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Book Bits | 10 August 2019

Summary:
● The Skyscraper Curse: And How Austrian Economists Predicted Every Major Economic Crisis of the Last Century By Mark ThorntonSummary via publisher (Ludwig von Mises Institute) In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, the economics profession suffered a blow to what reputation it had. But unlike most of his colleagues, Mark Thornton was vindicated by 2008. Mark has been a voice of sanity at times when the wild interventions of the Federal Reserve have caused otherwise sensible people to lose their minds. This collection serves the valuable purpose of defending the market economy against the conventional view that freedom has failed us and we need still more controls. We had plenty of rules and bureaucrats on the eve of the financial crisis. A lot of good that did us. Pretty much

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The Skyscraper Curse: And How Austrian Economists Predicted Every Major Economic Crisis of the Last Century
By Mark Thornton
Summary via publisher (Ludwig von Mises Institute)
In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, the economics profession suffered a blow to what reputation it had. But unlike most of his colleagues, Mark Thornton was vindicated by 2008. Mark has been a voice of sanity at times when the wild interventions of the Federal Reserve have caused otherwise sensible people to lose their minds. This collection serves the valuable purpose of defending the market economy against the conventional view that freedom has failed us and we need still more controls. We had plenty of rules and bureaucrats on the eve of the financial crisis. A lot of good that did us. Pretty much none of them saw any problems on the horizon. Maybe we should consider a real free market, with sound money and market interest rates, and abolish the giant bubble machine once and for all.

Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor
By Steven Greenhouse
Summary via publisher (Knopf)
From the longtime New York Times labor correspondent, an in-depth look at working men and women in America, the challenges they face, and how they can be re-empowered. In an era when corporate profits have soared while wages have flatlined, millions of Americans are searching for ways to improve their lives, and they’re often turning to labor unions and worker action, whether #RedforEd teachers’ strikes or the Fight for $15. Wage stagnation, low-wage work, and blighted blue-collar communities have become an all-too-common part of modern-day America, and behind these trends is a little-discussed problem: the decades-long decline in worker power. Steven Greenhouse sees this decline reflected in some of the most pressing problems facing our nation today, including income inequality, declining social mobility, the gender pay gap, and the concentration of political power in the hands of the wealthy.

Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian
By James Grant
Review via Foreign Affairs
Like Grant, Bagehot was a vivid wordsmith and a cult figure. Unlike Grant, Bagehot was generally a modernizer, a believer in progress, and therefore an opponent of the gold standard. (Bagehot’s views on certain matters, such as gender and race, were far from enlightened.) In his slim 1873 volume, Lombard Street, Bagehot explained how central banks should quell financial panics by printing currency and lending it liberally—“to merchants, to minor bankers, to ‘this man and that man,’ whenever the security is good.”

Trading Evolved: Anyone can Build Killer Trading Strategies in Python
By Andreas F. Clenow
Summary via Amazon.com
Systematic trading allows you to test and evaluate your trading ideas before risking your money. By formulating trading ideas as concrete rules, you can evaluate past performance and draw conclusions about the viability of your trading plan. Following systematic rules provides a consistent approach where you will have some degree of predictability of returns, and perhaps more importantly, it takes emotions and second guessing out of the equation.

The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics
Edited by Mark D. White
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
Economics and ethics are both valuable tools for analyzing the behavior and actions of human beings and institutions. Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, considered them two sides of the same coin, but since economics was formalized and mathematicised in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the fields have largely followed separate paths. The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics provides a timely and thorough survey of the various ways ethics can, does, and should inform economic theory and practice.

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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