Practical analysis for investment professionals

Book Reviews

Book Review: Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don’t See Them Coming

Gary B. Gorton challenges much of the conventional wisdom regarding financial crises and laments the tendency of mathematics to crowd history out of the study of economics.

Book Review: High-Profit IPO Strategies

A concise introduction to IPOs for the uninitiated, this book is also an excellent resource for finance professors wishing to supplement investment textbooks that touch only briefly on the IPO process, professionals at the outset of their careers who contemplate moving into IPO investing, and owners of new businesses.

Book Review: Investing: The Last Liberal Art

Robert Hagstrom makes a persuasive case for the study of liberal arts as a means of achieving investment excellence, maintaining that the knowledge conveyed in a liberal arts curriculum opens one’s mind to ideas that may well lead to valuable insights about the financial markets.

Book Review: The Hour between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings, and the Biology of Boom and Bust

John Coates, senior research fellow in neuroscience and finance at the University of Cambridge, offers a number of fascinating lessons from a booming new field, the biology of risk, revealing how risk taking and stress transform our body chemistry and drive us to irrational exuberance or pessimism. When such chemical surges overwhelm traders and investors, they tend to suffer either euphoric overconfidence or extreme timidity.

Book Review: Aging and the Macroeconomy

The United States and many other countries are in the infancy of significant demographic changes. Over the next four decades, the retiree demographic will constitute an increasingly large percentage of the population.

Book Review: The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis

Adapted from four lectures given by Ben Bernanke in March 2012, this book is a good primer on the workings of the central bank throughout its history, including its role in the recent financial crisis.

Book Review: Europe’s Unfinished Currency: The Political Economics of the Euro

Thomas Mayer argues persuasively that Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) could work if the member states would embrace a new EMU architecture. Even though all past monetary unions of sovereign states have failed, Mayer remains hopeful that the EMU can develop a more robust framework and contribute to the historical work of European unification.

Book Review: The Effective Investor: The Definitive Guide for All South Africans

Although certain passages of this book are specific to South Africa’s economy and markets, it has broad applicability beyond that country’s borders. A true renaissance man, author Franco Busetti renders the arcana of markets and modern portfolio theory accessible to both the novice investor and the experienced practitioner.

Book Review: The Fundamentals of Municipal Bonds

This latest edition covers both the foundations of the municipal bond market and the major changes and developments in the market since 2001. The format of describing general fixed-income concepts and then applying them to municipal securities helps the reader understand broad bond topics within the narrower arena of municipal bonds.

Book Review: Behavioural Macroeconomics

Ian McDonald of the University of Melbourne has assembled an enlightening and diverse collection of 24 articles — featuring surveys, theoretical modeling, and empirical testing — that explore psychology and behavioral economics in shedding light on intervention versus free-market solutions following the recent global financial crisis.

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