Book Bits | 6 January 2018

Market Timing with Moving Averages: The Anatomy and Performance of Trading Rules
By Valeriy Zakamulin
Review via Alpha Architect
There are many popular academics (Moskowitz, Ooi, and Pedersen) and bloggers (i.e., Gary Antonacci) with a solid grasp of trend-following rules. However, Valeriy is the expert’s expert when it comes to the details on trend-following rules. In fact, we were so impressed by the depth and scale of Valeriy’s knowledge on moving average rules, a few years ago, we labeled Valeriy the, “Moving Average Research King.” Valeriy’s new book only emphasizes that we were probably correct in our assessment.

What’s Wrong With the IMF and How to Fix It
By Bessma Momani and Mark R. Hibben
Summary via publisher (Polity)
The IMF stands at a crossroad. Derided as increasingly irrelevant in the first decade of the new millennium, the Fund has had its power and prestige restored by the fallout from the 2008 global financial crisis. But will the resurgent IMF assert a more just and sustainable macroeconomic model and provide a voice for poor and marginalized people around the globe? Or will enduring weaknesses within the IMF mean it fails to address these issues?

Termites of the State: Why Complexity Leads to Inequality
By Vito Tanzi
Summary via publisher (Cambridge University Press)
In Termites of the State, renowned public economist Vito Tanzi presents a sweeping account of the industrialized world’s economic development during the 20th century to today. In the tradition of grand economic histories, Tanzi connects the biggest issues of the modern world including extreme gaps in income distribution; increasing complexity of government actions and regulations; and asymmetry of access to information and to political influence between the elite and the rest of society. Part one covers the growth of state intervention since the early 20th century – a time before income taxes, central banks or social welfare programs. Part two investigates how and why laws and regulations have expanded in industrialized economies. Part three, building from this foundation, explains the forces behind the precipitous rise in global inequality. With a talent for clear, non-technical writing, Tanzi has produced an important book that will be of interest to any instructor, student, or general reader of economics and public policy.

The Moral Economists: R. H. Tawney, Karl Polanyi, E. P. Thompson, and the Critique of Capitalism
By Tim Rogan
Summary via publisher (Princeton University Press)
What’s wrong with capitalism? Answers to that question today focus on material inequality. Led by economists and conducted in utilitarian terms, the critique of capitalism in the twenty-first century is primarily concerned with disparities in income and wealth. It was not always so. The Moral Economists reconstructs another critical tradition, developed across the twentieth century in Britain, in which material deprivation was less important than moral or spiritual desolation. Tim Rogan focuses on three of the twentieth century’s most influential critics of capitalism—R. H. Tawney, Karl Polanyi, and E. P. Thompson. Making arguments about the relationships between economics and ethics in modernity, their works commanded wide readerships, shaped research agendas, and influenced public opinion. Rejecting the social philosophy of laissez-faire but fearing authoritarianism, these writers sought out forms of social solidarity closer than individualism admitted but freer than collectivism allowed.

Confronting the Climate Challenge: U.S. Policy Options
By Lawrence Goulder and Marc Hafstead
Summary via publisher (Columbia University Press)
Without significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, climate change will cause substantial damage to the environment and the economy. The scope of the threat demands a close look at the policies capable of reducing the harm. Confronting the Climate Challenge presents a unique framework for evaluating the impacts of a range of U.S. climate-policy options, both for the economy overall and for particular household groups, industries, and regions. Lawrence Goulder and Marc Hafstead focus on four alternative approaches for reducing carbon dioxide emissions: a revenue-neutral carbon tax, a cap-and-trade program, a clean energy standard, and an increase in the federal gasoline tax. They demonstrate that these policies—if designed correctly—not only can achieve emissions reductions at low cost but also can avoid placing undesirable burdens on low-income household groups or especially vulnerable industries.

Exceptional Wealth: Clear Strategies to Protect and Grow Your Net Worth
By Mark Tepper
Summary via publisher (Greenleaf Book Group)
Mark Tepper rightly assures us that we should all consider ourselves wealthy if we have the resources to live the lives we want to live without compromise. However, if you fall into one of his higher-net-worth categories, you will find that Exceptional Wealth is speaking directly to you. Tepper, author of the acclaimed Walk Away Wealthy, stresses that if you are someone with a high net worth, you have to realize that managing your wealth is complex. He clearly outlines key steps and sophisticated strategies that experienced professional financial advisors should be implementing for you. Each high net worth individual has unique and different forms of wealth, investments, and objectives. Consequently, individual and special family needs demand specifically tailored financial plans and approaches. Good investment management might have made you wealthy, but Tepper solidly brings home the point that only proper wealth management will keep you wealthy.

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