● The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts
By Joe Earle, et al.
Summary via publisher (Manchester University Press)
One hundred years ago the idea of ‘the economy’ didn’t exist. Now, improving the economy has come to be seen as perhaps the most important task facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are conducted in the language of economics and economic logic shapes how political issues are thought about and addressed. The result is that the majority of citizens, who cannot speak this language, are locked out of politics while political decisions are increasingly devolved to experts. The econocracy explains how economics came to be seen this way – and the damaging consequences. It opens up the discipline and demonstrates its inner workings to the wider public so that the task of reclaiming democracy can begin.
● The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization
By Richard Baldwin
Review via The Enlightened Economist
I’ve managed to resist reviewing Richard Baldwin’s new book The Great Convergence: information technology, trade and the new globalization until now, and it has taken serious self-restraint as the book is so relevant to (among other things) the Brexit debate. I would for one thing force every Cabinet member to read it and not allow them to keep their jobs unless they could pass an exam based on it. Anyway, the book’s published on 14th November and now it’s November my self-denying ordinance can end.
The Great Convergence offers a compelling framework for thinking about how trade is organized and why and how it benefits whom.
● Lucifer’s Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy
By Bradley C. Birkenfield
Review via International Business Times
UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager, is facing embarrassment over fresh revelations going back to the tax investigation that led to the collapse of Swiss banking secrecy. Two significant events are looming before UBS. The first is the possibility of a public trial in France, featuring UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, concerning historic tax evasion allegedly orchestrated by the bank. That could happen this year.
The other is the publication this October of Birkenfeld’s scathing new book, Lucifer’s Banker, which covers his time at UBS.
● Global Capitalism in Disarray: Inequality, Debt, and Austerity
By Andres Solimano
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
Global capitalism is affected by the malaises of stagnation, financial fragility, increased income inequality, growing wealth concentration at the top, and a vanishing fair social contract. This book focuses on the incidence of these phenomena in the US, UK, Greece, Spain, Chile, South Africa, Australia, China, and other countries. The book looks at the effects of IMF-ECB led austerity policies in Europe. The book examines concrete country and global conditions combining theory, country studies, historical evidence, and international comparative analysis. The book also proposes new policy priorities to restore stability, reduce inequality, and consolidate democracy in 21st century capitalism.
● Stock Market 101: From Bull and Bear Markets to Dividends, Shares, and Margins_Your Essential Guide to the Stock Market
By Michele Cagan
Summary via publisher (Adams Media)
Too often, textbooks turn the noteworthy details of investing into tedious discourse that would put even a hedge fund manager to sleep. Stock Market 101 cuts out the boring explanations of basic investing, and instead provides hands-on lessons that keep you engaged as you learn how to build a portfolio and expand your wealth. From bull markets to bear markets to sideways markets, this primer is packed with hundreds of entertaining tidbits and concepts that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.
● America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks
By Ruth Whippman
Summmary via publisher (St. Martin’s Press)
After she packed up her British worldview (that most things were basically rubbish) and moved to America, journalist and documentary filmmaker Ruth Whippman found herself increasingly perplexed by the American obsession with one topic above all others: happiness…. The omnipresence of these happiness conversations (trading tips, humble-bragging successes, offering unsolicited advice) wouldn’t let her go, and so Ruth did some digging. What she found was a paradox: despite the fact that Americans spend more time and money in search of happiness than any other nation on earth, research shows that the United States is one of the least contented, most anxious countries in the developed world. Stoked by a multi-billion dollar “happiness industrial complex” intent on selling the promise of bliss, America appeared to be driving itself crazy in pursuit of contentment.