This is a delightful book. It has a terrific sense of humor about language and about itself. I found myself chortling on almost every page. An excelle...moreThis is a delightful book. It has a terrific sense of humor about language and about itself. I found myself chortling on almost every page. An excellent book for anybody who loves English words. (less)
In my travels throughout Malaysia and Singapore, I've found this book to be marginally useful. If you're completely at a loss for what to do, you can...moreIn my travels throughout Malaysia and Singapore, I've found this book to be marginally useful. If you're completely at a loss for what to do, you can usually look to this book for some kind of idea, but sadly most of the suggestions revolve around bland museums, shopping and eating. The book pays an inordinate amount of attention to Sabah and Sarawak, as if jungle trekking were the only thing people come to Malaysia for. The historical treatment is quite biased to the UK perspective and also inconsistent in places. Also, some of the phrases in the Malay phrase guide are wrong or else funny, leading to some potentially embarrassing gaffes.
If you are planning a trip to the region, this book is still worthy of a purchase, but be aware of its limitations and be seek suggestions from locals or other travelers for different activities.(less)
It's a very good text for undergraduate international macro courses but a little too light on the math for my tastes. Still, I recommend to anyone who...moreIt's a very good text for undergraduate international macro courses but a little too light on the math for my tastes. Still, I recommend to anyone who's interested in learning more about international macro and "big" economic questions like why we went off the gold standard (and why we were on it to begin with). (less)
A start-to-finish, high-level guide to opening and maintaining an entrepreneurial endeavor. Good introduction for the aspiring entrepreneur which prov...moreA start-to-finish, high-level guide to opening and maintaining an entrepreneurial endeavor. Good introduction for the aspiring entrepreneur which provides a goodly amount of detail about brainstorming ideas, business plans, marketing plans, financial statements and more. Chapters in accounting and marketing are definitely not substitutes for good courses in those subjects, but will get you started and help you start a conversation with experts in those fields.
The text is a bit wordy; you may mutter, "Get to the point!" to yourself a few times. I think some of the paragraphs could have been stated more concisely through the use of charts and diagrams.
A final caveat: This book should be a supplement to work with an experienced mentor. The theory should inspire you to get your hands dirty and try it out in practice.(less)
This book gives a very broad overview of the myriad different dimensions that we all need to consider when planning our future financial destinies.
Wha...moreThis book gives a very broad overview of the myriad different dimensions that we all need to consider when planning our future financial destinies.
What it does quite well is to introduce the various topics of personal finance. It has a great amount of coverage and is truly comprehensive in its topics.
I wa personally expecting more depth for these topics. As a self-awarded green belt in personal finance, this book provided me with little information I didn't already know. That said, I'm still going to keep it on my desk for reference.
Dry, to-the-point, and comprehensive, I recommend for all the personal finance yellow belts out there. It might be a little intimidating for the white belts. (less)
Cut out the exercises and you've got a five page pamphlet on arithmetic. Those five pages would be pretty interesting, though, with history and commen...moreCut out the exercises and you've got a five page pamphlet on arithmetic. Those five pages would be pretty interesting, though, with history and commentary about the art of calculation as well as an introduction into old methods that people used to use to do rapid mental calculation.
The exercises provide the bulk of the value of this book. I'd recommend setting up some tables in Excel in order to help facilitate your practice.
All-in-all, not bad, but it certainly won't change your life.(less)
This is a good elementary text in investments, suitable for a beginning finance/economics student. I'd say that anyone who's taken a first college cou...moreThis is a good elementary text in investments, suitable for a beginning finance/economics student. I'd say that anyone who's taken a first college course in economics could successfully use this text to become more literate in investments. That said, if you've taken more than that, you'll probably find this text much too basic. It's light on the math, and that's really a bad thing most times, since you can usually say things so much simpler in math. The book is also rather inadequate once you start to move into derivatives and MBS. It also doesn't have any coverage of the kinds of products that have been in the news so much lately.(less)
This book will teach you the basics of maneuvering around the shell and some basic shell programming, but it does so using very narrow examples that y...moreThis book will teach you the basics of maneuvering around the shell and some basic shell programming, but it does so using very narrow examples that you have to follow along with quite dogmatically, rather than giving you the tools that help build your confidence. Also, some of the examples are just plain incorrect which is frustrating. I'm certain there are better texts out there. (less)
"Breathtaking" is the best word I have that does justice to the scale and scope of what author Liaquat Ahamed has done with this book. I've not read a...more"Breathtaking" is the best word I have that does justice to the scale and scope of what author Liaquat Ahamed has done with this book. I've not read a more thorough treatment of the topic or the times; however, I believe this book stacks up well against any non-fiction, history or economics book written. I would strongly recommend to anyone with an interest in economics and history.
