Krugman takes economic problems (down turns, recessions/depressions, rallies) from around the world over the last 100 years and highlights key contributing characteristics for ultimate application to the 2008 crisis. While competitive (incorrectly named "free") markets contribute tremendously to quality of life improvements, there are glitches in that environment where government can tweak the money supply to prevent the glitches from causing catastrophe. He uses an analogy from local DC news where an open market approach causes problems because - without tweaking - demand is naturally high in one season low in another - among other problems - so what is needed is a way for the organization to communicate to members that the high demand season is very taxing on the organization overall so members will adjust demand for the benefit of all, that is, for the benefit of avoiding collapse of the organization.
I really enjoyed this book because it included stories consisting of composites from the author's career; lists of characteristics of sociopathy and its consequences to help me organize the field mentall; and strategies for detecting and addressing sociopaths. As a bonus, the author included surprising information about people in combat, people in more general chain of command scenarios, and she hints at how the study of sociopathy can help the rest of us understand what it means to not be a sociopath.
Now for my criticisms. Worst of all, Stout's other books are not in audio format. As for this book, more stories or case-type examples would have been fascinating. I would prefer more stories and analysis - like sleuthing with Professor Stout brilliantly leading to the ingenious professional insight - than long discourses on theories. But this is not a dry text book, so when I listened to it, I really enjoyed all of it, though those stories made me want more.
Burton does a great job of arguing for non-financiers to simply buy and hold broadly among many areas of the economy. He takes many champions who have wowed the market, then tells the rest of the story about how they crashed and burned soon after, including LTCM and its Nobel prize winning geniuses. He addresses many, many so called winning investment strategies (I defy you to name one he doesn't cover) then shows how in reaily they are much more likely to be get poor strategies than break even or get rich. He also covers in useful detail the ear tickling pitches given to non-financiers (broker can get in on a highly exclusive IPO) and explains why these too are not the path to investment riches. Then he describes characteristics of a simply buy and hold strategy, with a few instances where a non-financier who wants to spend some time at investing might find some good opportunities.
If you despise welfare moms who keep having kids to leach off the government, wait til you read about these corporate welfare hogs. If you rush to vote politicians out of office when they're discovered taking extravagces at the taxpayers expense, wait til you read about famous wealthy folk who make a living using tax funds as their own bank.
These many shameful scams are described with careful reference to verifiable records - newspaper reports, court filings, etc. The author even takes pains to defend some of those involved where appropriate - abasent a company culture to the contrary, corporate officers are obligated to pursue the most profitable course lest they be blamed for incompetence - small town government officials don't want to see their towns become a footnote in history.
What makes this book masterful is that the author describes the scams like a journalist, as opposed to the overstated and dramatic styles that O'Reilley, Michael Moore, Limbaugh and other similar "reporters" have made fashionable.
Armstrong must have dedicated lots of time to this book, because she sets the Siddhartha story in a historical context with careful coverage of historical sources and their limitations (no written record of Buddha for about 100 years after his death). First is a summary of the source of her information with interesting insights. Next she covers the life story. Along with way, when describing a key event she will follow up with discrepancies in different texts that cover the story, similar to comparing the gospels. The reader has a pleasant voice.
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