Book Bits: 28 January 2023

The Aftermath: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America
Philip Bump
Review via The Washington Post
If you’re looking for the highly detailed, data-driven, definitive story of how baby boomers changed America and a little forecasting of what might come next, Philip Bump’s “The Aftermath: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America” is it. Generational analyses can often be a bit pat and reductive, with cherry-picked numbers leveraged to support a too-tidy narrative (wealthy and venal boomers screwing the rest of us; avocado-toast-eating millennial snowflakes woke-ing themselves broke). Bump, a national columnist for The Washington Post, offers the opposite: a deep and complicated interrogation of his subject, often challenging his own assumptions, with detailed forecasts of what could lie ahead — all illustrated with charts and visuals to drive a huge amount of data home.

Confused by the Odds: How Probability Misleads Us
David Lockwood
Review via Foreword Reviews
David Lockwood’s social science text Confused by the Odds introduces theories of probability and shows how they’ve been misinterpreted.
Covering examples including coin flips, regulated randomized control trials, and Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, the book reveals that statistics rule people’s lives in often unrecognized ways. Indeed, it hypothesizes that human knowledge of probability may still be incomplete. To achieve greater understanding, it explores the history of statistical mathematics with examples from medicine, sports, and social science. In the process of doing so, it also asserts that people face the “disease of misinformation”; it castigates modern political news sources for being mere echo chambers.

All-in On AI: How Smart Companies Win Big with Artificial Intelligence
Tom Davenport and Nitin Mittal
Review/interview with co-author via Forbes
Mittal told me, “There’s been a lot written around the science and technology of AI, and a lot of articles and news stories about how tech-native companies, whether its Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Meta, Nvidia … are using AI.
“Unfortunately, not a lot has been written about how traditional companies have adopted AI. What are they focusing on … if you take companies that have been around for longer than Silicon Valley, what are their challenges and motivations?”

Following the Trend: Diversified Managed Futures Trading (2nd Edition)
Andreas Clenow
Excerpt via publisher (Wiley)
There is a group of hedge funds and professional asset managers who have shown a remarkable performance for over 30 years, consistently outperforming conventional strategies in both bull and bear markets, and during the 2008 credit crunch crisis showing truly spectacular returns. These traders are highly secretive about what they do and how they do it. They often employ large quant teams staffed with top-level PhDs from the best schools in the world, adding to the mystique surrounding their seemingly amazing long-term track records. Yet, as this book shows, it is possible to replicate their returns by using fairly simple systematic trading models, revealing that not only are they essentially doing the same thing, but also that it is not terribly complex and within the reach of most of us to replicate.

Practical Portfolio Performance Measurement and Attribution (3rd Edition)
Carl R. Bacon
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Practical Portfolio Performance Measurement and Attribution is a comprehensive reference and guide to the use and calculation of performance returns in the investment decision process. Focusing on real-world application rather than academic theory, this highly practical book helps asset managers and investors determine return on assets, analyse portfolio behaviour and improve performance. Author Carl R. Bacon clearly describes each of the methodologies used by performance analysts in today’s financial environment whilst sharing valuable insights drawn from his experience as a Director of Performance Measurement & Risk Control. The third edition is revised to reflect recent developments in performance attribution and presentation standards.

Using Economic Indicators in Analysing Financial Markets
Bernd Krampen
Summary via publisher (Emerald Publishing)
Economic indicators provide invaluable insights into how different economies and financial markets are performing, enabling practitioners to adjust their investment strategies in order to gain knowledge about markets and to achieve higher returns. However, in order to make the right decisions, you must know how to interpret the relevant indicators. Using Economic Indicators in Analysing Financial Markets provides this important guidance.

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