Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well-being, as if by an invisible hand. In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize–winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm as well as help us. As long as there is profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our ignorance through manipulation and deception. Rather than being essentially benign and always creating the greater good, markets are inherently filled with tricks and traps and will "phish" us as "phools."
Phishing for Phools therefore strikes a radically new direction in economics, based on the intuitive idea that markets both give and take away. Akerlof and Shiller bring this idea to life through dozens of stories that show how phishing affects everyone, in almost every walk of life. We spend our money up to the limit, and then worry about how to pay the next month's bills. The financial system soars, then crashes. We are attracted, more than we know, by advertising. Our political system is distorted by money. We pay too much for gym memberships, cars, houses, and credit cards. Drug companies ingeniously market pharmaceuticals that do us little good, and sometimes are downright dangerous.
Phishing for Phools explores the central role of manipulation and deception in fascinating detail in each of these areas and many more. It thereby explains a paradox: why, at a time when we are better off than ever before in history, all too many of us are leading lives of quiet desperation. At the same time, the book tells stories of individuals who have stood against economic trickery—and how it can be reduced through greater knowledge, reform, and regulation.
For the past few decades, the financial world has often displayed an unreasonable willingness to believe that "the model is right, the market is wrong," in spite of the fact that these theoretical machinations were largely responsible for the stock market crash of 1987, the LTCM crisis of 1998, the credit crisis of 2008, and many other blow-ups, large and small. Why have both financial insiders (traders, risk managers, executives) and outsiders (academics, journalists, regulators, the public) consistently demonstrated a willingness to treat quantifications as gospel? Nassim Taleb first addressed the conflicts between theoretical and real finance in his technical treatise on options, Dynamic Hedging. Now, in Lecturing Birds on Flying, Pablo Triana offers a powerful indictment on the trustworthiness of financial theory, explaining—in jargon-free plain English—how malfunctions in these quantitative machines have wreaked havoc in our real world.
Triana first analyzes the fundamental question of whether financial markets can in principle really be solved mathematically. He shows that the markets indeed cannot be tamed with equations, presenting a long and powerful list of obstacles to prove his point: maverick unlawful human actions rule the markets, unexpected and unimaginable events shape the markets, and historical data is not necessarily a trustworthy guide to the future of the markets. The author then examines the sources of origin of many prevalent theories and mathematical dictums. He details how the field of financial economics evolved from a descriptive discipline to an abstract one dedicated to technically concocting professors' own versions of how such a world should work. He goes on to explain how Wall Street and other financial centers became eager employers of scientists, and how scientists became eager employees of financial firms. Triana concludes with an in-depth discussion of the most significant historical episodes of theory-caused real-life market malaise, with a strong emphasis on the current credit crisis.
In the end, Lecturing Birds on Flying calls for the radical substitution of good old-fashioned common sense in place of mathematical decision-making and the restoration to financial power of those who are completely unchained to the iron ball of classroom-obtained qualifications.
For many business owners, cashing out of a business is a lifelong dream. For some, exiting a business can be a nightmare. Business Exit Planning: Options, Value Enhancement, and Transaction Management for Business Owners provides a comprehensive view of what every business owner needs to know to plan and execute a business exit. The book
Regardless of whether a business owner seeks an immediate exit or a staged exit over time, Business Exit Planning provides a comprehensive strategy and road map to define exit-related objectives.
In Your Best Just Got Better, productivity expert Jason Womack teaches readers that working longer hours doesn't make up for a flawed approach to productivity and performance. Workers need to clarify their habits, build mindset-based strategies, and be proactive. Womack's signature "workplace performance" techniques offer specific strategies to consistently and incrementally improve performance.
Readers will:Understand the fundamentals of workflow and the principles of human performance Arm themselves with the tools and the processes to get more of their work done, on time, with fewer resources, and with less stress
Making your best better won't happen overnight, but learning how to effectively manage just a few critical success factors lead to an effective workday and an overall successful professional career.
De Weert begins by explaining the risks associated with trading an exotic option before dissecting these risks through a detailed analysis of the actual economics and Greeks rather than solely stating the mathematical formulae. The book limits the use of mathematics to explain exotic options from an economic and risk perspective by means of real life examples leading to a practical interpretation of the mathematical pricing formulae.
The book covers conventional options, digital options, barrier options, cliquets, quanto options, outperformance options and variance swaps, and explains difficult concepts in simple terms, with a practical approach that gives the reader a full understanding of every aspect of each exotic option. The book also discusses structured notes with exotic options embedded in them, such as reverse convertibles, callable and puttable reverse convertibles and autocallables and shows the rationale behind these structures and their associated risks.
