Book Review: Loss Coverage – Why Insurance Works Betters with Some Adverse Selection

In his book, Loss Coverage: Why Insurance Works Better with Some Adverse Selection, Guy Thomas propose an interesting point that adverse selection may not be as harmful as many actuaries believe. They actually go further and suggest that, at least from a policy perspective, adverse selection may be a good thing. This is particularly relevant […]

Book Review: Flash Boys

Michael Lewis, of Liar’s Poker and The Big Short fame, has written a book on the world of High Frequency Trading. The booked is called Flash Boys and it’s more or less as entertaining has Lewis’s recent books.  That’s a good thing, even if it doesn’t quite reach the highs of Liar’s Poker (which you […]

Book Review: Bitcon – The Naked Truth About Bitcoin

Jeffrey Robinson, the author of the well known book “Laundrymen” that I’m now reading, has written an engaging story about The Satoshi Faithful (as he calls them) supporters of Bitcoin and where their Faith is leading them stray. The book is called BitCon: The Naked Truth About Bitcoin and it doesn’t pull punches in deriding the […]

Book Review: The Trouble With Strategy

Kim Warren has a trouble. His trouble is with the art and science of business strategy. His book, The Trouble with Strategy: The brutal reality of why business strategy doesn’t work and what to do about it, outlines how poorly mainstream strategy ideas have performed and how slowly (if at all) the “profession of strategy” […]

Book Review: The End of Influence

Brad de Long and Stephen S. Cohen have a new book called The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have the Money. It’s an interesting, informative, provocative and relevant read, providing context for the economic position the US finds itself in now. Perhaps of more direct interest, the issues of currency manipulation (done to the US), foreign policy, industrial (and defence) policy, trade deficits and long-term structural problems within an economy are definitely relevant to South Africa.

It’s not the traditional rip-roaring holiday read, but the style is light enough to enjoy and doesn’t have the density of statistics and numerical proof offered by This Time is Different.

Book Review: This Time is Different

It’s chock-full of analysis, numbers, tables and charts showing how as much as things change, the scope for financial crises changes very little. The comparison of Developed and Emerging Markets is particularly interesting in that the differences, while they do exist, are far smaller than stereotypical views. Emerging Markets do tend to have more ongoing sovereign defaults, but the frequency of banking crises is little different. Weirdly, some aspects of Emerging Market crises (such as employment impacts) are less than average for the Developed World.