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  • Book Review -- The Invisible Hook
    The Invisible Hook Many of us had our first experience with pirates as children when our parents would read us stories before bedtime. Pirates, it seemed, ruled the sea without regard for law, consequence, or order. Anyone who got in their way was forced to walk the plank or face other, more gruesome, punishment.

    As an adult I’ve always been interested in learning more about these curious people and exploring the many unanswered pirate questions childhood left behind.

    As a trained economist with a fascination for pirates, Peter Leeson analyses pirate behavior and practices through an economic lens. Leeson, without telling you, teaches both economics and history to an interested reader. A pirate ship, like a democratic government, was designed to have checks and balances. Power was shared among a ship’s officers to prevent tyranny and power-positions were often voted on by the crew. Ship captains, unlike our modern day Wall-Street counterparts, took a very small share of the total loot.

    Overall, I found exploring the incentives of when and why pirates killed, how they governed their ship, and the fascinating tale of economics and history to be a worthy read. This book demonstrates there was honor among thieves as well as organized rules. I would recommend this book to anyone interest in economics and/or pirates.

    Disclosure: No positions
    Princeton University Press
    Jan 01 3:19 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Book Review The Price of Everything

    Ramon, a Stanford University student, is outraged to find out that a nearby mega-store hiked prices the night of a disaster and he plans to take action against the price-gouging retailer.

    Most of us in Ramon’s situation would be equally outraged, but we should stop and reconsider. There is more to the price hike than meets the eye. Ramon is forced to reconsider everything he thought he knew after crossing paths with an economics professor. In talking with Ramon, the professor effortlessly explains hard to grasp economic ideas in easily understood language.

    The Price of Everything masterfully illuminates how free markets—despite drawbacks--has lead to one of the greatest economic revolutions in history.

    Economist and author Russell Roberts passionately argues that the emergent order of capitalism brings prosperity and order to our daily lives.

    This should be mandatory reading for all students of life.

    Jul 07 5:14 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Book Review: Investment Under Uncertainty

    Companies will never have complete information when making investment decisions. However, even in this uncertain environment they must continue to make investment decisions. Waiting for more information might lead to better decisions -- on the other hand it might mean you lose an opportunity to invest.

    The main contribution of Dixit and Pindyck’s work was to apply option pricing theory to capital investment decisions. While this might be old news today at the time of publishing (1994) few people recognized the value of waiting in an investment decision and fewer still understood how existing option theory could be applied to offer more understanding.

    This book is an expanded version of an Academic paper and not intended for the casual reader. Although relatively easy to follow and clearly written, the book can be a little intimidating to the layman with no interest in math.



    Jun 09 6:55 AM | Link | Comment!
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