Reviews Of New Books - May 9, 2021

● Strategic Risk Management: Designing Portfolios and Managing Risk
Campbell R. Harvey, et al.
Interview with co-author (Sandy Rattray) via HedgeWeek
Rattray – who has co-authored a new book on strategic risk management along with Man Group strategy advisor Professor Campbell Harvey, and Otto Van Hemert, director of core strategies at quant-focused Man AHL – believes the upheaval of the past 12 months have rendered tail event predictions “nearly impossible.”
Their new book, titled Strategic Risk Management: Designing Portfolios and Managing Risk, explores how risk management should be incorporated into the core design of investment portfolios, and examines how portfolio balancing and balanced return streams can be achieved through volatility targeting of higher-risk asset classes, and which defensive strategies offer capital protection.

 

● Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe
Niall Ferguson
Summary via publisher (Penguin Press)
Drawing from multiple disciplines, including economics, cliodynamics, and network science, Doom offers not just a history but a general theory of disasters, showing why our ever more bureaucratic and complex systems are getting worse at handing them. Doom is the lesson of history that this country–indeed the West as a whole–urgently needs to learn, if we want to handle the next crisis better, and to avoid the ultimate doom of irreversible decline.

● The Premonition: A Pandemic Story
Michael Lewis
Review via NPR
According to Lewis, the tragedy that became the American coronavirus pandemic was a perfect storm of the reaction of the president at the time, Donald Trump, the long history of politicization of the CDC and the lack of a public health care system all coming together.
“I think all my characters would say that because of the way we fail to govern ourselves, the way we fail to create a system, this would have been pretty bad under almost any administration and that it would have exposed the holes in the system and the weaknesses in the system, the absence of the system,” Lewis says.

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Disclosures: None.

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