Book Bits: 6 January 2024

Any Happy Returns: Structural Changes and Super Cycles in Markets
Peter C. Oppenheimer
Excerpt via Goldman Sachs
Each era has its unique problems and, in many cases, opportunities. As we enter the Post-Modern Cycle, humanity faces a series of major challenges. Changing geopolitical alliances, the future of work, ageing populations and the environment are likely to be prominent issues for the foreseeable future.
From an investment perspective, the end goal looks exciting. A successful transition to a zero-carbon world would not only generate significant improvements in health but, clearly, would hold the prospect of marginal units of energy to be consumed at close to zero cost (both financially and in terms of the planet’s resources).

How Migration Really Works: The Facts About the Most Divisive Issue in Politics
Hein de Haas
Review via The Guardian
De Haas’s primary insight is to look at migration as a global phenomenon – and not just from the perspective of countries in the west receiving migrants from elsewhere. Although media coverage often gives the impression that we are living in an unprecedented age of migration, in which the world’s impoverished masses are making their way to the west, this is not the case. Global migration levels have stayed remarkably stable since the second world war, with international migrants accounting for about 3% of the world’s population. Refugees account for an even tinier proportion, at a relatively consistent 0.3% – a fact that De Haas suggests should make refugee advocates think twice about claims of a “global refugee crisis”.

The Decarbonization Delusion: What 3.5 Billion Years of Biological Sustainability Can Teach Us
Andrew Moore
Summary via publisher (Oxford U. Press)
Could the race to de-carbonize our energy systems be leading us closer to environmental disaster? Why did biology choose carbon, in a variety of compounds, as its energy carrier and storage substance? From the smallest life forms, through multicellular organisms, and up to whole ecosystems, this economy of carbon compounds is fundamentally sustainable. Yet today, many are working to expunge carbon-based energy carriers from human economies, replacing them with solutions based on other elements and minerals. In The Decarbonization Delusion, independent scientist and writer Andrew Moore shows that the race to decarbonize is leading us further down the road to environmental degradation. Instead of banishing carbon, Moore argues that we should look to life on Earth, which has used carbon in highly sustainable ways for 3.5 billion years, as a model for how humans can use carbon sustainably.

Bounce Back: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Resilience
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
In Bounce Back, veteran financial coach and bestselling author Lynnette Khalfani-Cox explains how she slayed six figures of consumer debt in a mere three years and went on to build a seven-figure personal net worth. The author shows you how to take on—and defeat—the most common and difficult challenges facing Americans today, from debt, disability, and job downsizing to disasters, discrimination, divorce, and more. She draws on her own extensive experience helping people with their most intractable financial problems, the wisdom of other money coaches, financial therapists, certified financial planners, and psychologists – as well as the inspiring stories of everyday people who have bounced back from adversity.

The Credit Investor’s Handbook: Leveraged Loans, High Yield Bonds, and Distressed Debt
Michael Gatto
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
The leveraged credit market is currently valued at over $4 trillion and is one of the fastest-growing asset classes, fueling demand for well-trained credit analysts. The Credit Investor’s Handbook: Leveraged Loans, High Yield Bonds, and Distressed Debt is the definitive guide for young investment professionals embarking on a career investing in the leveraged credit markets – whether public, private, performing, or distressed. Experienced professionals will also immensely benefit from this guide as they refine their investment skills.

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