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Posts Tagged ‘books’

Fool’s Gold by Gillian Tett

Posted by DK on May 13, 2009

The FT covered the credit derivative market a bit better than its competitors as the crisis unfolded. Gillian Tett recently spoke with Bloomberg news about her new book, Fool’s Gold. It recounts the beginnings of credit derivatives at JP Morgan and the subsequent proliferation of synthetics across Wall Street. If the quality of FT’s coverage is reflected in the book, I imagine it’s an informative read. 

The tell-all’s are coming hard and heavy, with Kate Kelly’s (of WSJ) Street Fighters: The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns also hitting the shelves. 

We’ve come a long way from Dow 36,000.


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Wired For War

Posted by DK on May 2, 2009

Wired For War seemed like a convenient update on what’s going on in the land of the military. Although the book offers the expected details on the latest unclassified military technology, I was surprised at the philosophical bent of the material. Singer raises questions like:

  • Will replacing soldiers with capital increase or decrease the likelihood of future conflict?
  • By increasing the distance between US soldiers and personal danger using drones and remote control, will we increase or decrease the morale of terrorists?
  • There is a certain democratization that follows the introduction of new technology, in the sense that these technologies increasingly use off the shelf components. What are the likely unintended consequences of these new applications?

Singer’s writing style also reflects a new generation of non-fiction writers that are willing and able to allude to American popular culture. I must be getting old. He even refers to cognitive blindspots typically covered by behavioral economists and psychologists. For example, he discusses “satisficing,” a concept I first discovered reading Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart.

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Solow Reviews Posner

Posted by DK on April 21, 2009

nice review by Robert Solow (of MIT) of Richard Posner’s new book, A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression.

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