● Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts
By Annie Duke
Summary via publisher (Portfolio)
Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it’s difficult to say “I’m not sure” in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don’t always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don’t always lead to bad outcomes.
● How to Fix the Future
By Andrew Keen
Review via Fortune
Something has gone wrong with the Internet. Once billed as a tool for building community, the web has devolved into an ungovernable swamp of hate, surveillance, and distraction. Andrew Keen, an author and tech entrepreneur, is hardly the first to point this out, but his ambitious new book, How to Fix the Future, makes what might be the most forceful case yet.
A sweeping account of Big Tech’s growing takeover of our lives, the book examines everything from Silicon Valley monopolies to the sinister social media monitoring of the Chinese government. It shows why, if given the chance, we’d never build the Internet we have now: As a centralized advertising economy that strips wealth from creators, and feeds personal data to giant corporations. Keen’s account grows darker as he recounts how an explosion in artificial intelligence could soon snuff out humanity.
● Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley
By Emily Chang
Summary via publisher (Penguin Random House)
Silicon Valley is a modern utopia where anyone can change the world. Unless you’re a woman. For women in tech, Silicon Valley is not a fantasyland of unicorns, virtual reality rainbows, and 3D-printed lollipops, where millions of dollars grow on trees. It’s a “Brotopia,” where men hold all the cards and make all the rules. Vastly outnumbered, women face toxic workplaces rife with discrimination and sexual harassment, where investors take meetings in hot tubs and network at sex parties.
● The New Wealth of Nations
Summary via publisher (Simon & Schuster)
The emerging world was poor and illiterate just forty years ago. Today, over 70 per cent of the world’s middle class resides in the erstwhile poor countries; world income inequality is down to levels last observed in 1870; and there has been a large reduction in absolute poverty. What accounts for such rapid development and catch-up? Distinguished economist Surjit S. Bhalla’s The New Wealth of Nations offers a short answer—the spread of education. The very large increase in college graduates in the non-Western world, the growing educational achievements of women, and the radical change in gender roles is critical to the understanding of current-day mega-trends. Indeed, this unprecedented development—which creates competition globally and lowers employment costs—is also why world inflation has been low, and declining, for nearly twenty years.
● Expert Failure
By Roger Koppl
Summary via publisher (Cambridge University Press)
The humble idea that experts are ordinary human beings leads to surprising conclusions about how to get the best possible expert advice. All too often, experts have monopoly power because of licensing restrictions or because they are government bureaucrats protected from both competition and the consequences of their decisions. This book argues that, in the market for expert opinion, we need real competition in which rival experts may have different opinions and new experts are free to enter. But the idea of breaking up expert monopolies has far-reaching implications for public administration, forensic science, research science, economics, America’s military-industrial complex, and all domains of expert knowledge. Roger Koppl develops a theory of experts and expert failure, and uses a wide range of examples – from forensic science to fashion – to explain the applications of his theory, including state regulation of economic activity.
● American Capitalism: New Histories
Edited by Sven Beckert and Christine Desan
Summary via publisher (Columbia University Press)
The United States has long epitomized capitalism. From its enterprising shopkeepers, wildcat banks, violent slave plantations, huge industrial working class, and raucous commodities trade to its world-spanning multinationals, its massive factories, and the centripetal power of New York in the world of finance, America has come to symbolize capitalism for two centuries and more. But an understanding of the history of American capitalism is as elusive as it is urgent. What does it mean to make capitalism a subject of historical inquiry? What is its potential across multiple disciplines, alongside different methodologies, and in a range of geographic and chronological settings? And how does a focus on capitalism change our understanding of American history?
● Broken Pie Chart: 5 Ways to Build Your Investment Portfolio to Withstand and Prosper in Risky Markets
By Derek Moore
Summary via publisher (Emerald Publishing)
Investment outcomes and strategies have changed considerably since 2008. Broken Pie Chart demonstrates the failures of classical diversification and asset allocation, pointing out that the backward-looking methods used by traditional financial professionals will not work moving forward. Derek Moore explains why traditional risk-spreading leads to losses during sell-off periods, and contains risks that many investors do not recognize until it is too late. He also reflects on the changes in the financial market since the global financial crisis, and how these changes may affect your asset allocation and risk management decision-making in a landscape of lower rates and higher risks.