Book Bits | 23 March 2019

The Knowledge Economy
By Roberto Mangabeira Unger
Summary via publisher (Verso)
Adam Smith and Karl Marx recognized that the best way to understand the economy is to study the most advanced practice of production. Today that practice is no longer conventional manufacturing: it is the radically innovative vanguard known as the knowledge economy. In every part of the production system it remains a fringe excluding the vast majority of workers and businesses. This book explores the hidden nature of the knowledge economy and its possible futures.

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries
By Safi Bahcall
Interview with author via Yahoo Finance
Safi Bahcall, author of the new book “Loonshots: How To Nurture The Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases and Transform Industries”, joins The Final Round to talk his book and how as businesses grow, far too often, good ideas start to get rejected.



The Politics of Operations: Excavating Contemporary Capitalism
By Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson
Summary via publisher (Duke University Press)
In The Politics of Operations Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson investigate how capital reshapes its relation with politics through operations that enable the extraction and exploitation of mineral resources, labor, data, and cultures. They show how capital—which they theorize as a direct political actor—operates through the logistical organization of relations between people, property, and objects as well as through the penetration of financialization into all realms of economic life. Mezzadra and Neilson present a capacious analysis of a wide range of issues, from racial capitalism, the convergence of neoliberalism and nationalism, and Marx’s concept of aggregate capital to the financial crisis of 2008 and how colonialism, empire, and globalization have shaped the modern state since World War II. In so doing, they illustrate the distinctive rationality and logics of contemporary capitalism while calling for a politics based on collective institutions that exist outside the state.

White Shoe: How a New Breed of Wall Street Lawyers Changed Big Business and the American Century
By John Oller
Review via Kirkus Review
Massive law firms abound in the world’s financial capitals, organized according to principles set forth by a young lawyer named Paul Cravath in the last years of the Gilded Age. Lawyers today know his last name in connection with organizational methods that are still in place—what Oller (The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution, 2016, etc.), who spent three decades as a Wall Street lawyer, calls “the creation of a new organizational society.” However, as the author shows, Cravath had more in mind than just regularizing office procedures. He and other “white shoe” lawyers of his time, such as William Cromwell and Elihu Root, carved legal paths that led to the current notion that a corporation has legal personhood, organizing a body of laws that helped corporations avoid regulations while enjoying as much economic freedom and wealth as possible.

● T. Rowe Price: The Man, The Company, and The Investment Philosophy
By Cornelius C. Bond
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
In 1937, Thomas Rowe Price, Jr. founded an investment company in Baltimore that would become one of the most successful in the world. Today, The T. Rowe Price Group manages over one trillion dollars and services clients around the world. It is among the largest investment firms focused on managing mutual funds and pension accounts. Uniquely trusted and respected, the firm is considered the “gold standard” by many investment advisors. In this book, Cornelius Bond tells the full story, for the first time, of how Price, a modest and ethical man, built the company bearing his name. From the private, unpublished personal and corporate records, you will get direct access to the creative process behind Price’s highly successful approach to investing.