Book Bits | 7.20.13

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . and What Other Countries Got Right
By George R. Tyler
Review via Publishers Weekly
In his first book, Tyler, a former Clinton administration deputy assistant Treasury secretary, slams popular acquiescence to low wages, imperious CEOs, and diminished national net worth. He contrasts the pursuit abroad of “family capitalism”—a doctrine of healthy compensation, job retraining, and productivity growth—with the increasing income disparities in the U.S. that destroy economic mobility and perpetuate poverty. Tyler identifies the Reagan era and its free-market dogma as the beginning of the reversal of middle-class growth, but sees little change since then. He argues that a first step toward recovery would be to boost the wages of lower-income households; he cites Australia and Europe as examples showing that prosperity and living wages are complementary, not contradictory. Whatever the merits of his proposals, the array of data he presents justifies popular apprehension about America’s future. The key issue is not big government vs. small government, he maintains, but rather the distribution of wealth.

The Electronic Silk Road: How the Web Binds the World Together in Commerce
By Anupam Chander
Summary via publisher, Yale University Press
On the ancient Silk Road, treasure-laden caravans made their arduous way through deserts and mountain passes, establishing trade between Asia and the civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean. Today’s electronic Silk Roads ferry information across continents, enabling individuals and corporations anywhere to provide or receive services without obtaining a visa. But the legal infrastructure for such trade is yet rudimentary and uncertain. If an event in cyberspace occurs at once everywhere and nowhere, what law applies? How can consumers be protected when engaging with companies across the world? In this accessible book, cyber-law expert Anupam Chander provides the first thorough discussion of the law that relates to global Internet commerce. Addressing up-to-the-minute examples, such as Google’s struggles with China, the Pirate Bay’s skirmishes with Hollywood, and the outsourcing of services to India, the author insightfully analyzes the difficulties of regulating Internet trade. Chander then lays out a framework for future policies, showing how countries can dismantle barriers while still protecting consumer interests.
The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure (2nd ed.)
By John McMurtry
Summary via pubilsher, Fernwood/Pluto Press
In The Cancer Stage of Capitalism, John McMurtry argues that our world disorder of unending crises is the predictable result of a cancerous economic system that is destroying ecological, social and organic life. In this updated edition, McMurtry explains the “social immune response” required to fight this “macro cancer,” which has already surfaced in the Occupy movement and in the democratic social transformation of Latin America. In an official global culture increasingly destructive of life, this book shows the necessity and possibility of building a sustainable society based on a universal commitment to life and nature.
Introduction to Risk Parity and Budgeting
By Thierry Roncalli
Summary via publisher, CRC Press
Although portfolio management didn’t change much during the 40 years after the seminal works of Markowitz and Sharpe, the development of risk budgeting techniques marked an important milestone in the deepening of the relationship between risk and asset management. Risk parity then became a popular financial model of investment after the global financial crisis in 2008. Today, pension funds and institutional investors are using this approach in the development of smart indexing and the redefinition of long-term investment policies. Written by a well-known expert of asset management and risk parity, Introduction to Risk Parity and Budgeting provides an up-to-date treatment of this alternative method to Markowitz optimization. It builds financial exposure to equities and commodities, considers credit risk in the management of bond portfolios, and designs long-term investment policy.
The PlayBook: An Inside Look at How to Think Like a Professional Trader
By Mike Bellafiore
Summary via publisher, FT Press
Want to become a truly great trader – either for yourself or for a proprietary trading firm? This book will help you get there. This unique approach is the closest thing to signing up for a “trader boot camp” yourself! You’ll learn by watching new traders walk through actual trades, explain what they’ve tried to do, and try to survive brutally tough expert critiques. One trade at a time, The Playbook reveals how professional traders must think in order to succeed “under fire,” how they assess their own performance, and how they work relentlessly to improve. Using concrete, actionable setups drawn from his extensive trading and training experience, Bellafiore walks through an extraordinary array of trades, showing readers how to maximize profits and avoid disastrous hidden pitfalls.
China Catalyst: Powering Global Growth by Reaching the Fastest Growing Consumer Market in the World
By David M. Holloman
Summary via publisher, Wiley
To drive the next round of global growth, companies will need to transition their operations and focus to one that serves the Chinese consumer. China Catalyst examines in-depth the transition currently underway in China from an export-led economic machine to a consumer-driven market. It outlines the economic imperative proving that greater consumer reach in China is a requirement in today’s globally competitive market. China Catalyst also provides analysis that segments the market, helping you understand the hotbeds of emerging consumer demand helping prioritize your company’s growth expansion in the market.