Welcome to the New Year — and the sequel to last week’s first installment of notable titles that appeared in The Capital Spectator’s weekly Book Bits column in 2020. Happy reading!
● Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles
William Quinn and John D. Turner
Summary via publisher (Cambridge U. Press)
Why do stock and housing markets sometimes experience amazing booms followed by massive busts and why is this happening more and more frequently? In order to answer these questions, William Quinn and John D. Turner take us on a riveting ride through the history of financial bubbles, visiting, among other places, Paris and London in 1720, Latin America in the 1820s, Melbourne in the 1880s, New York in the 1920s, Tokyo in the 1980s, Silicon Valley in the 1990s and Shanghai in the 2000s. As they do so, they help us understand why bubbles happen, and why some have catastrophic economic, social and political consequences whilst others have actually benefited society. They reveal that bubbles start when investors and speculators react to new technology or political initiatives, showing that our ability to predict future bubbles will ultimately come down to being able to predict these sparks.
● Beyond Diversification: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Asset Allocation
Summary via publisher (McGraw-Hill)
Asset allocation is the key to investing performance. Unfortunately, no single approach works perfectly—developing the right balance requires a clear-eyed look at the many models available to you, various investing methodologies, and your or your client’s level of risk tolerance. And that’s where this important guide comes in. Written by a leading allocation expert from T. Rowe Price, Beyond Diversification provides the knowledge, insights, and approaches you need to make the best allocation decisions for your goals. This deep dive into the how’s and why’s of asset allocation is organized by the three decisive components of a successfully allocated portfolio.
● The Great Devaluation: How to Embrace, Prepare, and Profit from the Coming Global Monetary Reset
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
In 2008, the world economy suffered through the Housing Crisis which wiped out nearly $10 trillion in global asset value. In response, the Federal Reserve created Quantitative Easing, and added $3.5 trillion to their balance sheet over the next seven years. In March of 2020, we had a crisis and the Federal Reserve added another $3.5 trillion to their balance sheet, only this time they did it in a matter of seven weeks! The real crisis facing the world today is not the Coronavirus. The real crisis facing the world is explosive government debt and deficits. Governments are now left with no choice but to spend more than they make, borrow more than they can ever repay, and devalue their currencies to cover it all up.
● Money for Nothing: The Scientists, Fraudsters, and Corrupt Politicians Who Reinvented Money, Panicked a Nation, and Made the World Rich
Summary via publisher (Penguin Random House)
Money for Nothing chronicles the moment when the needs of war, discoveries of natural philosophy, and ambitions of investors collided. It’s about how the Scientific Revolution intertwined with finance to set England—and the world—off in an entirely new direction… Unlike science, though, with its tightly controlled experiments, the financial revolution was subject to trial and error on a grand scale, with dramatic, sometimes devastating, consequences for people’s lives. With England at war and in need of funds and “stock-jobbers” looking for any opportunity to get in on the action, this new world of finance had the potential to save the nation—but only if it didn’t bankrupt it first.
● The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons On Wealth, Greed, and Happiness
Summary via publisher (Harriman House)
Doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s about how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people. Money—investing, personal finance, and business decisions—is typically taught as a math-based field, where data and formulas tell us exactly what to do. But in the real world people don’t make financial decisions on a spreadsheet. They make them at the dinner table, or in a meeting room, where personal history, your own unique view of the world, ego, pride, marketing, and odd incentives are scrambled together. In The Psychology of Money, award-winning author Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics.
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