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Klement Joachim

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In Line Behind a Billion People: Will Scarcity Stop China from Winning the Global Economic Race?
In Line Behind a Billion People: Will Scarcity Stop China from Winning the Global Economic Race?
by Damien Ma
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good summary of China's challenges, 11 May 2014
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The book provides an excellent summary of the manyfold challenges that the Chinese leadership and indeed the entire world will have to face in the coming decades. Thanks to the team of authors who have both a Western and a Chinese background the book is able to bridge the cultural gap between the Western view of China and the domestic view of the people living in the world's (second) biggest economy. This ability to discuss the challenges of China both from a Western perspective as well as a Chinese perspective is what makes this book so valuable to Westerners.

Reading this book provided me with a lot of insights on well-known challenges in China like the need to replace unsustainable investment spending with more consumption or the environmental challenges of China as well as less well-known challenges like the flood of highly trained university gradates that cannot find enough jobs because of the country's specialisation on low cost production of goods. Such episodes are, however, where the weakness of the text enters, in my view. The book draws little to no comparisons to previous episodes of emerging markets in Asia like Japan in the 1960s or South Korea that managed to transform their economy from a low-tech, low-cost manufacturing economy to more high-tech manufacturing. It is unclear whether China will be able to achieve the same feat in the future. Also, the authors put very little analysis behind the possibilities and threats of a more open economy in China with less regulated capital flows and the possibility of Chinese academics to freely leave the country and look for jobs elsewhere.

Overall then I consider this book a very valuable work for everyone interested in the challenges China faces, but with a broader scope and more analysis it would have been even better.


Handbook of Behavioral Finance
Handbook of Behavioral Finance
by Brian Bruce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £39.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice collection of recent papers on behavioural finance, 11 May 2014
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The Handbook of Behavioral Finance is an interesting collection of recent papers on behavioural finance. The book does not so much provide an introduction or even an advanced textbook for students of behavioural finance as more a collection of individual papers that are not amongst the most widely read papers on the subject. Thus, the book can provide additional input on specific topics and expand the knowledge of the reader in these specific fields.

The only thing that is missing in my view is that the book does not provide a red thread that connects the different papers so that a paper on using behavioural finance in private wealth management (very informative) is grouped together with a behavioural finance study in Malaysia (not so helpful at least if you live and work outside of Malaysia).


GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History
GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History
by Diane Coyle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource even for professionals, 11 May 2014
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Diane Coyle enjoyable book is not only an entertaining history of how GDP became the most prominent measure of economic output but also a very valuable deep dive in the uncertainties of the measurement of GDP.

Lay people who want to get an introduction into a basic economic concept will find this book not too demanding and be able to get up to speed in a very short time.

Professional economist on the other hand might find the book too superficial and not detailed enough, but as the author points out early on in the book that is a trade-off that she has made by choice.

In my view this book provides the most benefit to professional investors and financial analysts who deal with GDP numbers on a daily basis - often without fully understanding the numbers. How often have we seen a measure of income like GDP compared to specific assets like the debt of a country even though such a comparison is not technically valid? This book will help investors understand the use and limitations of GDP and the uncertainty around its measurements more thoroughly and as a result will help them make better decisions with regards to macro economic developments in different countries.


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