Posts Tagged ‘Finance’

Book Review: Can Capitalism Survive?

Monday, October 26th, 2009

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Schumpeter, Joseph A. Can capitalism survive? : creative destruction and the future of the global economy. Harper Perennial, 2009.

A role of economists is to provide economic analysis of recessions such as the current one created by the financial crisis and provide strategies for restoring economic growth and prosperity.

Leading up to the current recession, The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to make housing more affordable, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac developed a federal program enabling people to qualify for homes that ordinarily would not.

Subsequently, people purchased homes they could not afford and some lost their jobs due to the recession. Wall Street banks invested too heavily in risky loans rather than diversifying, accumulating toxic assets leading to tremendous losses.

Hayek goes as far to say that central banking destabilizes the economy. In the recent recession, government intervention led to inflation, over building, a housing bubble, and then economic indicators became unrealistic.

In addition to the destabilized housing market, the financial crisis had a ripple effect on travel, retail, the automobile and oil industries, and led to significant number of lost jobs.

Can Capitalism Survive? is excerpted from Joseph Schumpeter’s 1942 classic Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. This is where he proposed business cycles are caused by technological innovation, referred to as creative destruction. In Capitalist economies, markets eliminate obsolete technologies and utilize innovations to create new avenues for economic growth. (more…)

Book Reviews: Sustainable Investing

Monday, October 19th, 2009

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Kiernan, Matthew J. Investing in a sustainable world : why GREEN is the new color of money on Wall Street. Wiley, 2009.

Krosinsky, Cary and Nick Robins, eds. Sustainable investing : the art of long-term performance. Earthscan, 2008.

Traditionally, ethical and socially responsible investing has been driven by personal values. While this approach has been successful in some sectors in the U.S. and the U.K., the mainstream institutional marketplace has been out of reach. But now, research by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors shows that companies with superior positioning on sustainability issues achieved superior financial returns. Two new books discuss how both Wall Street and Main Street are now interested in investing in ethical, social and green companies to attain long term financial performance.

In Investing in a Sustainable World, Innovest founder and CEO Matthew J. Kiernan makes the business case for integrating environmental and social considerations into investment decisions. He presents conceptual and practical tools to help investors realize environmental, social and financial objectives at the same time. (more…)

Bernie Madoff: Booked at Ford Library

Monday, September 28th, 2009

bernie made-off

The end of the Bernie Madoff story has yet to be written, but books are already rolling off the presses, including five books in the month of August alone.

Here is a list of titles just purchased by the Ford Library last week.

Tip: If any of these books are currently checked out, you can recall them by clicking the “Get this Title” text in the catalog record when you follow the links above. More about recalls

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

The Director’s Picks

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

director's picks

The Director’s Picks

Fuqua School Dean Blair Sheppard asked Ford Library Director, Meg Trauner to select 5 recent business books that should “be on his nightstand”.

Click the titles below for information on location and availability.



Book Review: While America Aged …

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

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Lowenstein, Roger. While America aged : how pension debts ruined General Motors, stopped the NYC subways, bankrupted San Diego, and loom as the next financial crisis. Penguin Press, 2008.

My sister is a salaried engineer for a company that was spun off from General Motors. She emailed recently:

Yesterday a man in sales with 25 years, and a reputation of being a very hard worker, was “let go.” The rumor is there will be 52 more salaried people let go between now and the end of next week. Interestingly, we found out that they just hired 11 salaried people. People hired after 1995 do not get the same retirement benefits as those of us hired before 1995. They are firing people who have been here a long time and replacing them with hirees with fewer retirement benefits.”

Using three case studies, this new book in the Ford Library discusses the pension crisis that is looming over American industry. Author Roger Lowenstein begins in Detroit in the 1940’s, where the UAW bargained for pensions in labor contracts. General Motors complied because promises for future benefits did not incur costs in the present. Pension and health care costs for retirees would not come due until many years in the future. Over time, the union’s success brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy as the number of retirees grew, the benefits grew and those promises came due.

