Book Bits | 18 February 2017

fedup.18feb2017Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America
By Danielle DiMartino Booth
Commentary by author via CNBC
It’s no longer a secret that an abundance of anger is churning among many working men and women who feel they’ve been excluded by the current economic recovery and the longest span of job creation in postwar history. The funny thing about a sense of abandonment is that more often than not, anger follows.
What too few Americans appreciate is how directly the inability to say “no” at the Fed has determined their station in life. But that’s just the case. The Fed directly impacts a slew of the most important decisions we make — the values we instill in our children, the things we buy and how they are financed and how we best prepare for what follows after a lifetime of laboring in the trenches.

The Profit Doctrine: Economists of the Neoliberal Era
By Robert Chernomas and Ian Hudson
Summary via publisher (Pluto Press)
The economics profession has a lot to answer for. After the late 1970s, the ideas of influential economists have justified policies that have made the world more prone to economic crisis, remarkably less equal, more polluted and less secure than it might be. How could ideas and policies that proved to be such an abject failure come to dominate the economic landscape? By critically examining the work of the most famous economists of the neoliberal period including Alan Greenspan, Milton Friedman, and Robert Lucas, the authors Robert Chernomas and Ian Hudson demonstrate that many of those who rose to prominence did so primarily because of their defence of, and contribution to, rising corporate profits and not their ability to predict or explain economic events.

What To Do When Machines Do Everything: How to Get Ahead in a World of AI, Algorithms, Bots, and Big Data
By Malcolm Frank, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
What To Do When Machines Do Everything is a guidebook to succeeding in the next generation of the digital economy. When systems running on Artificial Intelligence can drive our cars, diagnose medical patients, and manage our finances more effectively than humans it raises profound questions on the future of work and how companies compete. Illustrated with real-world cases, data, and insight, the authors provide clear strategic guidance and actionable steps to help you and your organization move ahead in a world where exponentially developing new technologies are changing how value is created.

Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town
By Brian Alexander
Interview with author via NPR
Lancaster, Ohio, the home of the Fortune 500 company Anchor Hocking, was once a bustling center of industry and employment. At its peak following World War II, Lancaster’s hometown company was the world’s largest maker of glassware and employed more than 5,000 town residents. Though Anchor Hocking remains in Lancaster today, it is a shell of its former self, and the once thriving town is beset by underemployment and drug abuse. Lancaster native Brian Alexander chronicles the rise and fall of his hometown in his new book, Glass House.

R in Finance and Economics: A Beginner’s Guide
By Abhay Kumar Singh and David E Allen
Summary via publisher (World Scientific)
This book provides an introduction to the statistical software R and its application with an empirical approach in finance and economics. It is specifically targeted towards undergraduate and graduate students. It provides beginner-level introduction to R using RStudio and reproducible research examples. It will enable students to use R for data cleaning, data visualization and quantitative model building using statistical methods like linear regression, econometrics (GARCH etc), Copulas, etc. Moreover, the book demonstrates latest research methods with applications featuring linear regression, quantile regression, panel regression, econometrics, dependence modelling, etc. using a range of data sets and examples.