Book Bits: 6 April 2024

The Investor’s Dilemma Decoded: Recognize Misinformation, Filter the Noise, and Reach Your Goals
Roger D. Silk and Katherine A. Silk
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Few aspects of life are as important as personal finance, as subject to your control, and as suffused with misinformation, noise, and confusion. Now, authors Dr. Roger D. Silk and Katherine A. Silk cut through that confusion and share with you the fruits of their knowledge and experience developed over the last 43 years. After completing a Ph.D. at Stanford where he studied at the cutting edge of finance theory, Dr. Silk’s experience includes managing billions of dollars at the World Bank and running a family office for one of the nation’s wealthiest families. For the last 26 years as CEO of the nation’s leading firm which advises high net worth individuals on financial and other aspects of their philanthropy, Dr. Silk has worked with countless individual investors and financial professionals. Katherine Silk, who holds a master’s in history from Stanford, adds a valuable and often-missing historical perspective.

Second Class: How the Elites Betrayed America’s Working Men and Women
Batya Ungar-Sargon
Review via The NY Post
In her new book, “Second Class: How the Elites Betrayed America’s Working Men and Women,” out April 2, the Newsweek deputy opinion editor set out to answer important questions: Who are today’s working class — and do they still have a shot at the American dream?
She traveled the country interviewing people of varied political, gender, racial, and religious backgrounds and came away surprised by just how much they have in common.
“Whether they were a Hispanic cleaning lady in a hotel in Las Vegas, or a black sanitation worker in New York, or a white rural worker who works for Amazon, they had very similar views,” Ungar-Sargon told The Post. “They have actually an unbelievable consensus about the important issues, and what they would like to see in government.”

The Belt and Road City: Geopolitics, Urbanization, and China’s Search for a New International Order
Simon Curtis and Ian Klaus
Interview with the co-authors via Wilson Center
Rather than fixating on the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) many well discussed negative attributes, Simon Curtis and Ian Klaus, authors of The Belt and Road City: Geopolitics, Urbanization, and China’s Search for a New International Order, focus on how the BRI strengthens China’s economy and is altering the global order in its favor. Not only does the BRI connect China to global resources, but it also helps it escape the middle-income trap, cultivates markets for its exports and gives it an alternative to US treasuries for investing its capital surplus. The BRI investments in the Digital and Green Silk Roads build urban corridors that bolster China’s market positions in key technologies as the Maritime Silk Road bolsters its commerce and military. The BRI establishes path dependencies and standards that benefit China. It could ultimately lead to a Eurasian common market and fracture the global economy.

Clean Economy Now: Stories from the Frontlines of an American Business Revolution
Bob Keefe
Review via Publishers Weekly
This optimistic report from Keefe (Climatenomics)—executive director of the Environmental Entrepreneurs business group, which advocates for sustainable government policy—surveys how corporate and legislative efforts to protect the environment are creating jobs, lowering consumer costs, and increasing corporate profits. In the private sector, Keefe details North Carolina company Trane Technologies’s work developing robust heat pumps, explaining that the machines “use electricity to gather heat, condition it with refrigerant, and move it around” in a process that is “three to five times more efficient than traditional HVAC systems” and saves the “average household about $500 a year.” Highlighting how lawmakers are advancing the “clean economy revolution,” Keefe lauds former Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker for signing a 2022 law requiring the state to “develop new offshore wind resources,” which Baker believed would serve as long-term generators of jobs and economic growth.

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