Book Bits: 27 March 2021

Capital Allocators: How the world’s elite money managers lead and invest
Ted Seides
Review via fin|news
Ted Seides wanted to pen an investment book that he would have kept on his desk as he went through his investment career.
The investor and host of the Capital Allocators podcast believes he has done just that with his second book, Capital Allocators: How the World’s Elite Money Managers Lead and Invest…
The book’s content was borne from the insights and best practices of guests appearing on Seides’ podcast, which began as a few friends talking with no particular objective in mind and has turned into an industry-acclaimed must-listen for many.
“One thing led to another, and now it’s four years later, five million downloads and 200 conversations. I wanted to take some of the best lessons and put them down on paper,” said Seides, the former president and co-cio of hedge fund-of-funds Protégé Partners who also worked under CIO David Swensen at Yale University’s investments office.

Better than Alpha: Three Steps to Capturing Excess Returns in a Changing World
Christopher M. Schelling
Summary via publisher (McGraw Hill)
The concept of beating markets is nothing more than hype. Successful investors don’t find “alpha,” they find value—and that’s what this book helps you do. Better Than Alpha provides the perspective, insights, and tools you need to retrain your focus away from searching for alpha and toward actions that produce superior investment outcomes. It explains why strategies based on “beating the markets” are doomed to failure and provides a simple three-step framework—Behavior (smart thinking), Process (smart habits), and Organization (smart governance)—for making better investment decisions. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of what drives investment returns, how superstar investment managers generated excess returns in the past, why behavioral finance drives investors to make poor decisions, and why strategies that worked in the past don’t necessarily make sense today.
Nothing Is Too Big to Fail: How the Last Financial Crisis Informs Today
Kerry Killinger and Linda Killinger
Summary via publisher RosettaBooks
A fascinating behind-the-scenes account of misguided government policies and corruption, which along with an unregulated shadow banking system, led to the 2008 financial crisis and may be leading us to a new crisis. Written by two bank executives with firsthand experience of several financial crises, Nothing is Too Big to Fail holds a stiff warning about the future of finance and social justice—revealing how the US government’s fiscal and monetary policies are creating asset and debt bubbles that could burst at any time. The COVID-19 pandemic is just one of many risks that could derail our highly leveraged and fragile economic system.
Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism
Mariana Mazzucato
Essay by author via The New Republic
Capitalism is facing three major crises. A pandemic-induced health crisis has rapidly ignited an economic crisis with yet unknown consequences for financial stability, and all of this is playing out against the backdrop of a climate crisis that cannot be addressed under the rubric of business as usual…. Tackling the triple crisis requires rethinking the role of all value creators in the economy, and their interrelationships. As I argue in my recently published book, Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism, we need new frameworks of economic collaboration that can tackle the triple crisis before us in a holistic way that brings public purpose to the center of how we co-create value.
Minds Wide Shut: How the New Fundamentalisms Divide Us
Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro
Summary via publisher (Princeton U. Press)
Polarization may be pushing democracy to the breaking point. But few have explored the larger, interconnected forces that have set the stage for this crisis: namely, a rise in styles of thought, across a range of fields, that literary scholar Gary Saul Morson and economist Morton Schapiro call “fundamentalist.” In Minds Wide Shut, Morson and Schapiro examine how rigid adherence to ideological thinking has altered politics, economics, religion, and literature in ways that are mutually reinforcing and antithetical to the open-mindedness and readiness to compromise that animate democracy. In response, they propose alternatives that would again make serious dialogue possible.

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