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Marcos

Oslo, Norway | Member Since 2009

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crises

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By James Rickards
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (405)
    Story
    (408)

    In 1971, President Nixon imposed national price controls and took the United States off the gold standard, an extreme measure intended to end an ongoing currency war that had destroyed faith in the U.S. dollar. Today we are engaged in a new currency war, and this time the consequences will be far worse than those that confronted Nixon. Currency wars are one of the most destructive and feared outcomes in international economics.

    Roddie says: "Must read, listen too!"
    "Outstanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm no economist, but I found this book extremely insightful and level headed. It is very well researched and arguments are clearly articulated with plenty of examples that demystify concepts that have been deliberately obscured by governments and the banking industry. It's one of those books that, if you don't already know too much about the subject, can radically alter the way you understand the global economy.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1403)
    Performance
    (1278)
    Story
    (1270)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "A great depressing read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Drift provides a great critical history of the abuses of executive power by recent U.S. presidents based on the terrible presets set by Ronald Reagan, and his illegal arming of Iran to pay for the contras in Nicaragua - all in clear violation of international law. The book also details the shift from a state run army to an unaccountable outsourced army (i.e., Blackwater and friends), which closely mirrors arguments found in Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. Maddow makes a strong case that the U.S. constitution has strong checks and balances to force Americans to engage in debate and pay a heavy cost when going to war, but that recent governments is actively undermining the constitution by using paid mercenaries or playing dangerous semantic games which leaves them unaccountable for war crimes. It seems that this is all going to end really badly for the U.S., which is a shame. Great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By John Cassidy
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (165)

    Behind the alarming headlines about job losses, bank bailouts, and corporate greed, there is a little-known story of bad ideas. For 50 years or more, economists have been busy developing elegant theories of how markets work - how they facilitate innovation, wealth creation, and an efficient allocation of society's resources. But what about when markets don't work?

    Ben says: "Way more than I expected"
    "Extremely informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about How Markets Fail?

    This books provides a great historical view of market failure. It is extremely informative and devastatingly enlightening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I quite enjoyed the "long view" that this book takes... it shows that only a few people truly understand how the markets work and constantly work towards optimising profits at the expense of others. It also shows that there is a clear role for governments to play in market economics so we don't constantly end up in economic meltdown.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The thesis of the book absolutely shatters the illusion of any pure free market capitalism - without proper government regulation, it is unlikely that the capitalist system will survive... it might even be too late to save it, given the current state of Europe.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1785)
    Performance
    (1476)
    Story
    (1488)

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "Provocative, but slightly racist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is quite a provocative and mostly humorous view of the European economic meltdown . It does provide a fairly lighthearted and mocking view about the causes of the economic crisis and casts the blame at the stupidity of various nations and the greed of others (e.g., Iceland and the Greeks rightfully get chastised for their lies and sheer economic stupidity... as do the Germans either because they are just greedy or just plain stupid). However, the book sometimes goes a little far with focusing on the character of a people as a whole to the point of sounding uncomfortably racist. Apart from that, I quite enjoyed the book, as it provides a nice contrast to other more "serious" books on the matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the burgeoning growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics proves this fear is folly. Smart firms can harness collective capability and genius to spur innovation, growth, and success.

    Bruce says: "Editor please"
    "Techno determinism at it's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although I agree with the general thesis of this book, technical and political aspects are so wrong that it completely undermines the credibility of the author. For example, it is stated that MS Windows is an "open" system (monopolies are not "open"). That "tagging" has some relationship to XML (it does not). The book is extremely one sided. I listened to about half of it and gave up. I've only bought two books that I wish I could return... this is one of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker, Walter Isaacson
    Overall
    (1260)
    Performance
    (1087)
    Story
    (1091)

    In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Walter Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, this is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

    john says: "More man, less tech, might have made a better book"
    "Excellent story of a sad little sociopath"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read other semi-biographies of Jobs and, working with a lot of people in the tech industry, I'd heard many of the stories of how much of a bastard he was. However, this biography left me quite bemused and surprised: I never expected Jobs to be such a disgustingly-shameless-sociopath-brat-cry-baby! even to the last minute, with Jobs having to have control over the cover image of the book.

    I don't think he would have liked much of what is inside this book; which is what makes it great.

    It's amazing that Jobs sought out Isaacson to write this biography. And Isaacson, pre-warning Jobs that he was going to uncover all the dirt, delivers a very inhuman story. In Isaacson other book on Einstein, he also revealed Albert's many flaws and brought Albert down to our level. With this book, he absolutely devastates the image of Jobs as a great business leader and as human being: from his stinky hippy days, to his denial of his daughter Lisa and smear campaign of the mother, to his tyrannical and plainly mean way he constantly ripped-off and mistreated other people.

    I guess Job's own reflection of his life must have been also distorted by his "reality distortion field". It's great that this book came out when it did. If anything, it shows that Steve Jobs was not in the same league as other great inventors and geniuses of the past century. Jobs just rode on the great ideas of those around him. If it was him that made those ideas successful is unclear, so Jobs is just shown as part of the greater collective that was, and remains, Apple computers.

    I anything, it's good that Isaacson shows why no one should take inspiration from the cold, hard, tyrannical a**hole that was Steve Jobs. A great read! And proof you can't judge a book by its cover.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • DarkMarket: CyberThieves, CyberCops and You

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Misha Glenny
    • Narrated By Misha Glenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The benefits of living in a digital, globalised society are enormous; so too are the dangers. The world has become a law enforcer’s nightmare and every criminal’s dream. We bank online, shop online, date, learn, work and live online. But have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets learned to protect us in the burgeoning digital world? Have we become complacent about our personal security – sharing our thoughts, beliefs and the details of our daily lives with anyone who cares to relieve us of them?

    Marcos says: "Insightful, well-written, and captivating"
    "Insightful, well-written, and captivating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a bit of a nerd who is involved in security matters, I was initially skeptical about buying this book. I'm really glad I did as it is extremely well researched, and the story is very captivating. The book also covers cross-continental politics and policing, and will make you think twice before ever handing over your credit card to anyone. The reading is also really great. Really glad I read this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Glenn Beck
    • Narrated By Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, Steve "Stu" Burguiere
    Overall
    (697)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (204)

    Idiots can't be identified through voting records, they can be found only by looking for people who hide behind stereotypes, embrace partisanship, and believe that bumper-sticker slogans are a substitute for common sense. If you know someone who fits the bill, then Arguing with Idiots will help you silence them once and for all with the ultimate weapon: the truth.

    James says: "Good facts...average humor"
    "Buyer beware"
    Overall

    The book presents interesting premise and sets out to present "facts" about various issues. However, the author carefully crafts half truths or clear bias. What the author considers "facts" are often just personal opinions not backed by any data. I found myself constantly scratching my head, going "did he just say that without considering cases x. y, z"? There be no facts to be found in this book. Only weak opinions and unfounded delusions. At least the author is a self proclaimed idiot. Save you money, go and buy
    Freakonomics or something more interesting by Malcolm Gladwell or Richard Dawkings.

    25 of 65 people found this review helpful

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