Book Bits | 14 December 2019

Advances in Active Portfolio Management: New Developments in Quantitative Investing
By Richard C. Grinold and Ronald N. Kahn
Summary via publisher (McGraw-Hill Education)
From the leading authorities in their field—the newest, most effective tools for avoiding common pitfalls while maximizing profits through active portfolio management. Whether you’re a portfolio managers, financial adviser, or student of investing, this follow-up to the authors’ classic work on the subject delivers everything you need to master the concepts and practices of active portfolio management. Advances in Active Portfolio Management brings you up to date on the issues, trends, and challenges in the world of active management and shows how advances in the authors’ approach can solve current problems.

The Great Democracy: How to Fix Our Politics, Unrig the Economy, and Unite America
By Ganesh Sitaraman
Summary via publisher (Basic Books)
Since the New Deal in the 1930s, there have been two eras in our political history: the liberal era, stretching up to the 1970s, followed by the neoliberal era of privatization and austerity ever since. In each period, the dominant ideology was so strong that it united even partisan opponents. But the neoliberal era is collapsing, and the central question of our time is what comes next. As acclaimed legal scholar and policy expert Ganesh Sitaraman argues, two political visions now contend for the future. One is nationalist oligarchy, which rigs the system for the rich and powerful while using nationalism to mobilize support. The other is the great democracy, which fights corruption and extends both political and economic power to all people.

Sovereign Debt: A Guide for Economists and Practitioners
Edited by S. Ali Abbas, et al.
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
The last time global sovereign debt reached the level seen today was at the end of the Second World War, and this shaped a generation of economic policymaking. International institutions were transformed, country policies were often draconian and distortive, and many crises ensued. By the early 1970s, when debt fell back to pre-war levels, the world was radically different. It is likely that changes of a similar magnitude -for better and for worse – will play out over coming decades. Sovereign Debt: A Guide for Economists and Practitioners is an attempt to build some structure around the issues of sovereign debt to help guide economists, practitioners and policymakers through this complicated, but not intractable, subject.

More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources―and What Happens Next
By Andrew McAfee
Review via Foreign Affairs
McAfee offers an optimistic outlook for the future of mankind—or at least for those who live in wealthy, democratic countries. This unusual book highlights “four horsemen of the optimist”: effective capitalism, technological progress, public awareness, and effective government. Free markets and advancing technologies provide the basis for material well-being; a free press and strong governance check uncontrolled greed and protect against social and environmental harms. McAfee favors social democracy over socialism, insisting on a sharp distinction between the two. His most surprising finding concerns the U.S. economy. Over the past two decades, the material standard of living of Americans has continued to rise even as Americans consume fewer physical resources, such as water, metals, and building materials. McAfee sees these trends spreading to the rest of the world.

Capital Markets Union and Beyond
By Franklin Allen, et al.
Summary via publisher (MIT Press)
Experts from economics, finance, law, policy, and banking discuss the design and implementation of a future capital market union in Europe. The plan for further development of Europe’s economic and monetary union foresees the creation of a capital market union (CMU)—a single market for capital in the entire Eurozone. The need for citizens and firms of all European countries to have access to funding, together with the pressure to improve the efficiency and risk-sharing opportunities of the financial system in general, put the CMU among the top priorities on the Eurozone’s agenda. In this volume, leading academics in economics, finance, and law, along with policy makers and practitioners, discuss the design and implementation of a future CMU.

Quantitative Finance
By Maria C. Mariani and Ionut Florescu
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Presents a multitude of topics relevant to the quantitative finance community by combining the best of the theory with the usefulness of applications. Written by accomplished teachers and researchers in the field, this book presents quantitative finance theory through applications to specific practical problems and comes with accompanying coding techniques in R and MATLAB, and some generic pseudo-algorithms to modern finance. It also offers over 300 examples and exercises that are appropriate for the beginning student as well as the practitioner in the field.

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