. Roeder presents fascinating evidence from various fields (primarily behavioural sciences) to explain how this surge of momentum influences human behaviour. If the success of such a work were to be measured by how well it explains contemporary events (out-of-sample testing, as we academics refer to it), The Big Mo is a resounding success. It helps us better appreciate the underlying dynamics of say, the uprising in Egypt or the surge against corruption in India."

David Hale Global Economist, Chicago USA

Joe Bageant Author of Deer hunting with Jesus and social commentator

R L Shankar The Express (RL Shankar is head of the Centre for Advanced Financial Studies in India)