Book Bits | 5 August 2017

The Best Investment Writing: Selected Writing From Leading investors and Authors
Edited by Meb Faber
Summary via publisher (Harriman House)
Are you looking for some ideas to help you improve your portfolio? Let the brightest, most insightful minds in investing help. The Best Investment Writing contains 32 hand-selected articles. These are the best pieces from some of the most respected money managers and investment researchers in the world. The Best Investment Writing reads like a masters course in investing.

Econometrics As a Con Art: Exposing the Limitations and Abuses of Econometrics
By Imad A. Moosa
Summary via publisher (Edward Elgar)
Imad Moosa challenges convention with this comprehensive and compelling critique of econometrics, condemning the common practices of misapplied statistical methods in both economics and finance. After reviewing the Keynesian, Austrian and mainstream criticisms of econometrics, it is demonstrated that econometric models can be manipulated to produce any desired result. These hazardous analyses may then be relied upon to support flawed policy recommendations, ideological beliefs and private interests. Moosa proposes that the way forward should instead be to rely on clear thinking, intuition and common sense rather than to continue with the reliance upon econometrics. Appealing to both academics and practitioners of economics and finance, this book serves to challenge the acceptance of econometrics as offering trustworthy analysis.

The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class
By Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
Review via The Economist
Conspicuous consumption persists today. But just as the patricians of classical times changed their habits once the masses gained the ability to copy them, so too have modern American elites recoiled from accumulating mere goods now that globalisation has made them affordable to the middle class. Instead, argues Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, a professor at the University of Southern California, in “The Sum of Small Things”, they have begun consuming the fruits of “conspicuous production”:socially worthy things like fair-trade coffee. They also emphasise “inconspicuous consumption”, of services like education. Far from making the world more egalitarian, this shift, in particular, threatens to entrench modern elites’ privileged position more effectively than the habits of their predecessors ever did.

The Living Wage
By Donald Hirsch and Laura Valadez-Martinez
Summary via publisher (Agenda)
The “living wage” is an old idea that has experienced a dramatic resurgence of political popularity in recent years. The underlying logic of the concept is quite clear: it is a wage that provides workers with enough income to live on at some level considered adequate. However, in practice the term has become blurred with that of the “minimum wage” and in its implementation it has lacked a consistent meaning despite being widely used as a campaigning slogan. This short primer traces the origins of the concept of the living wage and seeks to explain the current rise in its fortunes as an economic instrument with a social objective. It examines its impact on labour markets and wage levels, explores how it has been applied, and assesses whether it is an effective measure for raising living standards.

Currency Kings: How Billionaire Traders Made their Fortune Trading Forex and How You Can Too
By Ben Robson
Summary via publisher (McGraw-Hill Education)
Currency Kings provides a proven four-part formula to help you navigate and profit in today’s Forex market. Ben Robson provides the knowledge and techniques you need to build a solid understanding of the market, all presented in an engaging narrative analyzing the techniques of the geniuses who have made billions in Forex.

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