I love this book because it helped me understand that even experts can be blind to important features of their subjects. I have done a lot of work on country competitiveness, but if anybody had asked me in 2000 to name the top 100 conditions that underpin a thriving economy, I wouldn’t have mentioned ”a well-functioning land registry system.” Then I read de Soto’s compelling case that the ability to get clear title to a piece of land is the essential precondition for successful capitalism. That not only changed my view of economics, but it also taught me to never be too confident that I’m seeing the whole picture. You can’t see what you aren’t looking for — so get help from others who see things that you don’t!”
The most overlooked book I’ve read. Critics try to marginalize him, but a lot of people are thinking what he has the courage to say. If you want to understand why income inequality is worsening and why boom/bust cycles are getting more and more severe, read his book.
This is the best book you can read to understand the global credit crisis. It’s a short book – just 5 chapters covering Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Greece, and California. What’s particularly fascinating is how each place had a wildly different reaction to the credit glut.
What the author calls ‘Bandwagon Effects’ most people call network effects. If you are thinking about starting or investing in a business with network effects, this is the best (and only good?) book on the topic.
‘Real economists’ talk about the economics of information goods (roughly defined as zero marginal cost goods). Sometimes a bit obvious if you’ve studied economics before but overall a really interesting read. Especially like the parts on different ways to tier pricing for information goods.
The book got a lot things right, but certainly there were things that didn’t quite happen, and you always have to ask yourselves why they didn’t. This whole category of past books about the future is a very interesting one, and that is one that I always recommend very strongly.
I love books on economic observations. This is one of the best.
The best all-round account of the global financial crisis and what we should do to reduce the chances of a repetition.
Wolf offers an insightful and brutal analysis of the broad political and economic forces that have shaped the global economy in recent years, particularly in Europe.
Wolf’s book sets the crisis in the context of structural problems that set the stage for the crisis, many of which have not been mitigated (indeed some amplified) by policy hyperactivity in the wake of the crisis. While not all of the diagnoses and future policy suggestions ring true, this book will stand the test of time as an introduction to the complexity of problems that presaged the crisis.