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Patrick Darmon (Paris, France)
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The Undercover Economist (Abacus 40th Anniversary)
The Undercover Economist (Abacus 40th Anniversary)
by Tim Harford
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Til Hartford did not write that book when he was 10 !!!, 31 Mar 2013
The book is excellent, I read it when it was actually published some 6-7 years ago BUT not 40 years ago ... so what is the point of this "4Oth anniversary edition" ? Unless you refer to hartford birthday - which is ridiculous - there is no reason to publish such an anniversary edition !
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2013 6:18 PM BST


Time To Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline
Time To Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline
by Edward Luce
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.03

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars America on the way to become like ...France ?, 4 Sep 2012
Luce has written a very interesting and convincing case about America's decline. He examines differents themes that are associated with this situation :
- the vanishing middle class
- education
- Innovation
- Government and politics covers the last three chapters (almost half of the book)

To me, the most alarming issue was innovation, nevertheless the situation is not better with respect to the other topics.

Many books have been written about america's decline - most have been written before it was even a possibility - nevertheless, I feel the topics covered was right on the spot and very well documented. The analysis of the "tea party" movement and washington bureacracy are also very interesting - I believe especially for europeans.

If america's decline is a "lieu commun" for many people, its impacts threaten to be much more significant than the emergence of china, as The Kagan recent - and advised - "the World America Made" makes obvious.

The "olsonian nightmare" is the key explanation that Luce provides : Mancur Olson, the brilliant swedish economist that analysed the effect of vested interests on the economy (in his case, vested interests, were trade-unions in the UK). For Luce, Vested interests are dominating the politics and its inertia seem to be the dominant force ...

The book is not perfect :
- luce point repeatedly to the fact that Chinan invest huge amounts in infrastructure and america is not, as an example of decline but who said they need to invest the same % of GDP. America's infrastructure are far from perfect but China starts from a much lower point
- Also one might have the feeling that when interviewing people, the only question is "what"s bad in here ?" forgetting the "by the way, does anyting work ?" or "is there any good news ?" - but this is a reader's feeling
- Last, and more frighteningly, Luce could have written the same book about UK or France with the same "olsonian nightmare" diagnostic ... Actually, I have wrriten this book some years ago (in French though)

And that might be the unwritten key issue of the book : America is falling but we are already down there with no bottom in sight !

Let's hope that after the "olsonian nightmare" is just a nightmare a we might wake up one day !!!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2012 12:41 PM GMT


End This Depression Now!
End This Depression Now!
by Paul Krugman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.19

35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Krugman at his best ...Required reading for Merkollande, 25 May 2012
Probably, the only book you should ever need to understand the economic crisis at its current stage. Many excellent books have been written on the economic crisis - my favorite are "how the market fail" by John Cassidy and "fault line" by Raghuram Rajan - but krugman's brings something else : a full set of analysis to reframe the "austery VS Growth" debate (By the way, at this point of time, it really is VS and not both together as the idealistic rhetoric we sometime hear !)

I tend to believe that Krugman has already being instrumental in influencing the terms of this debate in the US, Chapter 10 on Europe provides a brillant - and much awaited - analysis of the situation we're in and a "save the euro" realistic view, something in short supply by the present times ...

The book is not perfect : krugman readers will return - once again - at the washington coop for kids, demand management being the key topic, one might suspect that krugman has no clue of what supply management and long term growth is (other writings by Krugman would correct that feeling). The but for the key message it brings which in a nutshell is "forget austerity, it is self defeating, have a look at Keynes, that might be helpful", Krugman is definitely the most efficient ...

Interested readers willing to go beyond Krugman - but in the same direction - should get "the holy grail of macroeconomics" by richard Koo, same line, more detailled analysis with focus on japan lost decade (the 90's)... by the way what is the industrial country with the best performance since the year 2012 began ... Japan, the 180% debt/GDP country ...

Angela, François, read Krugman before the next "we saved Europe but nobody has noticed it" european summit
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2012 6:49 PM BST


Introduction to the Global Oil and Gas Business
Introduction to the Global Oil and Gas Business
by Samuel Van Vactor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £47.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, wrong title !, 6 Dec 2010
This is an execllent introduction to the Global Oil Industry with a strategic and economic approach. Even though the book is very short (176 pages including index) it covers all the key topics with respect to the global market. Its focus really is a detailled analysis of supply and demand (pricing, exchanges, market structure and industry organization).

I believe it is the perfect complement to "OIL 101" by Morgan Downey (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oil-101-Morgan-Downey/dp/0982039204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1291592990&sr=1-1) which is more detailled and operational. The pair will not make you an insider to the industry but you will be on the road for that !

By the way, forget "Gas", hardly any mention about gas are made in the whole book !


Electric Power System Basics for the Nonelectrical Professional (IEEE Press Series on Power Engineering)
Electric Power System Basics for the Nonelectrical Professional (IEEE Press Series on Power Engineering)
by Steven W. Blume
Edition: Paperback
Price: £53.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction on the "real thing" !, 29 Jan 2009
The energy business is first and foremost a comlex business with complex "real things".

If you are in the industry, you will already know these stuff but it is useful for beginners. The writing style is easy and it is accessible to a large public.


Electricity Markets: Pricing, Structures and Economics (The Wiley Finance Series)
Electricity Markets: Pricing, Structures and Economics (The Wiley Finance Series)
by Chris Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £85.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content !, 29 Jan 2009
This book present the single most detailled analysis of the energy industry. It covers a lot of topics including the whole value chain and the pricing of energy derivatives.

The pitch level is demanding but accessible, in other words, it is a book for "energy generalist" but not for beginners. Also some notions of energy, economics and finance will facilitate the access.

The only problem is that the writing and the book plan is sometime confusing. It is a pity since I know no other books that bring so much material on the industry dynamics of the electricity sector. Motivated reader should be warned but the effort worth it !


Fueling Our Future: An Introduction to Sustainable Energy
Fueling Our Future: An Introduction to Sustainable Energy
by Robert L. Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.75

5.0 out of 5 stars The entry level book on the topics, 29 Jan 2009
Short, to the point, no-nonsense, accurate and with a deep concerns for issue analysis and objectivity, it is the perfect entry level book on energy and sustainable development.

After that one, you can move and dig into Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options


Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options
Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options
by Jefferson W Tester
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £51.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The reference !, 29 Jan 2009
The only "one-single volume" book on energy : key issues, detailled analysis of every energy sources, focus on the industry value chain and systemic analysis for sustainability evaluation.

This book is the bible for the "sustainable energy" class at the MIT and it's been written by the various teachers of this class.

I would not recommend this book for the entry level on the topics (unless you have a wide exposure to the industry, energy sources and physics (including equations ...) but it is the perfect reference in the field.


Power System Restructuring and Deregulation: Trading Performance and Information Technology (Electrical & Electronics Engr)
Power System Restructuring and Deregulation: Trading Performance and Information Technology (Electrical & Electronics Engr)
by Loi Lei Lai
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £138.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview !, 29 Jan 2009
Good overview of the key issues and solution facing power systems, sometime a little bit too theoretical. It is the only book I know that covers IT issues in the energy sector.


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