Book Bits: 18 February 2023
● Deconstructing Credit Cycles
Interview with author via Yahoo Finance
Financial markets are being driven by excessive liquidity at a time when both bond and equity markets are expensive, said Steven Ricchiuto, U.S. chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA LLC in New York. “As people come to the realization that the Fed is going to be higher for longer and we don’t yet know what the higher is, even if they pause I still think the next move is a rate hike, not a rate cut,” he said.
● The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free Market
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway
Review via The Economist
“The power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated”, wrote John Maynard Keynes, “compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.” But what if those ideas were themselves the product of decades of subtle manipulation by shadowy puppeteers? That is the argument of “The Big Myth”, a study of American attitudes to markets and government by Naomi Oreskes of Harvard and Erik Conway of the California Institute of Technology.
● Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World
Q&A with author via Esquire
Billed as “the first comprehensive, global history of Silicon Valley,” Palo Alto lives up to its description, but it’s also so much more—in these whopping 720 pages, you’ll find nothing short of an exhaustive history of American capitalism. Harris deftly charts the long shadow of extraction in northern California, from settler colonialism to robber barons to counterculture capitalists. The rapacious greed of contemporary global capitalism, he argues, is an export from northern California, whose history and culture have concocted a noxious brew of capitalist exploitation, with human capital as the most valuable product. “It represents the gold rush and the next gold rush and the one after that,” Harris writes of his hometown, “from produce to real estate to radios to transistors to microchips to missiles to PCs to routers to browsers to web portals to iPods to gig platforms.”
● The Unhackable Internet: How Rebuilding Cyberspace Can Create Real Security and Prevent Financial Collapse
Thomas P. Vartanian
Essay by author via The Hill
There will be survivors of this crypto winter. They will be the companies that knew that the business of selling nothing would eventually blow up into something. Those that built traditional risk management controls and created audited financial statements may make it if they are prepared to adapt to stringent new laws and regulations. They will have to look, feel and dress like serious companies. The rest will likely go the way of Gaul.
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