Book Bits | 4.26.14

Emerging Markets in an Upside Down World: Challenging Perceptions in Asset Allocation and Investment
By Jerome Booth
Summary via publisher, Wiley
The world is upside down. The emerging market countries are more important than many investors realise. They have been catching up with the West over the past few decades. Greater market freedom has spread since the end of the Cold War, and with it institutional changes which have further assisted emerging economies in becoming more productive, flexible, and resilient. The Western financial crisis from 2008 has quickened the pace of the relative rise of emerging markets – their relative economic power, and with it political power, but also their financial power as savers, investors and creditors.

Big Picture Economics: How to Navigate the New Global Economy
By Joel Naroff and Ron Scherer
Essay by co-author (Naroff) via
The global economy is changing rapidly. Instead of a flat world, we have what I call “The Mobius World Economy,” where there are no barriers and no ends. If you start in one place and continue on, you ultimately end up where you began. This inter-relatedness of world production and sales is what is driving firms in the global economy.
Consider the Chinese economy. The low labor costs of the past are disappearing. Manufacturing wages have quadrupled over the last decade and are expected to rise by double digits for possibly the next decade. Incomes of managers and directors are beginning to match U.S. salaries for similar positions, according to a Hays Asia Salary Guide.

Germany’s Economic Renaissance: Lessons for the United States
By Jack Ewing
Summary via publisher, Palgrave Macmillan
In Germany’s Economic Renaissance, veteran European correspondent Jack Ewing of The International New York Times explains how a country with some of the highest labor and energy costs in the world beat the odds to become the third-largest exporter of manufactured goods, after China and the United States. Men and women who manage German companies both big and small explain how any company can behave like a multinational, as well as the secrets of conquering the high end of the market where quality is more important than price. Both informative and entertaining, filled with rich character studies, this book is essential reading for everyone wondering how to bring factories – and the jobs they provide – back to American shores.

Making Money: The Philosophy of Crisis Capitalism
By Ole Bjerg
Summary via publisher, Verso
What is money? Where does it come from? Who makes it? And how can we understand the current state of our economy as a crisis of money itself? In Making Money, Ole Bjerg turns these questions into a matter of philosophical rather than economic analysis. Applying the thinking of Slavoj Žižek and other scholars to mainstream economic literature, Bjerg provides a radical new way of looking at the mysterious stuff we use to buy things. It is a theory unfolded in reflections on the nature of monetary phenomena such as financial markets, banks, debt, credit, derivatives, gold, risk, value, price, interests, and arbitrage. The analysis of money is put into an historical context, suggesting that the current financial turbulence and debt crisis are evidence that we live in the age of post-credit capitalism.

Architects of Austerity: International Finance and the Politics of Growth
By Aaron Major
Summary via publisher, Stanford University Press
rchitects of Austerity argues that the seeds of neoliberal politics were sown in the 1950s and 1960s. Suggesting that the postwar era was less socially democratic than we think, Aaron Major presents a comparative-historical analysis of economic policy in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy during the early 1960s. In each of these cases, domestic politics shifted to the left and national governments repudiated the conservative economic policies of the past, promising a new way forward. Yet, these social democratic experiments were short-lived and deeply compromised. Why did the parties of change become the parties of austerity?

Harry S Truman : The Economics of a Populist President
By E Ray Canterbery
Summary via publisher, World Scientific
Harry S Truman is best remembered as the President who witnessed the swift arrival of the Cold War in the tumultuous years after World War Two. Little however has been written to show that he was also the populist President who set the political economic course for the United States to win it merely 40 years later…. While the economic aspects of his term were fundamentally that of war and peace, Canterbery analyses in great depth Truman’s economic policies and instruments, such as the Employment Act of 1946 and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) — results of Truman’s presidency that other authors of books on Truman have largely ignored.