Book Bits | 8 February 2020

The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage
By Mara Hvistendahl
Review via
Industrial espionage by Chinese companies lies beneath the United States’ recent trade war with China, and it is one of the top counterintelligence targets of the FBI. But a decade of efforts to stem the problem have been largely ineffective. Through previously unreleased FBI files and her reporting from across the United States and China, Hvistendahl describes a long history of shoddy counterintelligence on China, much of it tinged with racism, and questions the role that corporate influence plays in trade secrets theft cases brought by the U.S. government. The Scientist and the Spy is both an important exploration of the issues at stake and a compelling, involving read.

10% Less Democracy: Why You Should Trust Elites a Little More and the Masses a Little Less
By Garett Jones
Summary via publisher (Stanford U. Press)
During the 2016 presidential election, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders argued that elites were hurting the economy. But, drawing together evidence and theory from across economics, political science, and even finance, Garett Jones says otherwise. In 10% Less Democracy, he makes the case that the richest, most democratic nations would be better off if they slightly reduced accountability to the voting public, turning up the dial on elite influence.

First Responders: Inside the U.S. Strategy for Fighting the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis
Edited by Ben Bernanke, et al.
Summary via publisher (Yale U. Press)
An insider’s view of the U.S. government’s response to the 2007–2009 global financial crisis, as recounted by the people who made the key decisions. In 2008, the world’s financial system stood on the brink of disaster. The United States faced an unprecedented crisis when the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, setting off a global panic. Faced with the prospect of a new Great Depression, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and other agencies took extraordinary measures to contain the damage and steady the financial system and the economy.

The Gig Society: How Modern Technology is Degrading Our Values and Destroying Our Culture
By Brian Wolatz
Summary via
The Gig Society explores the various ways in which modern technology impacts society. The technology of today — from artificial intelligence to social media to Internet service providers — is creating an economy that funnels power to the ruling class and fosters a culture of division and apathy. These changes represent an erosion of freedom, privacy, and individuality. It’s on us, the people of the United States of America and our representative government, to recognize and fight back against that erosion — through regulation and our own cultural movements alike.

Macroeconomics for Business: The Manager’s Way of Understanding the Global Economy
By Lawrence S. Davidson, et al.
Summary via publisher (Cambridge U. Press)
Interpreting and applying macroeconomic analysis to the global economic environment and understanding the tools used to do so is fundamental to making good managerial decisions. Presuming no background in economic theory and prioritizing international application, this textbook introduces macroeconomics to business students. It explains how to understand domestic and global macroeconomic developments, policies, and data, and makes extensive use of case studies and data sets to present modern macroeconomics in a globalized world. Each chapter has several specific data exercises and practices as well as an international application focusing on the global perspective. By providing a host of international material, this book is useful for instructors and students around the globe.