Book Bits | 20 June 2015

The Mythology of Work: How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself
By Peter Fleming
Essay by author via The Guardian
It is clear that the relationship between jobs and pay is now governed by a new principle. The old days in which your pay was linked to the number of hours you clocked up, the skill required and the societal worth of the job are long over. Other factors play a bigger role in determining how much you are rewarded today. This is why we live in a world where the task of walking a millionaire’s dog through Hyde Park is considered more valuable than an NHS nurse (starting salary £21k).

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy
By Stephen Witt
Review via The New York Times
Stephen Witt’s nimble new book, “How Music Got Free,” is the richest explanation to date about how the arrival of the MP3 upended almost everything about how music is distributed, consumed and stored. It’s a story you may think you know, but Mr. Witt brings fresh reporting to bear, and complicates things in terrific ways.

America’s Moment: Creating Opportunity in the Connected Age
By Rework America
Review via Kirkus Review
In this rich compendium of information on new tools “to rework America, to rebuild the American dream,” a bevy of business, technology, and other experts convened by the Markle Foundation explains that the same modern forces that have erased so many American jobs—technological leaps and globalization—can become the basis for a vast expansion of work opportunities. Data and analytics can help develop new jobs, and the Internet can better match employers and middle-skill workers. Novel ways can be found to categorize and credential talent for an increasingly “no-collar” world. Much of the book focuses on the need to overcome old mindsets and habits that dominate the world of work. Online connections are now making possible an explosive growth in commerce, say participants in the “Rework America” initiative.

Heroes and Villains of Finance: The 50 Most Colourful Characters in The History of Finance
By A. Baldwin
Review via The Manshed
On the face of it, a book about the world of finance hardly seems something to get excited about, however the new book Heroes and Villains of Finance: The 50 Most Colourful Characters in the History of Finance by A. Baldwin will certainly change your mind. Baldwin examines significant figures who have shaped the financial landscape, from the centuries old Knights Templar to Bernard Madoff, the mastermind behind the largest financial fraud in US history…it’s a fascinating read.

Quantitative Financial Risk Management: Theory and Practice
Edited by Constantin Zopounidis and Emilios Galariotis
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Written by an international team of experts in the field, Quantitative Financial Risk Management: Theory and Practice provides an invaluable guide to the most recent and innovative research on the topics of financial risk management, portfolio management, credit risk modeling, and worldwide financial markets. This comprehensive text reviews the tools and concepts of financial management that draw on the practices of economics, accounting, statistics, econometrics, mathematics, stochastic processes, and computer science and technology. Using the information found in Quantitative Financial Risk Management can help professionals to better manage, monitor, and measure risk, especially in today’s uncertain world of globalization, market volatility, and geo-political crisis.