(Yicai Global) Aug. 17 -- Among these massive books exhibited during the Shanghai Bookfair of 2018, we attempted to recommend the five most noteworthy financial books. After her one and a half year 'undercover' experience in Wall Street, American anthropologist Karen Ho eventually found out the inside snoop on financial institutions. Yale University's Prof. Gary Smith taught people to identify the traps in statistics, letting big data tell the truth.
The Wealth Elite: A Groundbreaking Study of the Psychology of the Super Rich
By [Germany] Rainer Zitelmann
Social Sciences Academic Press (China)
May 2018 edition
Why did these super rich who were not the best students still enjoy great success in their business? Why do they all emphasize their singularity? After reading this book of in-depth interviews with 45 super rich people in Germany, readers may be able to slake their curiosity about this group, and find out the reason for their great wealth.
The highlight of this book is the process whereby the rich open up to researchers and talk about their experience of making a fortune.
Rainer Zitelmann, the author, has a dual PhD in history and sociology, and serves as a senior editor with German news daily Die Welt. He is also a successful businessman, who is the owner of a famous real estate communication consultancy, as well as an investor in the real estate market. He leveraged his powerful social network to persuade these 45 super rich to submit to in-depth interviews.
Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street
By [US] Karen Ho
East China Normal University Press
March 2018 edition
Karen Ho is a professor of anthropology at Princeton University, a credential which gained her admission to a Wall Street investment bank. She observed the financial sector with the eye of an anthropologist. Over a year and a half's investigation, she followed up links such as recruitment, training, work and dismissal. In this book, she propounds a core concept of 'culture of cleverness,' and also analyzes how Wall Street shaped it.
In this anthropologist's view, such a culture of cleverness will eventually damage America's national interests. It warrants attention that the English version of this book was published in 2009 when the global financial crisis had just eased, and American public opinion had begun to lambaste Wall Street. This background is likely to be a footnote to the author's strong criticism.
Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics
By [US] Gary Smith
Hina Book of Jiangxi People's Publishing House (江西人民出版社后浪出版公司)
January 2018 edition
'Let data do the work' has almost become the 'standard of truth' in this big data era. On Weibo and WeChat, we see countless statistics published every day, ranging from economic performance and demographics to the chance of a Scorpio romantic meeting in August. This book is a collection of examples of people who were deceived by big data statistics in their lives. Gary Smith, the author of the book, taught at Yale University for seven years. His statistics course is one of the most popular at Yale.
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity
By [UK] Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott
CITIC Press Group
July 2018 edition
If the prediction in the book A Brief History of Humankind that human beings can live to 150 years old is still far off, then with the rapid development of medicine and genetic technology, it is becoming more and more common to live to 100 years old. Lynda Gratton, an economist at London Business School, and psychologist Andrew Scott believe that people born at the beginning of the 21st century will have a 50 percent chance of surviving to the age of 100. Such a population will also be common in developing countries, and humankind will enter a new era of longevity.
Technology and Status of State Power: The World Economy from 1200 to 1945
By Wang Jue
Social Sciences Academic Press (China)
April 2018 edition
After the 'ZTE event' erupted onto the world scene in April, the topic of science and technology has received an unprecedented level of attention. Coincidentally, the book's focus, the relationship between technology and statehood, fits into the thinking that arose after the US banned sales of its microprocessors to ZTE.
The author examines the different performances of technology, institutions and markets in national competitions since the 13th century. It shows that technology has led to the rise and decline of a country, and reveals that after the Industrial Revolution, the expansion of advanced countries had shifted from military, market and institutional expansion to technological expansion. Through a historical survey of more than 100 countries and over 100 technological changes, the book attempts to show that the decisive factor in achieving and maintaining a country's advanced position is technology, not institutions or markets, and most of the differences in economic growth between countries can be explained by technological differences.
Editor: Ben Armour