Book Bits | 24 November 2018

Fast Forward Investing: How to Profit from AI, Driverless Vehicles, Gene Editing, Robotics, and Other Technologies Reshaping Our Lives
By Jon D. Markman
Summary via publisher (McGraw-Hill)
Our lives are on the verge of being reshaped by advanced technology. Fast Forward Investing provides the knowledge and insight you need to build and maintain your portfolio accordingly. Author Jon D. Markman is a veteran tech investor, money manager, and author of the daily newsletter Tech Trend Trader. Markman describes what to expect, when to expect it, and how to profit in impending technological and economic revolution. Revealing the most important companies in the industry that are right now building platforms and competitive advantages that will disrupt and transform their markets, he shows which trends are important and provides detailed guidance for staying ahead of the curve.

The Inequality Paradox: How Capitalism Can Work for Everyone
By Douglas McWilliams
Review via Kirkus Review
chairman of economics consultancy Cebr, examines why inequality is massive in some nations and less pronounced in others and how inequality gaps are closing among traditionally unequal nations. He also addresses the confusion regarding the phenomena of inequality and poverty. The author bases his theories on a mixture of his own research, the research of other economists, and aggregate data from sources such as the United Nations and regional consortia. Because McWilliams tries to drive home so many hypotheses in the book, the effect might be dizzying for lay readers. He alleviates some of these difficulties by including clearly written introductions to each of the book’s four parts.

Crypto Economy: How Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and Token-Economy Are Disrupting the Financial World
By Aries Wanlin Wang
Summary via publisher (Skyhorse Publishing)
From two of the world’s most successful business leaders comes Common-Sense Business—an accessible, actionable guide to better leadership, increased profits, and a more sustainable economic model predicated on prudence and socially conscious business. Common sense and prudence have long been among the guiding tenets of society, but in today’s economy they have been completely abandoned in the interest of blindly maximizing profits. Common-Sense Business shows that this current economic model is both detrimental and unsustainable, and that we must transform the global economy along the lines of common sense toward the common good. Ted Malloch, a thought leader and policy influencer in global economic strategy, and Whitney MacMillan, the former chairman and CEO of the world’s largest private corporation, draw on recent research, history’s greatest minds, and their own successes to explain that ethically driven business is both a moral and financial necessity.

No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future
By Samuel I. Schwartz and Karen Kelly
Review via New York Journal of Books
Picking up Sam Schwartz’ No One at the Wheel one expects to learn how autonomous vehicles (AVs) actually work, what companies were developing them, and when we are likely to see them. Unfortunately, this is not the case, because No One at the Wheel is not so much a book about AVs but a critique of them, particularly how they will purportedly degrade urban living—at least the kind of urban living Schwartz values.
Schwartz, a long-time and noted transportation planner from New York City, decries AVs for the sin of making it cheaper and easier to drive, rather than take public transit, a complaint leveled by transit supporters since the development of the internal combustion engine.

The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust
By Kevin Werbach
Summary via publisher (MIT Press)
The blockchain entered the world on January 3, 2009, introducing an innovative new trust architecture: an environment in which users trust a system—for example, a shared ledger of information—without necessarily trusting any of its components. The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is the most famous implementation of the blockchain, but hundreds of other companies have been founded and billions of dollars invested in similar applications since Bitcoin’s launch. Some see the blockchain as offering more opportunities for criminal behavior than benefits to society. In this book, Kevin Werbach shows how a technology resting on foundations of mutual mistrust can become trustworthy.

Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal
By Eric Rauchway
Summary via publisher (Basic Books)
When Franklin Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 election, they represented not only different political parties but vastly different approaches to the question of the day: How could the nation recover from the Great Depression? As historian Eric Rauchway shows in Winter War, FDR laid out coherent, far-ranging plans for the New Deal in the months prior to his inauguration. Meanwhile, still-President Hoover, worried about FDR’s abilities and afraid of the president-elect’s policies, became the first comprehensive critic of the New Deal. Thus, even before FDR took office, both the principles of the welfare state, and reaction against it, had already taken form. Winter War reveals how, in the months before the hundred days, FDR and Hoover battled over ideas and shaped the divisive politics of the twentieth century.

Transatlantic Speculations: Globalization and the Panics of 1873
By Hannah Catherine Davies
Summary via publisher (Columbia University Press)
The year 1873 was one of financial crisis. A boom in railway construction had spurred a bull market—but when the boom turned to bust, transatlantic panic quickly became a worldwide economic downturn. In Transatlantic Speculations, Hannah Catherine Davies offers a new lens on the panics of 1873 and nineteenth-century globalization by exploring the ways in which contemporaries experienced a tumultuous period that profoundly challenged notions of economic and moral order.