Book Bits | 27 May 2017

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History
Review via Prospect
Stephen King, a Senior Economic Adviser to HSBC, has written a timely book called Grave New World, which is an excellent guide to this new global landscape. The combination of up to the minute economic analysis with a long look back at the lessons of economic history is written in an easy to follow and (mostly) jargon free manner.
King argues that the globalisation of the past few decades could easily be reversed. The division of the spoils from globalisation, both within and between countries, has been far from equal.
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Research Review | 26 May 2017 | Smart Beta

Smart beta: 2017 global survey findings from asset owners
FTSE Russell
May 22, 2017
How much higher can smart beta adoption climb? Now in its fourth year, FTSE Russell’s latest annual survey of global institutional asset owners indicates that smart beta adoption is at an all time high and that investors continue to find new applications for its use.
The survey, Smart beta: 2017 global survey findings from asset owners, reveals that the percentage of asset owners reporting an existing smart beta allocation has reached a new peak of 46%, up from 36% last year. The trend over the past three years shows that increasing global growth and adoption of smart beta is continuing in 2017, with adoption of smart beta in Europe still greater than in North America and Asia Pacific, with 60% of asset owners reporting an allocation.
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Housing’s Weak Start For Q2 Is Probably Noise

April was a rough month for housing. For the first time in a year, housing starts and sales of new and existing homes declined for the monthly comparison. The weakness weighed on the year-over-year change, which slumped to an 18-month low. Given housing’s critical role for growth, the slowdown would be worrisome if other corners of the economy weren’t showing signs of strength. Nonetheless, a soft housing market isn’t easily dismissed for business-cycle analysis.
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Book Bits | 20 May 2017

Who Stole Our Market Economy?: The Desperate Need For Socioeconomic Progress
By A. Coskun Samli
Summary via publisher (Palgrave Macmillan)
This book discusses the current landscape of our market economy, which is in the hands of financiers and billionaires who decrease competition as well as consumer power. In order for society to fully thrive and provide its members higher living standards and quality of life, it must distribute and deliver the fruits of the economic activity without discrimination and favoritism. This book exposes the real problem of economic inequality, poverty, and the elimination of the middle class and argues for a progressive market economy in the face of regressive conservatism. The author warns of business failures, rigid and unrealistic laws, widespread unemployment, and class warfare without a fair, functional system.
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US Business Cycle Risk Report | 19 May 2017

Political uncertainty for the US is on the rise, but economic risk remains low. The turmoil surrounding President Donald Trump raises questions about the viability of his administration’s pro-growth policy agenda. Nonetheless, it’s debatable if the economy is vulnerable due to elevated political risk, in part because there’s no sign of macro stress based on the numbers published to date.
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