Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quick Notes - Online portals to great Economic/Financial/Political knowledge

Currently reading Daron Acemoglu's and James Robinson's book: Why Nations Fail.

The book takes on a tricky subject (comparing first world countries and their political/economic institutions to those in second and third world countries) and constructs a powerful premise: what makes a country fail is not necessarily its geography and/or culture as others have pointed out - maybe "fortunate accidents" that led countries to adopt more inclusive economic and political institutions are the main reason some nations are better off than others.

Heard about this book when Denisse Dresser, a Mexican political analyst, pointed out its relevance in a recent conference I attended, where this year's Mexican political scandals and current economic woes were the main focus of her discussion.

"Why Nations Fail" serves as an alternative world history tour guide, linking major world events and their outcomes to their ensuing consequences, its effect on countries (as well as regions and whole continents) and their political/socio-economic status, leading up to the present. 

A great online book review by Economist David Levine can serve as an excellent executive summary for anyone looking to get a quick rundown. 

More on this and reactions to Acemoglu's and Robinson's theories soon...

Also regularly checking out NYU's Stern School of Business' Prof. Aswath Damodaran's website, a haven for any finance autodidact out there who wants to know more about valuation (check out Damodaran taking on Uber), corporate finance and portfolio management (Damodaran says finance can be "divided into these three main areas").

Finally...taking a few moments a week to read some literature. Finally got my hands on an english translation of a Patrick Modiano book (Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas). A powerful and very melancholic literary journey to the darkest part of people's memories, in post world war two France.

Growth through knowledge, into itself and growing.