Book Bits | 26 August 2017

Are We Screwed?: How a New Generation is Fighting to Survive Climate Change
By Geoff Dembicki
Review via New York Journal of Books
Dembicki makes the case that millennials are capitalism’s worst nightmare because they are opting not to own cars, houses, and other material things, thanks to the philosophy of sharing resources, such as Lyft, Airbnb, and short-term rental of goods. A softening demand for cars means less of a market demand for oil, which means a much-reduced role for the petroleum industry. The “petrostate” will still have the plastics and chemical industries that rely on oil, but a huge sector of their industry is waning.

PAX JAPONICA: The Resurrection of Japan
By Takeo Harada
Summary via publisher (LID Publishing)
Japan, the world’s third largest economy and its largest creditor nation, has been in crisis for more than two decades. Its economy has been depressed or in recession in much of that period, its banking sector in a critical state, and its public sector burdened by recurring fiscal deficits and mounting debt. Today, the hegemonic role in global trade and financial markets has been assumed by the USA and China. Yet, this book argues that a possible future Pax Japonica – one in which Japan will overcome its paralyzing debt and once again play a leading role in global finance – can become a reality. Leading international strategist Takeo Harada provides new and astounding insight into Japan’s hidden role as designated controller of large – often secret – funds kept for the purpose of rescuing humankind from ultimate disasters. For this reason, Japan’s role in the global economy can never be under-estimated and remains critical to its progress.

The Seneca Effect: Why Growth is Slow but Collapse is Rapid
By Ugo Bardi
Summary via publisher (Springer)
The essence of this book can be found in a line written by the ancient Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca: “Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid”. This sentence summarizes the features of the phenomenon that we call “collapse,” which is typically sudden and often unexpected, like the proverbial “house of cards.” But why are such collapses so common, and what generates them? Several books have been published on the subject, including the well known “Collapse” by Jared Diamond (2005), “The collapse of complex societies” by Joseph Tainter (1998) and “The Tipping Point,” by Malcom Gladwell (2000). Why The Seneca Effect? This book is an ambitious attempt to pull these various strands together by describing collapse from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. The reader will discover how collapse is a collective phenomenon that occurs in what we call today “complex systems,” with a special emphasis on system dynamics and the concept of “feedback.” From this foundation, Bardi applies the theory to real-world systems, from the mechanics of fracture and the collapse of large structures to financial collapses, famines and population collapses, the fall of entire civilzations, and the most dreadful collapse we can imagine: that of the planetary ecosystem generated by overexploitation and climate change.

Hedge Funds: Structure, Strategies, and Performance
Edited by H. Kent Baker and Greg Filbeck
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
Hedge Funds: Structure, Strategies, and Performance provides a synthesis of the theoretical and empirical literature on this intriguing, complex, and frequently misunderstood topic. The book dispels some common misconceptions of hedge funds, showing that they are not a monolithic asset class but pursue highly diverse strategies. Furthermore, not all hedge funds are unusually risky, excessively leveraged, invest only in illiquid asses, attempt to profit from short-term market movements, or only benefit hedge fund managers due to their high fees. Among the core issues addressed are how hedge funds are structured and how they work, hedge fund strategies, leading issues in this investment, and the latest trends and developments.

Rural Poverty in the United States
Edited by Ann R. Tickamyer, et al.
Summary via publisher (Columbia University Press)
America’s rural areas have always held a disproportionate share of the nation’s poorest populations. Rural Poverty in the United States examines why. What is it about the geography, demography, and history of rural communities that keeps them poor? In a comprehensive analysis that extends from the Civil War to the present, Rural Poverty in the United States looks at access to human and social capital; food security; healthcare and the environment; homelessness; gender roles and relations; racial inequalities; and immigration trends to isolate the underlying causes of persistent rural poverty.

One thought on “Book Bits | 26 August 2017

  1. Pingback: » 新刊「Pax Japonica」が米ウェブ・サイトで紹介されました | IISIA 株式会社原田武夫国際戦略情報研究所 – haradatakeo.com

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