Lowenstein also discusses two other cases, transport workers in New York City, whose union led a strike in 2005 that brought the city to a standstill, and the pension crisis in San Diego, sparked by city officials who doled out benefits to city workers but declined to impose higher taxes. The final chapter in the book suggests changes in the ways corporations, unions and the government manage benefits, paying for them in the present, instead of charging them to a future generation.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Inside the Meltdown

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Last night PBS aired a Frontline documentary on the cascade of financial catastrophe that begin with the rumors of Bear Stearns’ imminent failure and ended the passage of the $700 billion bailout plan. Producer/director Michael Kirk says, “How did it all go so bad so quickly? Who is responsible? How effective has the response from Washington and Wall Street been? Those are the questions at the heart of Inside the Meltdown“.

In addition to hosting the entire documentary for free on its web site, PBS also has additional interviews with Alan Greenberg, Paul Krugman, Sheila Bair, Martin Feldstein, and others.

Book Review: When Markets Collide

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

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When markets collide : investment strategies for the age of global economic change by Mohamed A. El-Erian. McGraw-Hill, 2008.

This book is about the fundamental changes that are occurring in global economic and financial systems. Existing financial infrastructures and systems are under pressure. Economic power is shifting from mature to emerging financial markets. Global growth is now influenced by former debtor nations that are building unforeseen wealth and facing unusual challenges. For investors, the transformation in the global economy has significant consequences.

Author El-Erian, CIO of PIMCO and former CEO of Harvard Management Company presents a diagnosis of the present financial turmoil and offers explicit investment advice to readers on how to exploit new opportunities and minimize exposure to changing patterns of risk.

El-Erian sees four trends: 1) Realignment in global growth 2) Return of inflation 3) Structured finance has diminished the barriers to entry 4) The transfer of wealth. He recommends that firms retool risk management and pay more attention to the middle and back-office activities that are less glamorous. He recommends that investors invest more internationally and less in the US.

This lucid explanation of the credit crisis won the 2008 Financial Times and the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year awards.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

New Database: Global Financial Data

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

GFD small screenshot

UPDATE: This database subscription was canceled in December 2010 due to cost and licensing issues. Contact a reference librarian for help identifying alternative resources.

The Ford Library announces the purchase of a subscription to Global Financial Data™ in collaboration with Duke University Libraries.

The Global Financial Data™ database – “GFDatabase” – provides easily downloadable (.csv and .xls format) time series data on over 40 categories of US and international financial and economic data from more than 200 countries. You can access GFDatabase from our web database list.

Note: some series visible in the Categories list are not part of our current subscription

Please feel free to send any comments or questions about this new database to:

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New Books for the Spring Semester

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

stack of books image courtesy of Dartmouth Univ.

The Ford Library has started off the Spring Semester by adding lots of great new books. Come check out our New Books section for even more titles than are shown here. We add many new ones every month on a wide variety of business and related topics. (Click on any of the titles below to check availability or to place a hold.)

Business Trends & Events


The Environment, Nature, and Natural Resources:

Leadership & Ethics*:

* Many leadership and ethics titles are part of the library’s Dorothea F. Peterjohn Leadership Collection

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DataStream Advance is Coming!

Monday, January 7th, 2008

ds advance screenshot

Ford Library will be replacing our old DSWindows DataStream software with an updated version of the same tool called DataStream Advance.

Advance offers numerous improvements over DSWindows DataStream:

  • a better search tool for locating mnemonics and data
  • better and easier to use Help and data definition files
  • mnemonics are pulled dynamically from Datastream’s remote servers (no more manual code updates!)
  • search output can go directly to Excel instead of CSV files
  • search output is configured for user’s personal network drive (no more USB drives needed!)

DataStream Advance is already installed on the 3 workstations nearest the printers in the Library Database Room, and is ready for users to try out.

The Advance user interface is quite different from the old DSWindows interface, and we strongly recommend that users take a look at Advance’s built-in tutorials. NYU has also created an excellent tutorial for Advance.

DSWindows will remain available until January 31st after which time we’ll remove it from all workstations in the Database Room.

Please let us know if you have questions, or need help with DataStream Advance.

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