Book Bits: 4 May 2024

The Complete Guide to Portfolio Performance: Appraise, Analyze, Act
Pascal François and Georges Hubner
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
An intuitive and effective desk reference for performance measurement in asset and wealth management. In The Complete Guide to Portfolio Performance: Appraise, Analyse, Act, a team of finance professors with extended practical experience deliver a hands-on desk reference for asset and wealth managers suitable for everyday use. Intuitively organized and full of concrete examples of the real-world implementation of the concepts discussed within, the book provides a comprehensive coverage of all important portfolio performance matters across 18 chapters of actionable and clearly described content. The authors have provided relevant cross-referencing where appropriate, “Key Takeaways and Equations” sections at the end of each chapter, and pointers to additional resources for anyone interested in pursuing further research.

Of Banks And Crises
Cristina Peicuti and Jacques Beyssade
Summary via publisher (World Scientific)
The book focuses on the dynamics of financial crises that led to the Second World War, Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency. It also chronicles the metamorphosis of the banking profession over the centuries and its reinvention by cooperative banks by and for their customers. The co-authors are a professor of economics, who predicted the subprime mortgage crisis in her doctoral thesis at the Sorbonne between 2006 and 2009, and the general secretary of a major bank analyse the role of banks in triggering the Great Depression and the Great Recession, as well as in helping companies out of the COVID-19 crisis and into the New Environmental Cycle.

The New World Economy in 5 Trends: Investing in times of superinflation, hyperinnovation & climate transition
Koen De Leus and Philippe Gijsels
Summary via publisher (Lannoo)
Two top economists look ahead to 2050 and tackle the impact of inflation, innovation, aging, climate and innovation on our financial markets and economic world
The future is uncertain but for one thing: the global economy is in disarray. Investors, companies and governments must rethink their approach in light of raging inflation, the ongoing climate crisis and an ageing population. In addition, they have to deal with the highest mountain of debt ever accrued in peacetime, disruptive innovations and the effects of multiglobalisation.

Warren and Bill: Gates, Buffett, and the Friendship That Changed the World
Anthony McCarten
Review via Publishers Weekly
Screenwriter McCarten (The Two Popes) struggles to stick to the facts in this unsatisfying dual biography focused on the friendship between investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates. The book’s greatest strengths and weaknesses can be traced back to its origins as an unfinished stage play. It’s easy to imagine how McCarten’s fly-on-the-wall account of Buffet and Gates’s first meeting, which takes place at a 1991 garden party hosted by Gates’s mother, would have played out onstage. Gates, contemptuous of Buffet for trading “pieces of paper” instead of creating innovative products, grumps about until Buffet asks him how he would have built IBM from scratch, kicking off a legendary nerding-out session.

Banking on Change: The Leader’s Guide to Achieving Exponential Growth in the Age of AI
James Robert Lay
Summary via Amazon
The Age of Artificial Intelligence spares no one from its transformative power. In fact, the rate at which technological change is accelerating is not just significant; it’s exponential in a way that has the power to reshape entire industries, from education to healthcare to banking. This can feel both exciting and confusing, both opportunity-rich and overwhelming. How do we keep up? How do we move forward? What’s the next best step? The answer here lies in assessing the real obstacle to future growth: human transformation. As a leader, are you excited and energized about an exponential future? Or does the path feel frustrating and chaotic? Do you have the tools, strategies, and mindset to lead others in co-creating an even bigger, better, and brighter future together? Or do you risk getting stuck because you fear the unknown, change, and failure?

The Little Book of Trading Options Like the Pros: Learn How to Become the House
David M. Berns and Michael Green
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
In The Little Book of Trading Options Like the Pros: Learn How to Become the House, a team of veteran options and derivatives traders delivers an expert account of how to master the zero-sum game of options trading. In the book you’ll learn how to ‘become the house,’ consistently making a small amount of money — on average — on each trade, in a similar fashion to a casino in Las Vegas or an insurance company selling insurance policies. The authors explain how to skip the painful part of the steep options learning curve, showing you how to avoid the most common pitfalls, and become a profitable trader quickly.

Homo Numericus: The Coming Civilization
Daniel Cohen
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
From Amazon to Tinder, from Google to Deliveroo, there is no facet of human life that the digital revolution has not streamlined and dematerialized. Its objective was to reduce costs by forgoing face-to-face interactions, and it was a direct result of the free-market shock of the 1980s, which sought to expand the marketplace seamlessly in every possible dimension. Today, we can be algorithmically entertained, educated, cared for, and courted in a way that was impossible in the old industrial society, where institutions structured the social world. Today, these institutions have been replaced by monetized virtual contact. As the industrial revolution did in the past, the digital revolution is creating a new economy and a new sensibility, bringing about a radical revaluation of society and its representations.

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