Book Bits: 29 January 2022

The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War
Nicholas Mulder
Review via Foreign Affairs
For those who see economic sanctions as a relatively mild way of expressing displeasure at a country’s behavior, this book, charting how they first emerged as a potential coercive instrument during the first decades of the twentieth century, will come as something of a revelation. In an original and persuasive analysis, Mulder shows how isolating aggressors from global commerce and finance was seen as an alternative to war that worked precisely because of the pain it imposed on the target society.

Stop. Think. Invest.: A Behavioral Finance Framework for Optimizing Investment Portfolios
Michael Bailey
Summary via publisher (Mcgraw-Hill)
In an economy where markets are more unpredictable than ever, emotions can derail the efforts of even the most experienced investors and wreak havoc on portfolio returns. Applying powerful behavioral finance concepts, Stop. Think. Invest. provides a framework for identifying personal biases and avoiding mistakes that can cost big profits. Based on the author’s extensive research and 100 key behavioral finance concepts, this guide provides a winning 12-step process you can use to successfully manage your trading and investing for long-term success. Stop. Think. Invest. reveals critical information about behavioral finance flaws, such as anchoring, confirmation bias, recency bias, and loss aversion. Unlike other behavioral investing guides, Stop. Think. Invest. offers a fully organized and practical approach to applying behavioral finance to everyday investing.

Missing the Target: Why Stock-Market Short-Termism Is Not the Problem
Mark J. Roe
Summary via publisher (Oxford U. Press)
According to most media outlets and corporate lawmakers, stock-market-driven short-termism-when corporations appear to prioritize immediate results in the next quarter over long-term interests-is crippling the American economy. This popular view claims that short-termism is causing widespread declines in research and development (R&D) spending, harmful environmental policies, and degradation of the workplace. But the data does not support this black-and-white representation of short-termism.

Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win
Peter Schweizer
Excerpt via NY Post
Blinded by their ambition, Silicon Valley elites are helping Communist China achieve their ultimate goal: “Technology supremacy” over the West.
“Science and technology is a national weapon,” President Xi Jinping has said. “We should seize the commanding heights of technological competition and future development.”
To accomplish this goal, Beijing has created “civilian-military fusion,” which means any technological advance in the civilian market must be applied directly to the military sphere. And they have effectively courted and seduced many powerful people in America’s tech industry to willingly, and sometimes enthusiastically, play along.

Fake Money, Real Danger: Protect Yourself and Grow Wealth While You Still Can
Robert A. Wiedemer, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
The latest must-read book from the authors of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Aftershock series of books, Fake Money, Real Danger strips away the confusion and exposes what’s really happening to our economy and investments—and shows you what to do about it now, before it’s too late.
Picking up where Aftershock left off, Fake Money, Real Danger reveals how the Covid-19 pandemic—and the government’s massive money printing and borrowing in response to it—is providing investors with a once in a lifetime opportunity to build wealth in the near term, while also taking the crucial steps necessary to protect yourself and your investments from the inevitable Fake Money bubble pop in the longer term.

The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines
David H. Autor, et al.
Essay by co-author David Mindell
The Work of The Future concerns demographic shifts in the United States that will generate consistent labor shortages for a generation; the continued profusion of information technology and mobile phones into legacy sectors such as logistics, construction, and transportation; technology-enabled remote work, conferencing, and training; and a long-term need for improved training, reeducation, and upskilling among low- and middle- skill workers. All industries are affected: healthcare, autonomous vehicles, manufacturing, the insurance industry, and others.

The Wall and the Bridge: Fear and Opportunity in Disruption’s Wake
Glenn Hubbard
Review via Financial Times
Hubbard writes that the book is about “noticing” and ideas to address structural disruptive changes accompanying economic progress. Economist Adam Smith — who saw the economy as a moral system, not just a means for generating incomes — is a central figure in this book.
Much of it centres on the broader economic and political picture, but the former economic adviser to President George W Bush does address businesses as bridge builders. For the most part, Hubbard believes businesses have left the bridge building to local communities and governments. “But businesses can — and should — help build bridges now,” he writes.

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