Book Bits | 14 February 2015

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice
By Bill Browder
Review via Reading The Markets
Bill Browder has written a book that is by turns gripping, chilling, and moving—a book that impels a reviewer to pile one outraged adjective upon another. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice (Simon & Schuster, 2015) is a scathing indictment of Putin’s brutal kleptocracy, which Browder and the people connected to his firm, Hermitage Capital, experienced firsthand.

Liquidity Lost: The Governance of the Global Financial Crisis
By Paul Langley
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
Contributing to interdisciplinary debates in cultural economy and the social studies of finance, and grounded in extensive empirical research, Liquidity Lost offers an innovative analysis of how the contemporary global financial crisis was governed. Through an exploration of the interventions made by central banks, treasuries, and regulatory authorities in the Anglo-American heartland of the crisis between 2007 and 2011, experimental and strategic apparatuses of crisis governance are shown to have emerged… the consensus that prevails across economics, political economy, and beyond – wherein sovereign state institutions are cast as coming to the rescue of the markets, banking, or neo-liberal capitalism – conceals a great deal more than it reveals about the governance of the global financial crisis.

Right of Boom: The Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism
By Benjamin E. Schwartz
Review via The New York Times
Nuclear terrorism has long been a staple of movies and television shows. But typically, Hollywood productions end with the bomb being defused. What would happen if heroes didn’t save the day and the United States experienced the worst 24 hours in its history?
That is the important question Benjamin E. Schwartz, a career government official who has worked at the Departments of State, Defense and Energy, sets out to answer in his clunkily titled first book, “Right of Boom.” (“Right of boom” is ­government-speak for “after an explosion.”)

Big Data Analytics: A Practical Guide for Managers
By Kim H. Pries and Robert Dunnigan
Summary via publisher (CRC Press)
With this book, managers and decision makers are given the tools to make more informed decisions about big data purchasing initiatives. Big Data Analytics: A Practical Guide for Managers not only supplies descriptions of common tools, but also surveys the various products and vendors that supply the big data market.

The Golden Leaf: How Tobacco Shaped Cuba and the Atlantic World
By Charlotte Cosner
Summary via publisher (Vanderbilt University Press)
Through the rise and fall of empires, ideologies, and economies, tobacco grown on the tiny island of Cuba has remained an enduring symbol of pleasure and extravagance. Cultivated as one of the first reliable commodities for those inhabitants who remained after conquistadors moved on in search of a mythical wellspring of gold, tobacco quickly became crucial to the support of the swelling Spanish Empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Eventually, however, tobacco became one of the final stabilizing forces in the empire, and it ultimately proved more resilient than the best laid plans of kings and queens. Tobacco, and those whose livelihoods depended on it, shrugged off the Empire’s collapse and pressed on into the twentieth century as an economic force any state or political power must reckon with.

Life in the Financial Markets: How They Really Work And Why They Matter To You
By Daniel Lacalle
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Life in the Financial Markets—How They Really Work And Why They Matter To You offers the financial services professional, and anyone interested in knowing more about the profession, an entertaining and comprehensive analysis of the financial markets and the financial services industry. Written by Daniel Lacalle—a noted portfolio manager with EcoFin and well-known media personality—the book goes beyond a simple summary and offers solid advice on the future of the global financial markets. This great resource also includes a review of effective strategies and forecasts the trends that represent potential opportunities for investors.

Religion and the Marketplace in the United States
Edited by Jan Stievermann, et al.
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
Alexis de Tocqueville once described the national character of Americans as one question insistently asked: “How much money will it bring in?” G.K. Chesterton, a century later, described America as a “nation with a soul of a church.” At first glance, the two observations might appear to be diametrically opposed, but this volume shows the ways in which American religion and American business overlap and interact with one another, defining the US in terms of religion, and religion in terms of economics.