p139 In March 1922, he wrote to Strong in that elliptical way of his, “Only lately have the countries of the world started to clear up after the war, two years having been wasted in building castles in the air and pulling them down again. Such is the way of democracies it seems, though a ‘few aristocrats’ in all countries realized from the start what must be the inevitable result of hastily conceived remedies for such serious ills.” He obviously thought that the “few aristocrats” were bankers like himself.
p146 Britain was therefore the only major country that truly faced the choice between devaluation and deflation. To a modern observer, less wedded to the principle that currency rates are sacrosanct, some measure of devaluation would have made sense. After all, Britain was finding it harder to compete in the postwar world economy and, having liquidated vast amounts of its holdings abroad, could only draw upon a much reduced foreign income to cushion the blow. Its exchange rate should have been allowed to fall as a means of making its goods cheaper on world markets. However, Norman and his generation lived in a different mental world. They saw devaluation not as an adjustment to a new reality but as something more, a symptom of financial indiscipline that might precipitate a collective loss of confidence in all currencies. When people talked of the City of London as banker to the world, this was no mere figure of speech—the City operated literally like a gigantic bank, taking deposits from one part of the world and lending to another. While gold was the international currency par excellence, the pound sterling was viewed as its closest substitute, and most trading nations—the United States, Russia, Japan, India, Argentina—even kept part of their cash reserves in sterling deposits in London. The pound had a special status in the gold standard constellation and its devaluation would have rocked the financial world.
pp150-151 And he began making his fortune as a currency speculator. In 1919, it was a novel way of making money. Before 1914, currencies had been fixed, and opportunities to profit from the instability of exchange rates had been almost nonexistent. In the aftermath of the war, as exchange rates of the major currencies lurched up and down, it became possible to make large returns—and also lose equally large amounts—by betting on the direction of such moves. In the latter half of 1919, convinced that the inflationary consequences of the war would undermine the currencies of the main belligerents, Keynes went short on the French franc, the German Reichsmark, and the Italian lira, buying the currencies of countries that had sat out most of the war: the Norwegian and the Danish kroner, the U.S. dollar, and interestingly enough, the Indian rupee. He made $30,000 in the first few months. In early 1920, he set up a syndicate, with his brother, some of the Bloomsbury circle, and a financier friend from the City of London. By the end of April 1920, they had made a further $80,000. Then suddenly, in the space of four weeks, a spasm of optimism about Germany briefly drove the declining European currencies back up, wiping out their entire capital. Keynes found himself on the verge of bankruptcy and had to be bailed out by his tolerant father. Nevertheless, propped up by his indulgent family and by a loan from the coolly acute financier Sir Ernest Cassel, he persevered in his speculations—built for the most part around the view that the German and Central European currencies
p171 And so, when the new currency was introduced on November 15, 1923, Germany found itself in the curious position of having two official currencies—the old Reichsmark and the new Rentenmark—circulating side by side, issued by two uniquely parallel central banks.
p192 When the war ended, Morgans became the natural conduit of American money into Europe. Its status as one of the great powers to be reckoned with was confirmed in July 1920, when a group of anarchists, instead of targeting a head of state or government as it might have done before the war, chose to place a bomb outside the offices of J. P. Morgan & Co. at 23 Wall Street.25 The partners were unscathed, but thirty-eight bystanders were killed and another four hundred injured
p389 On March 12, 1932, the world learned that Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish match king, who had bailed out so many penniless European countries, had shot himself in his apartment on the Avenue Victor Emmanuel III in Paris. At first it was assumed that he was just another victim of the times—he had recently suffered a nervous breakdown and his physician had warned him about the constant strain of his lifestyle on his heart. Within three weeks it became apparent that his whole enterprise had been a sham. His accounts were riddled with inflated valuations and bogus assets, including $142 million of forged Italian government bonds. When the losses to investors were eventually tallied, they amounted to $400 million.(less)
Caplan puts forth his argument that voters, who may be otherwise rational in a market setting (e.g., consumers price compare when buying groceries or...moreCaplan puts forth his argument that voters, who may be otherwise rational in a market setting (e.g., consumers price compare when buying groceries or autos), but who are irrational when making political decisions. He attacks what he calls democratic fundamentalism (unquestioning belief in the power of democracy) and argues that the problems of democracies are endemic to the systems themselves.
Caplan argues in such a way as to be fair to all sides of the discussion and writes from the position of an open-minded intellectual. I would strongly recommend it.(less)
This book might be good for non-economist types as it does present a pretty wide range of the views of economists on various topics of interest to the...moreThis book might be good for non-economist types as it does present a pretty wide range of the views of economists on various topics of interest to the general public. It's quite accessible. I would not recommend it to seasoned economics students because it's all just stuff you've probably seen presented in a less biased setting before. Speaking of which Behravesh is unabashedly pro-market, not really paying more than lip-service to other ideas. It comes off as a bit closed-minded. Despite this, I'd recommend it to anyone looking to better understand an economists view.(less)