For each exotic option, the author makes clear why there is an investor demand; explains where the risks lie and how this affects the actual pricing; shows how best to hedge any vega or gamma exposure embedded in the exotic option and discusses the skew exposure.
By explaining the practical implications for every exotic option and how it affects the price, in addition to the necessary mathematical derivations and tools for pricing exotic options, Exotic Options Trading removes the mystique surrounding exotic options in order to give the reader a full understanding of every aspect of each exotic option, creating a useable tool for dealing with exotic options in practice.
“Although exotic options are not a new subject in finance, the coverage traditionally afforded by many texts is either too high level or overly mathematical. De Weert's exceptional text fills this gap superbly. It is a rigorous treatment of a number of exotic structures and includes numerous examples to clearly illustrate the principles. What makes this book unique is that it manages to strike a fantastic balance between the theory and actual trading practice. Although it may be something of an overused phrase to describe this book as compulsory reading, I can assure any reader they will not be disappointed.”
—Neil Schofield, Training Consultant and author of Commodity Derivatives: Markets and Applications
“Exotic Options Trading does an excellent job in providing a succinct and exhaustive overview of exotic options. The real edge of this book is that it explains exotic options from a risk and economical perspective and provides a clear link to the actual profit and pricing formulae. In short, a must read for anyone who wants to get deep insights into exotic options and start trading them profitably.”
Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of animal spirits, a term John Maynard Keynes used to describe the gloom and despondence that led to the Great Depression and the changing psychology that accompanied recovery. Like Keynes, Akerlof and Shiller know that managing these animal spirits requires the steady hand of government--simply allowing markets to work won't do it. In rebuilding the case for a more robust, behaviorally informed Keynesianism, they detail the most pervasive effects of animal spirits in contemporary economic life--such as confidence, fear, bad faith, corruption, a concern for fairness, and the stories we tell ourselves about our economic fortunes--and show how Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and the rational expectations revolution failed to account for them.
Animal Spirits offers a road map for reversing the financial misfortunes besetting us today. Read it and learn how leaders can channel animal spirits--the powerful forces of human psychology that are afoot in the world economy today. In a new preface, they describe why our economic troubles may linger for some time--unless we are prepared to take further, decisive action.
In this highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini—the seminal expert in the field of influence and persuasion—explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations.
You’ll learn the six universal principles of influence and how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and, just as importantly, how to defend yourself against dishonest influence attempts:Reciprocation: The internal pull to repay what another person has provided us.Commitment and Consistency: Once we make a choice or take a stand, we work to behave consistently with that commitment in order to justify our decisions.Social Proof: When we are unsure, we look to similar others to provide us with the correct actions to take. And the more, people undertaking that action, the more we consider that action correct.Liking: The propensity to agree with people we like and, just as important, the propensity for others to agree with us, if we like them.Authority: We are more likely to say “yes” to others who are authorities, who carry greater knowledge, experience or expertise.Scarcity: We want more of what is less available or dwindling in availability.
Understanding and applying the six principles ethically is cost-free and deceptively easy. Backed by Dr. Cialdini’s 35 years of evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific research—as well as by a three-year field study on what moves people to change behavior—Influence is a comprehensive guide to using these principles effectively to amplify your ability to change the behavior of others.
"Ariely not only gives us a great read; he also makes us much wiser."
—George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics
—New York Times Book Review
Why do our headaches persist after we take a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a fifty-cent aspirin? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup?
When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we?
In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.
In a world in which internet troll farms attempt to influence foreign elections, can we afford to ignore the power of viral stories to affect economies? In this groundbreaking book, Nobel Prize–winning economist and New York Times bestselling author Robert Shiller offers a new way to think about the economy and economic change. Using a rich array of historical examples and data, Shiller argues that studying popular stories that affect individual and collective economic behavior—what he calls "narrative economics"—has the potential to vastly improve our ability to predict, prepare for, and lessen the damage of financial crises, recessions, depressions, and other major economic events.
Spread through the public in the form of popular stories, ideas can go viral and move markets—whether it's the belief that tech stocks can only go up, that housing prices never fall, or that some firms are too big to fail. Whether true or false, stories like these—transmitted by word of mouth, by the news media, and increasingly by social media—drive the economy by driving our decisions about how and where to invest, how much to spend and save, and more. But despite the obvious importance of such stories, most economists have paid little attention to them. Narrative Economics sets out to change that by laying the foundation for a way of understanding how stories help propel economic events that have had led to war, mass unemployment, and increased inequality.
The stories people tell—about economic confidence or panic, housing booms, the American dream, or Bitcoin—affect economic outcomes. Narrative Economics explains how we can begin to take these stories seriously. It may be Robert Shiller's most important book to date.