Book Bits | 25 August 2018

Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary
By Louis Hyman
Q&A with author via Slate
In his new book Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary, Louis Hyman looks at the reasons behind the temporary nature of so much of the American economy. Eschewing the thesis that companies like Uber are primarily responsible for people working jobs without proper benefits and protections, Hyman examines the changes in American corporate life after the 1950s and 1960s, and why the much-mythologized postwar years were less rosy than we think. At the same time, he explains that the postwar era did offer protections for workers that have lately become much sparser and posits that the challenge going forward is to ensure that Americans keep the flexibility they now seem to want, while simultaneously not being exploited by the companies they work for.
Is this even possible? I recently spoke by phone with Hyman, who is an associate professor of history at the ILR School at Cornell University, to ask.

Buy the Fear, Sell the Greed: 7 Behavioral Quant Strategies for Traders
By Larry Connors
Summary via publisher (TradingMarkets Publishing)
As all professional traders know, the greatest trading edges occur when money managers, investors, and traders panic. They sell-off securities, often-times to extreme levels and after they’re done selling, the strong money (the professional money) enters the market and takes prices higher. This behavior creates great trading opportunities for the professionals who know when to buy. And this same behavior has occurred over and over again for decades and will likely do so for years to come because human behavior never changes!

Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What It Means for Our Future
By Lucie Greene
Excerpt via Red Herring
Silicon Valley companies have done a good job presenting themselves as friendly, egalitarian democratizers. The projected value system of this group is largely positive. They’re pro-LGBT, pro-sustainability, pro–social good. But it’s on their own terms, and self-regulated. (Evidenced by their famously hostile work environments, gender inequality, and seeming disinterest in the very real homeless problem in their hometown of San Francisco.)
All of this is significant as Big Tech’s reach extends. It is one thing if a company monopolizes a service—don’t subscribe to it. Or a product—don’t buy it. But what happens when that company is providing everything? And all those things are interconnected and controlling the way you live, the loans you get, the insurance you can buy, and the prices you pay for them. When your health data defines whether you get access to credit. When your productivity declines and is connected directly to your salary. The veneer of control quickly vanishes, and you’re left with monopoly not just of what you buy, but how you live. It’s a consumerist police state.

The Million-Dollar Financial Advisor Team: Best Practices from Top Performing Teams
By David J. Mullen Jr.
Summary via Amazon
David Mullen, Jr., whose financial advisor program at Merrill Lynch had a success rate twice the industry average, shows advisors how to effectively offer wealth and financial management services under one roof to better service clients. When exacting clients, high expectations, and the need to grow define your job, you need to be at the top of your game. That’s why more and more financial advisors are pooling resources to meet demand and joining teams in the process.

Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, its Chaotic Founding… its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis
By Sam Anderson
Review via City Journal
Oklahoma City is the rare place that emerged in a single day: April 22, 1889, with the legendary Land Run, when the U.S. government opened up unassigned plots (taken from Indian tribes) to white settlement on a first-come, first-served basis. (The “Sooners” of University of Oklahoma football fame were those who had snuck in early to stake out their claims before everyone else.) Sited at the confluence of a railroad line and a river, Oklahoma City was preselected as an auspicious location for a capital city; settlers could claim only urban-size lots, as opposed to 160-acre rural homesteads. By sunset of Day One of the Land Run, the city had gone from empty prairieland to a bustling metropolis, with about 10,000 people. Before the first well was sunk or building foundation dug, the new town’s enterprising citizens had laid out streets and begun organizing local government.