Book Bits | 11.2.13

Keynes’s Way to Wealth: Timeless Investment Lessons from The Great Economist
By John F. Wasik
Summary via publisher, McGraw-Hill
Few people know, however, that he was also a daring, steel-nerved investor who built a multi-million-dollar fortune in the stock market while providing financial counsel to the likes of Winston Churchill and FDR. Now, you can learn from–and imitate–Keynes’s success by examining the story of his life and investment strategies, masterfully told by awardwinning author John F. Wasik. As you follow Keynes from his early years with the Bloomsbury Group, through two world wars and the Great Depression Keynes’s theories and practices come to life by way of the historic and personal events that shaped them. Like today’s investors, Keynes faced markets roiled by panic, inflation, deflation, widespread unemployment, and war–and he developed a core set of principles to prosper in every climate.

Financial Advice and Investment Decisions: A Manifesto for Change
By Jarrod Wilcox and Frank Fabozzi
Excerpt via publisher, Wiley
Money and finance are wonderful inventions. But our makeup is not yet perfectly adapted even to the uses of money. We have inborn instincts for success within family and small groups, but success within money-based economies is far less natural. A competitive public marketplace for legal documents such as stocks, bonds, and derivative instruments is even more “unnatural” than trading for goods and services using money. Many look with disdain on the accumulation of money through financial markets. This further discourages us from its mastery, especially from competence in those skills—such as reasoning with probabilities and treating shared beliefs with skepticism—that we associate with gambling and speculation. The financial environment seems too complex for real comprehension, and we fall back on ancient behavioral mechanisms that economists, who like to think of themselves as scientists battling the forces of superstition, term “irrational.”
Strategy: A History
By Lawrence Freedman
Review via The Economist
Over time, the word “strategy” has been drained of meaning by ubiquity and overuse. Sir Lawrence Freedman’s aim in his magisterial new book, “Strategy: A History”, is to find a workable definition of what strategy is and to show how it has evolved and been applied in war, politics and business. Above all, he argues, it is about employing whatever resources are available to achieve the best outcome in situations that are both dynamic and contested: “It is about getting more out of a situation than the starting balance of power would suggest. It is the art of creating power.”
Deliberating American Monetary Policy: A Textual Analysis
By Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey
Summary via publisher, MIT Press
American monetary policy is formulated by the Federal Reserve and overseen by Congress. Both policy making and oversight are deliberative processes, although the effect of this deliberation has been difficult to quantify. In this book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey provides a systematic examination of deliberation on monetary policy from 1976 to 2008 by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) and House and Senate banking committees. Her innovative account employs automated textual analysis software to study the verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings and congressional hearings; these empirical data are supplemented and supported by in-depth interviews with participants in these deliberations.
Run from the Herd: A Contrarian Path to Wealth Creation
By Patrick J. Horan
Summary via author’s web site
Will you outlive your money? Running with the herd and following the crowds will get you to where everyone else is, but NOT financially independent. Running with the herd may take you over the cliff when the safe path is just to the right. Studies suggest that up to 95 percent of the world’s population CANNOT entirely support themselves and their families with the financial resources at hand. Run from the Herd – A Contrarian Path to Wealth Creation is written in simple English, using simple terms with simple stories that anyone can relate to ensuring that you have enough money to live a secure and rewarding life.

The Trader’s Guide to the Euro Area: Economic Indicators, the ECB and the Euro Crisis
Summary via publisher, Bloomberg/Wiley
By David J. Powell
The euro area remains in a state of flux and appears to be unsustainable in its present form. The outcome of the crisis may be unknown for years and a judgement on the project’s success or failure may be out of reach for decades. In the meantime, analysts, portfolio managers and traders will still have daily, weekly, quarterly and annual benchmarks. They will have to analyze economic developments in the euro area and their impacts on financial assets. The objective of this book is to provide a framework for that analysis that is comprehensible to most financial market participants.
Global Economic and Cultural Transformation: The Making of World History
By Mohamed Rabie
Summary via publisher, Palgrave Macmillan
Society today faces multi-dimensional challenges that are hard to define and even harder to deal with. Social and economic systems throughout the world are becoming more complex and interdependent, and globalization is moving beyond the sphere of economics to engulf other aspects of life, particularly culture and security. Our current theories, strategies, and road maps are fast becoming out-dated and no new ones have emerged to take their place.
Mohamed Rabie re-examines the relevance of major ideas and systems of the recent past, including ideology and its relation to society in Global Economic and Cultural Transformation.
Code Red: How to Protect Your Savings From the Coming Crisis
By John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper
Summary via publisher, Wiley
Written by the New York Times bestselling author team of John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper, Code Red spills the beans on the central banks in the U.S., U.K., E.U., and Japan and how they’ve rigged the game against the average saver and investor. More importantly, it shows you how to protect your hard-earned cash from the bankers’ disastrous monetary policies and how to come out a winner in the irresponsible game of chicken they’re playing with the global financial system. From quantitative easing to zero interest rate policies, ZIRP to the impending currency wars, runaway inflation to GDP targeting, authors Mauldin and Tepper achieve the impossible by not only explaining global monetary policy and its consequences in plain English, but also making it compelling reading.