Book Bits |27 August 2016

Missed Information: Better Information for Building a Wealthier, More Sustainable Future
By David Sarokin and Jay Schulkin
Summary via publisher (MIT Press)
Information is power. It drives commerce, protects nations, and forms the backbone of systems that range from health care to high finance. Yet despite the avalanche of data available in today’s information age, neither institutions nor individuals get the information they truly need to make well-informed decisions. Faulty information and sub-optimal decision-making create an imbalance of power that is exaggerated as governments and corporations amass enormous databases on each of us. Who has more power: the government, in possession of uncounted terabytes of data (some of it obtained by cybersnooping), or the ordinary citizen, trying to get in touch with a government agency? In Missed Information, David Sarokin and Jay Schulkin explore information—not information technology, but information itself—as a central part of our lives and institutions. They show that providing better information and better access to it improves the quality of our decisions and makes for a more vibrant participatory society.

Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power
By Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher
Review via The Guardian
Donald Trump’s shifting political and business loyalties are laid bare in a new book that challenges his credentials as a conviction politician in often lurid detail.
Despite a recent campaign focus on letting “Trump be Trump”, the 431-page biography instead charts the career of many Trumps: the showman, the womaniser, and a business partner who quickly ditches failing schemes.
The book, the first of several expected on Trump, was compiled by a team of two dozen Washington Post journalists, led by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher, during a three-month period earlier this year, in which they had some 20 hours of interviews with him.

Empty Promises: Why Workplace Pension Law Doesn’t Deliver Pensions
By Elizabeth J. Shilton
Summary via publisher (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
Workplace pensions are a vital part of Canada’s retirement income system, but these plans have reached a state of crisis as a result of their low coverage and inadequate, insecure, and unequally distributed benefits. Reviewing pension plans through a legal and historical lens, Empty Promises reveals the paradoxical effects and inevitable failure of a pension system built on the interests of employers rather than employees.

Crisis Management: The Art of Success & Failure
By Yunus D Saleh
Summary via publisher (Mill City Press)
No matter where we work or what we do, there is no stopping the fact that, at some point in our lives, we will encounter a crisis. How an individual responsible for dealing with these types of situations reacts is ultimately the deciding factor as to whether or not they come out safely on the other side. Crisis Management: The Art of Success and Failure focuses on different types of crises, symptoms, and models that recurrently threaten business and political environments. Pulling from no better teacher than history itself, Crisis Management is broken into 30 case studies that provide analysis and theoretical approaches that explore both successful and unsuccessful examples of management in the midst of crisis.