Category Archives: Business and Finance

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

super-freakonomics2-2-555x710

Originally published: October 20, 2009

Authors: Stephen J. Dubner, Steven Levitt

Genre: Non-fiction

Publisher: William Morrow and Company

Country: USA

100 Word Book Review:

Economics is the science which studies human behaviour through motivation and choices. Through the authors, economist Levitt and journalist Dubner, they explore and demystify social issues that yield bizarre and interesting results. Social questions such as how are street prostitutes like a department-store Santa, why blow jobs are much less expensive now compared to the past, why terrorists are usually from middle class but not from the poorer families as commonly thought, and etc. These issues are presented in a concise yet detailed manner, allowing anyone with zero economic knowledge to understand the possibilities, and rationale behind such societal phenomenon.

100

Advertisements

The Weather Makers: Our Changing Climate and What It Means For Life on Earth – Timothy Flannery

The Weather Makers: Our Changing Climate and What It Means For Life on Earth
The Weather Makers: Our Changing Climate and What It Means For Life on Earth

One of our favourite books of 2006

The Weather Makers tells the dramatic story of the earth’s climate, of how it has changed, how we have come to understand it, and of what that means for the future. Tim Flannery’s gripping narrative takes the reader on an extraordinary journey into the past and around the globe, bringing us closer to the science than ever before. Along the way he explodes the many illusions that have grown up around this subject.

BooksAvenue price: S$10

(60% Discount)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Book wrap service available at S$2/-
  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success

The most successful may not be the smartest or hardest working. Shift rather to where they are from. What is their culture, family, generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing? Where and when were they born? From Asian maths students to the British Beatles, stereotypes can be addressed through different eyes.

BooksAvenue price: S$10

(60% Discount)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Book wrap service available at S$2/-
  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail and Why We Believe Them Anyway – Dan Gardner

Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail - and Why We Believe Them Anyway
Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway

 

In 2008, as the price of oil surged above $140 a barrel, experts said it would soon hit $200; a few months later it plunged to $30. In 1967, they said the USSR would have one of the fastest-growing economies in the year 2000; in 2000, the USSR did not exist. In 1911, it was pronounced that there would be no more wars in Europe; we all know how that turned out. Face it, experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys. And yet every day we ask them to predict the future — everything from the weather to the likelihood of a catastrophic terrorist attack. Future Babble is the first book to examine this phenomenon, showing why our brains yearn for certainty about the future, why we are attracted to those who predict it confidently, and why it’s so easy for us to ignore the trail of outrageously wrong forecasts.

In this fast-paced, example-packed, sometimes darkly hilarious book, journalist Dan Gardner shows how seminal research by UC Berkeley professor Philip Tetlock proved that pundits who are more famous are less accurate — and the average expert is no more accurate than a flipped coin. Gardner also draws on current research in cognitive psychology, political science, and behavioral economics to discover something quite reassuring: The future is always uncertain, but the end is not always near.

 

BooksAvenue price: S$15

(50% Discount)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

The Management Myth: Debunking the Modern Philosophy of Business – Matthew Stewart

The Management Myth: Debunking the Modern Philosophy of Business
The Management Myth: Debunking the Modern Philosophy of Business

“Entertaining and slightly shocking.”

— Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

“Consistently entertaining and enlightening.”

— Harvard Business Review

“Gleefully revealing the magician’s tricks, Stewart takes readers on a whirlwind tour of how [the consulting] industry came to be a powerhouse. Filled with fascinating insider anecdotes and featuring a who’s who in the consulting world … this wry, absorbing book will enlighten executives about the value consultants actually bring to their clients.”

— Publishers Weekly

Don’t go to business school. Study philosophy.

Fresh from Oxford with a degree in philosophy and no particular interest in business, Matthew Stewart might not have seemed a likely candidate to become a consultant. But soon, he was telling veteran managers how to run their companies.

Striking fear into the hearts of clients with his swift, sharp analytical tools, Stewart lived in hotel rooms and got fat on expense account cuisine – until finally, he decided to turn the consultant’s merciless, penetrating eye on the whole management industry itself – the business schools, the consultancies, the gurus, and those lavishly compensated CEOs.

How do so many who know so little make so much by telling other people how to do the jobs they are paid to know how to do? Why do people pursue expensive graduate degrees that have no demonstrable effect on their performance? Why do so many bad books of management advice sell so well? How can I get a job where I make millions in stock options and then leave my company in the dust?

Alongside his devastating critique of management “philosophy” from Frederick Taylor to Tom Peters, Stewart provides a bitingly funny account of his own days in an ethically-challenged management consulting firm.

 

BooksAvenue price: S$15

(60% Discount)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

Superfreakonomics – Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Superfreakonomics - Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
Superfreakonomics – Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling over four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world. Now, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with SuperFreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.

Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What’s more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it’s so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary?

SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as:

  1. How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
  2. Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?
  3. How much good do car seats do?
  4. What’s the best way to catch a terrorist?
  5. Did TV cause a rise in crime?
  6. What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common?
  7. Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness?
  8. Can eating kangaroo save the planet?
  9. Which adds more value: a pimp or a Realtor?

Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is – good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky.

Freakonomics has been imitated many times over – but only now, with SuperFreakonomics, has it met its match.

