Book Bits | 8.31.13

Bonds Are Not Forever: The Crisis Facing Fixed Income Investors
By SImon Lack
Summary via publisher, Wiley
Bonds Are Not Forever: The Crisis Facing Fixed Income Investors interweaves compelling, often amusing anecdotes from Lack’s distinguished thirty-year-career as a professional investor with hard economic data showing how we got to the point where bonds—long considered a reliable source of portfolio income—should be handled with extreme caution. Lack also provides investors with a coherent framework for understanding the future of the fixed income markets and, more importantly, answers the question: “Where should I invest tomorrow?”

The Empire Trap: The Rise and Fall of U.S. Intervention to Protect American Property Overseas, 1893-2013
By by Noel Maurer
Summary via publisher, Princeton University Press
Throughout the twentieth century, the U.S. government willingly deployed power, hard and soft, to protect American investments all around the globe. Why did the United States get into the business of defending its citizens’ property rights abroad? The Empire Trap looks at how modern U.S. involvement in the empire business began, how American foreign policy became increasingly tied to the sway of private financial interests, and how postwar administrations finally extricated the United States from economic interventionism, even though the government had the will and power to continue.
Quantitative Investing: Strategies to exploit stock market anomalies for all investors
By Fred Piard
Summary via publisher, Harriman House
This book provides straightforward quantitative strategies that any investor can implement with little work using simple, free or low-cost tools and services. But what exactly is quantitative investing? There are various possible definitions of quantitative investing, but the author defines it as: “Identifying reasonable and measurable hypotheses about behaviours of the financial market so as to make investment decisions with an acceptable confidence in expected returns and risks.” The main advantages in using quantitative models are that they:
* Make the investment process independent of opinions and emotions (the most important factor for an individual investor), and
* Make it reproducible by anyone at any time (the most important factor for a fund)
Europe’s Deadlock: How the Euro Crisis Could Be Solved – And Why It Won’t Happen
By David Marsh
Review via Public Service Europe
A smaller eurozone with a directly elected president, single finance ministry and central control over national budgets could strengthen the currency bloc – but political resistance to the loss of sovereignty makes it an impossible goal, according to the author of a new book on the crisis.
In Europe’s Deadlock: How the Euro Crisis Could Be Solved – and Why It Won’t Happen, David Marsh outlines a 10-point plan that would, he claims, “underpin the bloc for the longer term”. But Marsh – the chairman and founder of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, who was previously a City banker and Financial Times writer – admits that the proposals are “unrealisable”.
The Natural Gas Revolution: At the Pivot of the World’s Energy Future
By Robert W. Kolb
Summary via publisher, FT Press
Robert W. Kolb reveals how new gas resources are transforming the global energy industry, redistributing economic and geopolitical power in stunning ways. Kolb’s The Natural Gas Revolution explains the new promise of natural gas to stimulate economies and enrich human life — and objectively assesses the major environmental risks that accompany fracking, horizontal drilling, and today’s massive new LNG infrastructures. He places natural gas in broader context, clearly and carefully explaining what it will really mean to global economics, geopolitics, investors, the environment, and consumers.
Financial Justice: The People’s Campaign to Stop Lender Abuse
By Larry Kirsch and Robert N. Mayer
Review via Deseret News
In 2007, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., then a professor of consumer and bankruptcy law at Harvard Law School, wrote a paper called “A Fair Deal for Families: The Need for a Financial Products Safety Commission,” which ran in a small academic publication called “Democracy.”
Three years later, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. How one woman’s idea became law is the story told by Larry Kirsch and Robert N. Mayer in their new book “Financial Justice: The People’s Campaign to Stop Lender Abuse.”