Book Bits: 17 October 2020

The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe
Jay W. Richards, et al.
Summary via publisher (Regnery)
For the first time in history, the world shut itself down—by choice—all for fear of a virus, COVID-19, that wasn’t well understood. The government, with the support of most Americans, ordered the closure of tens of thousands of small businesses—many never to return. Almost every school and college in the country sent its students home to finish the school year in front of a computer. Churches cancelled worship services. “Social distancing” went from a non-word to a moral obligation overnight. Moral preening on social media achieved ever new heights. The world will reopen and life will go on, but what kind of world will it be when it does? It can’t be what it was, because of what’s just happened.

Geopolitical Alpha: An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future
Marko Papic
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Geopolitical Alpha – An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future provides readers with an original and compelling approach to forecasting the future and beating the markets while doing so. Persuasively written by author, investment strategist, and geopolitical analyst Marko Papic, the book applies a novel framework for making sense of the cacophony of geopolitical risks with the eye towards generating investment-relevant insights.

How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices
Annie Duke
Review via Fast Company
“There are only two things that determine how your life turns out: luck and the quality of your decisions,” says Annie Duke, former professional poker player and author of How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices. “You have control over only one of those two things. When you make better-quality decisions, you increase the chances that good things will happen to you.”

Educated REIT Investing: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts
Stephanie Krewson-Kelly, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Educated REIT Investing is the ultimate resource for investors, financial advisors, and students interested in learning how to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs)—one of the only asset classes to significantly outperform the S&P 500 Index over the last 25 years. Written by Stephanie Krewson-Kelly and Glenn R. Mueller, PhD., both accomplished REIT authors and investors with six decades of accumulated industry experience between them, Educated REIT Investing provides all the basics and history, then blends pragmatic strategies and advice with a thorough exploration of the fundamentals and nuances of the REIT industry.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting Robots: The Future of Human-Robot Collaboration
Laura Major and Julie Shah
Summary via publisher (Basic Books)
Most robots are just tools. They do limited sets of tasks subject to constant human control. But a new type of robot is coming. These machines will operate on their own in busy, unpredictable public spaces. They’ll ferry deliveries, manage emergency rooms, even grocery shop. Such systems could be truly collaborative, accomplishing tasks we don’t do well without our having to stop and direct them. This makes them social entities, so, as robot designers Laura Major and Julie Shah argue, whether they make our lives better or worse is a matter of whether they know how to behave. What to Expect When You’re Expecting Robots offers a vision for how robots can survive in the real world and how they will change our relationship to technology. From teaching them manners, to robot-proofing public spaces, to planning for their mistakes, this book answers every question you didn’t know you needed to ask about the robots on the way.

Machine Learning for Asset Management: New Developments and Financial Applications
Edited by Emmanuel Jurczenko
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
This new edited volume consists of a collection of original articles written by leading financial economists and industry experts in the area of machine learning for asset management. The chapters introduce the reader to some of the latest research developments in the area of equity, multi-asset and factor investing. Each chapter deals with new methods for return and risk forecasting, stock selection, portfolio construction, performance attribution and transaction costs modeling.

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