Book Bits | 5.18.13

From a Market Economy to a Finance Economy: The Most Dangerous American Journey
By A. Coskun Samli
Summary via publisher, Palgrave Macmillan
Dwindling innovation and deteriorating economic conditions are caused by a major force, a systemic shift in the American economy. In this gripping book, Dr. Samli makes the case that the US economy is shifting for the worse, tilting towards a finance-driven economy, and argues that investing in innovation will bring us out of the recession and back to a successful, market-driven economy.

The Federal Reserve: What Everyone Needs to Know
By Stephen H. Axilrod
Summary via publisher, Oxford University Press
The Federal Reserve System–the central bank of the United States, better known as The Fed–has never been more controversial. Criticism has reached such levels that Congressman Ron Paul, contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, published End the Fed, with blurbs from musician Arlo Guthrie and actor Vince Vaughn. And yet, amid a slow economy and partisan gridlock, the Fed has never been more important…. Drawing on years of experience inside the Federal Reserve System, Axilrod shows how these tools actually work, and answers a series of increasingly detailed questions in the series format.
The Alternative Answer: The Nontraditional Investments That Drive the World’s Best-Performing Portfolios
By Bob Rice
Summary via publisher, HarperCollins
The first book to explain the new world of alternative investing, showing how anyone can use nontraditional options to significantly increase returns and lower risks. The world’s elite investors have long relied on alternative investments to produce superior returns. Until now, these strategies were the exclusive purview of institutions and the superwealthy, but today any informed investor can play the same game.
Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders: 1965-2012
By Warren Buffett (Max Olson, Editor)
Recommendation via Value Investing World
The absolute best compilation of Warren Buffett’s letters if you are looking to read them all from start to finish, edited wonderfully by my friend Max Olson. Whether you are an investor, businessman, or just interested in business and investments in any way, I can’t think of anything better to sit down and read from start to finish.
Who Owns the Future?
By Jaron Lanier
Review via The Plain Dealer
For Lanier, the system is not working well. Long a believer that the Internet has “killed more jobs than it has created,” he is concerned about its potential to deepen inequality: “The wide adoption of transformative connecting technology should create a middle-class wealth boom, as happened when the Interstate Highway System gave rise to a world of new jobs in transportation and tourism, for instance, and generally widened commercial prospects. Instead we’ve seen recession, unemployment, and austerity.”
I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford
By Richard Snow
Review via The Wall Street Journal
As it happens, Ford didn’t have shareholders for most of the time he ran the Ford Motor Co., and he didn’t want them. The man who founded one of America’s iconic companies hated investors, as well as accountants and bankers—anybody implicated in the financial arts. Just as paradoxically, the industrialist who, as he himself said, invented the modern age despised modernity and built a museum village to commemorate the past. He was oddly oblivious to style—cars, to Ford, were all about the engine. And though his opinions could be noxious and retrograde, he was often ahead of his time. He made a point of hiring thousands of African-Americans, and he had surprisingly 21st-century notions of health, frowning on tobacco and meat and favoring fruit and legumes. He was also a mechanical genius.
$10,000 Gold: Why Gold’s Inevitable Rise Is the Investor’s Safe Haven
By Nick Barisheff
Summary via publisher, Wiley
As paper currency continues to lose its purchasing power and global markets struggle in the face of economic turmoil, investors are turning to gold to stabilize their portfolios. $10,000 Gold explains why this is a smart move, arguing that the price of gold will continue climbing to $10,000/ounce and beyond in the years to come. Looking at the underlying causes of gold’s rising value, the book contends that intelligent investors have no choice but to invest in this precious metal. Written by one of the world’s leading authorities on gold, the book teaches readers to think independently about gold, money, and the geopolitics that affect its price.