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Book Bits | 30 March 2019

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● Consumer Expectations: Micro Foundations and Macro Impact By Richard Thomas CurtinSummary via publisher (Cambridge University Press)Richard Curtin has directed the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment surveys for more than four decades. His analyses of recent trends in consumer expectations are regularly covered in the worldwide press. In this book, Curtin presents a new theory of expectations. Whereas conventional theories presume that consumers play a passive role in the macro economy, simply reacting to current trends in incomes, prices, and interest rates, Curtin proposes a new empirically consistent theory. He argues that expectations are formed by an automatic process that utilizes conscious and nonconscious processes, passion and reason, information from public and

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Consumer Expectations: Micro Foundations and Macro Impact
By Richard Thomas Curtin
Summary via publisher (Cambridge University Press)
Richard Curtin has directed the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment surveys for more than four decades. His analyses of recent trends in consumer expectations are regularly covered in the worldwide press. In this book, Curtin presents a new theory of expectations. Whereas conventional theories presume that consumers play a passive role in the macro economy, simply reacting to current trends in incomes, prices, and interest rates, Curtin proposes a new empirically consistent theory. He argues that expectations are formed by an automatic process that utilizes conscious and nonconscious processes, passion and reason, information from public and private sources, and social networks. Consumers ultimately reach a decision that serves both the micro decision needs of individuals and reflects the common influence of the macro environment. Drawing on empirical observations, Curtin not only demonstrates the importance of consumer sentiment, but also how it can foreshadow the cyclical turning points in the economy.

Portfolio Management: Theory and Practice
By Scott D. Stewart, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Portfolio Management is an authoritative guide for those who wish to manage money professionally. This invaluable resource presents effective portfolio management practices supported by their underlying theory, providing the tools and instruction required to meet investor objectives and deliver superior performance. Highlighting a practitioner’s view of portfolio management, this guide offers real-world perspective on investment processes, portfolio decision making, and the business of managing money for real clients. Real world examples and detailed test cases—supported by sophisticated Excel templates and true client situations—illustrate real investment scenarios and provide insight into the factors separating success from failure. The book is an ideal textbook for courses in advanced investments, portfolio management or applied capital markets finance. It is also a useful tool for practitioners who seek hands-on learning of advanced portfolio techniques.

Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures
By Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora
Summary via publisher (Duke University Press)
In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy. Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing-economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human—machine interactions, as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation.

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World
By Clive Thompson
Interview with author via The Verge
Between never-ending Facebook scandals and debates over fake news and polarization, the general public seems to be more aware than ever of the extent to which software governs our daily lives. “People are unsettled by it, but they still don’t know anything about how the software came to be and why these creators decided to tackle these problems and build these tools,” says Clive Thompson, a technology journalist and author of Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World.

Forecasting With The Theta Method: Theory and Applications
By Kostas I. Nikolopoulos and Dimitrios D. Thomakos
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
This book is the first to detail the Theta method of forecasting – one of the most difficult-to-beat forecasting benchmarks, which topped the biggest forecasting competition in the world in 2000: the M3 competition. Written by two of the leading experts in the forecasting field, it illuminates the exact replication of the method and under what conditions the method outperforms other forecasting methods. Recent developments such as multivariate models are also included, as are a series of practical applications in finance, economics, and healthcare. The book also offers practical tools in MS Excel and guidance, as well as provisional access, for the use of R source code and respective packages.

The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World
By Peter Frankopan
Summary via publisher (Knopf)
In the age of Brexit and Trump, the West is buffeted by the tides of isolationism and fragmentation. Yet to the East, this is a moment of optimism as a new network of relationships takes shape along the ancient trade routes. In The New Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan takes us on an eye-opening journey through the region, from China’s breathtaking infrastructure investments to the flood of trade deals among Central Asian republics to the growing rapprochement between Turkey and Russia. This important book asks us to put aside our preconceptions and see the world from a new–and ultimately hopeful–perspective.

Talk to Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Think
By James Vlahos
Podcast with author via Vux World
James Vlahos writes for the likes of WIRED, New York Times Magazine, Popular Science and GQ. His new book Talk to Me chronicles how the world’s biggest tech companies are battling to dominate voice—Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and the Assistant—the biggest technological paradigm shift since mobile phones. The book tracks the strange scientific quest—from humanoid talking contraptions of the 19th century to the latest AIs—that has resulted in our being able to say something to a voice assistant and receive an intelligible reply. And it explores voice computing’s potential to upend control of knowledge; to befriend, advise, and surveil.

Blockchain: The Next Everything
By Stephen P. Williams
Summary via publisher (Simon & Schuster)
An experienced tech writer fully explains blockchain technology and how it will radically transform the world as we know it in this accessible, reader-friendly, illuminating guide. What is blockchain? Why does everyone from tech experts to business moguls to philanthropists believe it is a paradigm-shifting technology, bound to revolutionize society as significantly as the internet? Indeed, why is blockchain touted as The Next Everything?

James Picerno
James Picerno is a financial journalist who has been writing about finance and investment theory for more than twenty years. He writes for trade magazines read by financial professionals and financial advisers. Over the years, he’s written for the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Bloomberg Markets, Mutual Funds, Modern Maturity, Investment Advisor, Reuters, and his popular finance blog, The CapitalSpectator.

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