● The Power of a Single Number: A Political History of GDP
By Philipp Lepenies
Summary via publisher (Columbia University Press)
Widely used since the mid-twentieth century, GDP (gross domestic product) has become the world’s most powerful statistical indicator of national development and progress. Practically all governments adhere to the idea that GDP growth is a primary economic target, and while criticism of this measure has grown, neither its champions nor its detractors deny its central importance in our political culture. In The Power of a Single Number, Philipp Lepenies recounts the lively history of GDP’s political acceptance—and eventual dominance. Locating the origins of GDP measurements in Renaissance England, Lepenies explores the social and political factors that originally hindered its use.
● Concentrated Investing: Strategies of the World’s Greatest Concentrated Value Investors
By Allen Benello, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Concentrated Investing: Strategies of the World’s Greatest Concentrated Value Investors chronicles the virtually unknown—but wildly successful—value investors who have regularly and spectacularly blown away the results of even the world’s top fund managers. Sharing the insights of these top value investors, expert authors Allen Benello, Michael van Biema, and Tobias Carlisle unveil the strategies that make concentrated value investing incredibly profitable, while at the same time showing how to mitigate risk over time. Highlighting the history and approaches of four top value investors, the authors tell the fascinating story of the investors who dare to tread where few others have, and the wildly-successful track records that have resulted.
● Even the Odds: Sensible Risk-Taking in Business, Investing, and Life
By Karen Firestone
Review via Inc
Firestone finds that many of the seemingly safe decisions we make bet on one unrealistic condition: That nothing surrounding the circumstances will ever change.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that although most of us consider ourselves risk averse, what we consider ‘safe’ behavior often contains much more uncertainty than we suspect,” she wrote in a blog post for Harvard Business Review.
You’ve heard it before: The only thing that is constant is change itself. Yet we still expect we’ll always know the outcome of the safe route.
That’s irrational and impossible. Change is the norm, not the exception. When making any decisions, it’s important to anticipate the potential upheaval of all your options — including the one you deem to be the most stable.
● Common Stocks and Common Sense: The Strategies, Analyses, Decisions, and Emotions of a Particularly Successful Value Investor
By Edgar Wachenheim, III
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Common Stocks and Common Sense provides detailed insight into common stock investing, using a case-study approach based on real-world investments. Author Edgar Wachenheim is the 28-year CEO of Greenhaven Associates, boasting an average annual portfolio comparable to Warren Buffet’s. In this book, he shares his knowledge and experiences by providing detailed analyses of actual investments made by himself and other investors. The discussion covers the entire investment process, including the softer, human side, with candid insight into the joys and frustrations, intensities and pressures, and risks and uncertainties. The unique emphasis on behavioral economics and real-world cases set this book apart from the herd—but it’s Wachenheim himself and his deeply-examined perspective that elevates the book beyond a mere investing guide.
● Warren Buffett’s Ground Rules: Words of Wisdom from the Partnership Letters of the World’s Greatest Investor
by Jeremy C. Miller
Summary via publisher (HarperBusiness)
Using the letters Warren Buffett wrote to his partners between 1956 and 1970, a veteran financial advisor presents the renowned guru’s “ground rules” for investing—guidelines that remain startlingly relevant today. In the fourteen years between his time in New York with value-investing guru Benjamin Graham and his start as chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett managed Buffett Partnership Limited, his first professional investing partnership. Over the course of that time—a period in which he experienced an unprecedented record of success—Buffett wrote semiannual letters to his small but growing group of partners, sharing his thoughts, approaches, and reflections. Compiled for the first time and with Buffett’s permission, the letters spotlight his contrarian diversification strategy, his almost religious celebration of compounding interest, his preference for conservative rather than conventional decision making, and his goal and tactics for bettering market results by at least 10% annually.
● The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America
By F.H. Buckley
Summary via publisher (Encounter Books)
The Way Back explains the revolution in American politics, where political insurgents have challenged the complacent establishment of both parties, and shows how we can restore the promise of economic mobility and equality by pursuing socialist ends through capitalist means.
● Progress and Confusion: The State of Macroeconomic Policy
Edited by Oliver J. Blanchard, et al.
Summary via publisher (MIT Press)
What will economic policy look like once the global financial crisis is finally over? Will it resume the pre-crisis consensus, or will it be forced to contend with a post-crisis “new normal”? Have we made progress in addressing these issues, or does confusion remain? In April of 2015, the International Monetary Fund gathered leading economists, both academics and policymakers, to address the shape of future macroeconomic policy. This book is the result, with prominent figures—including Ben Bernanke, Lawrence Summers, and Paul Volcker—offering essays that address topics that range from the measurement of systemic risk to foreign exchange intervention.
● Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back
By Nathan Bomey
Review via NY Times
Nathan Bomey’s “Detroit Resurrected” is the most thoroughly reported account of the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. It also stands as a valuable work of urban policy. The overarching theme of the book is how Detroit turned to bankruptcy to restore the social contract.
● The Inexorable Evolution of Financialisation: Financial Crises in Emerging Markets
By Domna Michailidou
Summary via publisher (Palgrave)
Since the 2007 financial crisis, discussion on issues related to the size, spread and frequency of financial crises has captivated a wide variety of audiences. Why has the world economy experienced such a marked increase in financial transactions and private and public indebtedness since the 1980s? How have middle-income developing countries suddenly become a part of this dynamic? And, most importantly, how has the topic of financial crises been featured in households’ daily discussions in both developed and developing parts of the world? Domna Michailidou addresses the questions above through exploring the inexorable evolution of financialisation into financial crisis through the examination of three middle-income countries: Mexico, Brazil and South Korea.