BooksAvenue price: S$20

(35% Discount)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Book wrap service available at S$2/-
  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

———————————————————-

Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story Of How Wall Street And Washington Fought To Save The Financial System And Themselves – Andrew Ross Sorkin

Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story Of How Wall Street And Washington Fought To Save The Financial System And Themselves - Andrew Ross Sorkin
Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story Of How Wall Street And Washington Fought To Save The Financial System And Themselves – Andrew Ross Sorkin

Sorkin writes about the months after the sale of the Bear Stearns brokerage firm, up through the collapse of Lehman Brothers…and, finally, to “the bailout,” or what government officials prefer to call “TARP”—Troubled Asset Relief Program. It was a desperate time, one which turned conventional politics on its head. Both parties—voting against their deepest-held beliefs—nearly nationalized the banks (say Republicans) or subsidized the wealthy (say Democrats).

What makes the story such fun—oh, yes, it’s fun!—are portraits of outsized personalities—brilliant, driven men and women, who get where they’ve gotten by grueling work schedules, mentors, cut-throat infighting, alliances, and stunning betrayals.

In the days leading up to the bailout, we’re privy to blow-by-blow accounts of these titans as they clash, curse, plead on bended knee, and wretch over toilet bowls. Finally, reluctantly, politicians, government officials, and bankers forge an agreement.

There are no particular villains but plenty of arrogance, blindness, and irresponsibility to go around. There are, however, heroes—Henry Paulson and his team at Treasury; Timothy Geitner, then head of NY-Federal Reserve; and Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman.

This is an ambitious undertaking for any book club. But if you’re up to it, Too Big Too Fail is an extraordinary tale about how close, how very close, we came to a total global meltdown.

BooksAvenue price: S$10

(60% Discount)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Book wrap service available at S$2/-
  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

———————————————————-

Dear Undercover Economist – Tim Harford

Dear Undercover Economist - Tim Harford
Dear Undercover Economist – Tim Harford

An economist’s version of The Way Things Work, this engaging volume is part field guide to economics and part expose of the economic principles lurking behind daily events, explaining everything from traffic jams to high coffee prices.

The Undercover Economist is for anyone who’s wondered why the gap between rich and poor nations is so great, or why they can’t seem to find a decent second-hand car, or how to outwit Starbucks.

This book offers the hidden story behind these and other questions, as economist Tim Harford ranges from Africa, Asia, Europe, and of course the United States to reveal how supermarkets, airlines, and coffee chains–to name just a few–are vacuuming money from our wallets. Harford punctures the myths surrounding some of today’s biggest controversies, including the high cost of health-care; he reveals why certain environmental laws can put a smile on a landlord’s face; and he explains why some industries can have high profits for innocent reasons, while in other industries something sinister is going on. Covering an array of economic concepts including scarce resources, market power, efficiency, price gouging, market failure, inside information, and game theory, Harford sheds light on how these forces shape our day-to-day lives, often without our knowing it.

Showing us the world through the eyes of an economist, Tim Harford reveals that everyday events are intricate games of negotiations, contests of strength, and battles of wits. Written with a light touch and sly wit, The Undercover Economist turns “the dismal science” into a true delight.

 

BooksAvenue price: S$10

(60% Discount)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Book wrap service available at S$2/-
  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

———————————————————-

 

Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall Of Rjr Nabisco – Bryan Burrough And John Helyar

Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall Of Rjr Nabisco - Bryan Burrough And John Helyar
Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall Of Rjr Nabisco – Bryan Burrough And John Helyar

“Barbarians at the Gate” has been called one of the most influential business books of all time — the definitive account of the largest takeover in Wall Street history. Bryan Burrough and John Helyar’s gripping account of the frenzy that overtook Wall Street in October and November of 1988 is the story of deal makers and publicity flaks, of strategy meetings and society dinners, of boardrooms and bedrooms — giving us not only a detailed look at how financial operations at the highest levels are conducted but also a richly textured social history of wealth at the twilight of the Reagan era.

“Barbarians at the Gate” — a business narrative classic — is must reading for everyone interested in the way today’s world “really” works.

BooksAvenue price: S$10

(SOLD)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Book wrap service available at S$2/-
  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

———————————————————-

The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide To Management – Alan Murray

 The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide To Management - Alan Murray

The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide To Management – Alan Murray

From The Wall Street Journal comes the definitive guide to management ideas and practices with lasting impact.

For decades, understanding management—what works, and what doesn’t—has been the pursuit of the world’s best and brightest. Globally, there are more than 1,500 credible schools offering master’s degrees in business administration, and hundreds of magazines and newspapers and thousands of books devoted to the subject. What’s been missing is a simple and convenient way to disseminate the best ideas and practices to managers everywhere, at all levels and in all kinds of industries and organizations.

The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Management draws the best from the existing body of knowledge and research, and summarizes it in a simple, clear, and useful way. Focusing on classic and contemporary works that have been recommended by members of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council—all chief executives of large and successful global companies—it is an invaluable reference and essential tool for every manager, new and experienced alike.

BooksAvenue price: S$15

(40% Discount)

With delivery charge of S$3.00 per title,

PLUS,

  • Book wrap service available at S$2/-
  • Free delivery for purchase over S$50
  • Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook~! :)

Click here to order (Opens in a new window)

———————————————————-