Martin Fridson, CFA, is, according to the New York Times, “one of Wall Street’s most thoughtful and perceptive analysts.” The Financial Management Association International named him its Financial Executive of the Year in 2002. In 2000, Fridson became the youngest person ever inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Society Hall of Fame. He has been a guest lecturer at the graduate business schools of Babson, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, Fordham, Georgetown, Harvard, MIT, New York University, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Wharton, as well as the Amsterdam Institute of Finance. Fridson's writings have been praised widely for their humor, rigor, and utility. He holds a BA in history from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
In this fascinating study of the Federal Reserve System, Peter Conti-Brown shows that much of what investors know about the formulation and implementation of US monetary policy is wrong. He also demonstrates that much of the expert commentary in the media (e.g., regarding future interest rate actions) proceeds from false premises about the central bank’s internal dynamics. Although practitioners should not accept all of Conti-Brown’s conclusions uncritically, they can assuredly profit from his debunking of conventional wisdom about a key driver of the financial markets.
Author Charles Ellis, CFA, contends that structural changes in the US market have eliminated the prospect of outperforming average market returns, after fees, through active management. The causes include the rise in institutional and high-speed machine trading and changes in regulation. Active management may still pay off in low-efficiency markets, such as high-yield bonds and emerging market debt. The book does not address findings that the most active stock pickers who take large but diversified positions unlike the index weightings beat their benchmarks.
Because they do not regard ethical failings in the financial industry as the actions of a few bad apples but, rather, as inevitable consequences of an unhealthy culture, the authors seek to restore the environment that existed before the major investment banks transformed themselves from partnerships into publicly traded corporations. The problems addressed in this book affect every participant in the financial system.
In its extensive recounting of financial misdeeds prior to the 1929 stock market crash, this fine work of popular financial history notes the parallels between recent events and the debates in the early 1930s over securities regulation and the subsequent enactment of landmark securities laws. Amid talk of the need to restore trust in the financial industry, the incidents recounted in the book suggest that restoration should apply only to firms that are worthy of trust and must come about through commitment to ethical practices, rather than public relations campaigns.
This book is an invaluable resource for anyone striving for a command of the inner workings of the economy. The author details his impressively rigorous forecasting process, which draws on all major schools of macroeconomic thought. He also dives deep into the data to explain some of his expectations.
The story of sell-side security analysis is still unfolding, but for an up-to-date account, this book serves the reader extremely well. The authors provide illuminating examples of recent innovations in the production and distribution of research and offer valuable insight by applying economic models in novel ways.
Focusing on the defined contribution piece of the impending retirement crisis, the authors recommend several actions, including automatic enrollment in 401(k)s and the government’s shoring up Social Security. For employees, two key steps are to start saving early and to delay retirement. This book furnishes both the motivation and the know-how to help them succeed.
Should anyone other than a statistician care about the fine points of calculating gross domestic product? In GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, economist Diane Coyle offers a striking example of why investors and policymakers ought to pay closer attention.
The author identifies some interesting conundrums related to financial theory and lodges a number of valid criticisms of financial industry practices. He also criticizes existing laws and rules because they did not prevent the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.
In this provocative book that sheds light on the recurring — and potentially worsening — financial crises since the beginning of the floating-exchange-rate era in 1973, the authors propose a solution that calls for a return to stable currencies through a new version of the gold standard embodied in a bill currently pending in the US Congress.
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