Book Bits: 17 June 2023

Quantitative Asset Management: Factor Investing and Machine Learning for Institutional Investing
Michael Robbins
Summary via publisher (McGraw Hill Professional)
Whether you’re managing institutional portfolios or private wealth, Quantitative Asset Management will open your eyes to a new, more successful way of investing—one that harnesses the power of big data and artificial intelligence. This innovative guide walks you through everything you need to know to fully leverage these revolutionary tools. Written from the perspective of a seasoned financial investor making use of technology, it details proven investing methods, striking a rare balance between providing important technical information without burdening you with overly complex investing theory.

The Datapreneurs: The Promise of AI and the Creators Building Our Future
Bob Muglia with Steve Hamm
Interview with author via Strategy Skills podcast
The Datapreneurs: The Promise of AI and the Creators Building Our Future, Bob Muglia. In this book, Bob helps us understand how innovation in data and information technology has led us to AI—and how this technology must shape our future. Bob Muglia is a data technology investor and business executive, former CEO of Snowflake, and past president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Division. As a leader, Bob focuses on how innovation and ethical values can merge to shape the data economy’s future in the era of AI. He serves as a board director for emerging companies which seek to maximize the power of data to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

The Three Ages of Water: Prehistoric Past, Imperiled Present, and a Hope for the Future
Peter Gleick
Review via Kirkus Reviews
MacArthur fellow Gleick, a globally recognized expert on water, begins with statistics—e.g., 97% of the world’s water is salt water, and 80% of the fresh water is used to grow food—and then devotes nearly half of the text to a history of the world. The author’s first “age” of water runs from the Big Bang to the end of the Middle Ages, and the second is “our age,” when scientific and industrial revolutions led to the “replumbing of the entire planet with hard infrastructure that dammed, channelized, collected, treated and redistributed almost every major freshwater source on Earth.” Though we possess the ability to feed Earth’s 8 billion people, deliver safe drinking water, and take away wastewater, it’s not happening because these advances came with “the unintended consequences of pollution, ecological disruption, water poverty, social and political conflict, and global climate change.” The third age of water will lead to a dystopian future unless we fix matters, and Gleick devotes the remainder of the book to that prospect.

Pricing the Priceless: The Financial Transformation to Value the Planet, Solve the Climate Crisis, and Protect Our Most Precious Assets
Paula DiPerna
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
In Pricing the Priceless: The Financial Transformation to Value the Planet, Solve the Climate Crisis, and Protect Our Most Precious Assets, renowned environmental strategist, speaker, world traveler and author Paula DiPerna brings a unique voice and optic to de-mystify and unveil today’s most fascinating financial disruption—pricing the priceless to flip conventional ideas of how we value natural assets and why. She asks the provocative question long ignored: Why do we value the indispensable atmosphere at zero, but dispensable production in the trillions? She digs into alternatives, with real-life examples from around the globe of fascinating and pioneering financial innovations—controversial and paradoxical, but essential.

Billionaires’ Row: Tycoons, High Rollers, and the Epic Race to Build the World’s Most Exclusive Skyscrapers
Katherine Clarke
Summary via publisher (Currency/Penguin Random House)
In Billionaires’ Row, Katherine Clarke reveals the captivating story of how, in just a few years, the ruthless real-estate impresarios behind these “supertalls” lining 57th Street turned what was once a run-down strip of Midtown into the most exclusive street on Earth, as legendary Trump-era veterans went toe-to-toe with hungry upstart developers in an ego-fueled “race to the sky.” Based on far-reaching access to real estate’s power players, Clarke’s account brings readers inside one of the world’s most cutthroat industries, showing how a combination of ferocious ambition and relentless salesmanship has created a new market of $100 million apartments for the world’s one-percenters—units to live in or, sometimes, just places to stash their cash.

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