Category Archives: Book review

Review of “Saving Capitalism from Short-Termism” by Alfred Rappaport

Several practical steps. Executive summary A great goal, but can it deliver? I was skeptical.  However, I’ve been won over — the book proposes several specific actions that are feasible and powerful. Culprits of the crisis The book starts with an accounting of the culprits who caused the financial crisis of 2007-20??.  Pretty much everyone, … Continue reading

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Introduction to “Numerical Methods and Optimization in Finance”

The book is by Manfred Gilli, Dietmar Maringer and Enrico Schumann.  I haven’t actually seen the book, so my judgement of it is mainly by the cover (and knowing the first two authors). The parts of the book closest to my heart are optimization, particularly portfolio optimization, and particularly particularly portfolio optimization via heuristic algorithms.  … Continue reading

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Review of “23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism” by Ha-Joon Chang

Executive Summary Simple but not simplistic explanations of several big ideas in economics. Surprises Thing 4 The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet has. We are used to marvelling at the wonders of computing.  However, we tend to forget that our lives would be extremely different without machines to do household … Continue reading

Posted in Book review, Economics | 1 Comment

Review of “Future Babble” by Dan Gardner

Our hunger for certainty. Executive Summary This book is very good, why isn’t it more famous? Because it is saying precisely what we don’t want to hear. Competing books This book and Everything is Obvious* have a large overlap in theme.  However, they have almost zero overlap in content.  They are much more complements than … Continue reading

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Review of “Risk and Meaning” by Nicolas Bouleau

The subtitle is: Adversaries in Art, Science and Philosophy. Executive Summary Genius or madness? I haven’t decided. Irreversibility of interpretation The book drives home that once we decide how something is we can’t go back to our state of innocence. Figures 1 through 3 exhibit this idea via a randomly generated polygon.  Look at Figure … Continue reading

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Review of “Everything is Obvious*” by Duncan Watts

*Once you know the answer. Executive summary If you think common sense is a good thing, read this book. Triumvirate for a complex world The three books are: Obliquity by John Kay Adapt by Tim Harford Everything is Obvious* by Duncan Watts There are two problems with the complex world that we live in: Our … Continue reading

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An introduction to “Expected Returns” by Antti Ilmanen

The subtitle is “An Investor’s Guide to Harvesting Market Rewards”. Executive summary I don’t hold myself as being much at forecasting, but I predict that this will be a classic that many of us will go back to and consult periodically for years to come. Purpose Antti does better than I could have at describing … Continue reading

Posted in Book review, Quant finance | Tagged | 1 Comment

Review of “Adapt” by Tim Harford

The subtitle is “Why success always starts with failure”. Executive summary Brilliant.  Funny.  Enlightening. Complexity We live in a complex world. Exhibit number 1 (page 1) is the Toaster Project. Our brains are too small to know what to do in a complex world. The rules of adapting The three rules of adapting (page 36) … Continue reading

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Review of “Boombustology” by Vikram Mansharamani

How can we spot bubbles before they burst? Executive Summary I had high hopes for this book.  The first 5 chapters lived up to my expectations.  The remaining chapters, though interesting in spots, are a bit vapid.  However, those first 5 chapters are worth the price of admission. Chapters The book starts with a discussion … Continue reading

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Review of “Smart Swarm” by Peter Miller

Smart Swarm is a book about decision-making.  Fund management is all about decision-making.  Hence this book is about fund management.  Indeed financial examples crop up several times. Executive summary Smart Swarm: Using animal behavior to change our world is interesting because it: describes many extraordinary decisions of animals. suggests a number of lessons that can … Continue reading

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