Small Money, Big Impact: Fighting Poverty With Microfinance by Peter Fanconi and Patrick Scheurle

The Blurb On The Back:

Small Money Big Impact brilliantly illustrates what microfinance is, how it works and all the ways microloans and impact investing can be a socially and financially rewarding asset class.

Impact investing is a global megatrend and is reshaping the way people invest as pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices and private investors jump on board.

However, more than two billion people still lack access to basic financial services so opportunities abound.  This first-of-its-kind guide offers in-depth, yet accessible coverage to making a social and environmental impact, while benefitting from competitive, consistent and uncorrelated returns.  Returns that have proven themselves for well over a decade.

Gain expert-level understanding of both the processes and investment vehicles used in microfinance as well as an awareness of the power this asset class has to enrich the impoverished.

– Explore the global impact investing phenomenon.

– Learn how microloans work, and how they make a difference.

– Discover why investors are increasingly leaning into impact investing.

– Consider the factors that inform impact investing decisions.

Small Money Big Impact has your complete solution to using a small amount of capital to make the world a better place and sustain a robust portfolio. 

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The Ascendancy Of Finance by Joseph Vogl

The Blurb On The Back:

The global financial crisis of 2008 ushered in a system of informal decision-making in the grey zone between economics and politics.  Legitimised by a rhetoric of emergency, ad hoc bodies have usurped democratically elected governments.  In line with the neoliberal credo, the recent crisis has been used to re-align executive power with the interests of the finance industry.

In this important book, Joseph Vogl offers a longer perspective on these developments, showing how the dynamics of modern finance capitalism have always rested on a complex and constantly evolving relationship between private creditors and the state.  He argues that over the last three centuries, finance has become a ‘fourth power’, marked by the systematic interconnection of treasury and finance, of political and private economic interests.

The Ascendency Of Finance provides valuable and unsettling insight into the genesis of modern power and where it truly resides.

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What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax by James Hannam

The Blurb On The Back:

What the taxman hopes you won’t find out.

What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax is an entertaining and informative guide to the tax system in the United Kingdom.  This easy to understand explanation of tax and tax policy is written for the layman, with no accounting or legal background necessary.  It lifts the fog surrounding the latest political arguments and public controversies over taxation, including the effect of Brexit, whether multinational companies are unfairly avoiding their dues, the special privileges of the ultra-wealthy non-doms and more.

Tax expert and historian James Hannam gives insight on every aspect of the tax system, along with practical case studies illustrating how taxation functions in the real world.  He shows how taxes are kept as invisible as possible, why there are so many different taxes and how they almost all end up being paid by ordinary people.  Having read this book, you will:

–           Find out how much of your money goes in taxes without your noticing it

–           Understand the logic behind the wrinkles and foibles in the UK tax system

–           See through the cant of politicians and the media on the subject of tax

Above all, this book shows how, when it comes to tax, there are no easy answers.  May yourself a better-informed voter and taxpayer by reading What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax!

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The M&A Formula by Peter Zink Secher and Ian Horley

The Blurb On The Back:

The turnkey M&A system for growing your business.

The M&A Formula culls the wisdom and experience of the most recognised M&A leaders in the boardroom and lecture hall to give everyone a clear path to repeatable M&A wins.  This pioneering, three-step formula to M&A success is already disrupting conventional practices; lighting the way for innovative, data-backed tactics for locking in advantageous deals, and avoiding costly litigation and outright failures.  Illuminating case studies and hard-won advice from high-profile authorities clearly demonstrate how global corporates and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can fully benefit from this proven approach.

Everything you need to confidently call the shots in your next M&A deal is inside, including:

– The secret to pinning down how a business should benefit from an M&A deal by specifically identifying the business model drivers.

– Concrete strategies for nurturing the right corporate culture of strong leadership and communication so teams can thrive through M&A deals.

– All the tools and insight to take control of the entire transaction without having to blindly rely on external M&A advisors, while still leveraging their expertise.

Erase “failure” and “uncertainty” from your M&A vocabulary with The M&A Formula.

M&A is by far the fastest and most effective way to bring in the new talent, resources and products your organisation needs to gain a competitive advantage.  However, prevalent data shows that typical M&A only succeeds 20-40% of the time.  The future of your company shouldn’t come down to a coin flip.  With The M&A Formula, you can take control of this complex process and blow away the odds.

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Platform Capitalism by Nick Srnicek

The Blurb On The Back:

What unites Google and Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, Siemens and GE, Uber and Airbnb?  Across a wide range of sectors, these firms are turning into platforms: businesses that provide the hardware and software foundation for others to operate on.  This transformation signals a major shift in how capitalist firms operate and how they interact with the rest of the economy: the emergence of ‘platform capitalism’.

Platform Capitalism critically examines these new business forms, tracing their genesis from the long downturn of the 1970s to the boom and bust of the 1990s and the aftershocks of the 2008 crisis.  It shows how the foundations of the economy are rapidly being carved up among a small number of monopolistic platforms and how the platform introduces new tendencies within capitalism that pose significant challenges to any vision of a post-capitalist future.  This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the most powerful tech companies of our time are transforming the global economy. 

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The Money Formula: Dodgy Finance, Pseudo Science And How Mathematicians Took Over The Markets by Paul Wilmott and David Orrell

The Blurb On The Back:

There is no blurb on the back, but there are the following quotes:

“This book has humour, attitude, clarity, science and common sense; it pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.” 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Scholar and former trader

 

”There are lots of people who’d prefer you didn’t read this book: financial advisors, pension fund managers, regulators and more than a few politicians.  That’s because it makes plain their complicity in a trillion dollar scam that nearly destroyed the global financial system.  Insiders Wilmott and Orrell explain how it was done, how to stop it happening again – and why those with the power to act are so reluctant to wield it.” 

Robert Matthews, Author of Chancing It: The Laws Of Chance And How They Can Work For You

 

”Few contemporary developments are more important – and more terrifying – than the increasing power of the financial system in the global economy.  This book makes it clear that this system is operated either by people who don’t know what they are doing or who are so greed-stricken that they don’t care.  Risk is at dangerous levels.  Can this be fixed?  It can and this book – full of healthy scepticism and high expertise – shows how.” 

Bryan Appleyard, Author and Sunday Times writer

 

”In a financial world that relies more and more on models that fewer and fewer people understand, this is an essential, deeply insightful as well as entertaining read.”

Joris Luyendijk, Author of Swimming With Sharks: My Journey Into The World Of The Bankers

 

”A fresh and lively explanation of modern quantitative finance, its perils and what we might do to protect against a repeat of disasters like 2008-09.  This insightful, important and original critique of the financial system is also fun to read.” 

Edward O. Thorp, Author of A Man For All Markets and New York Times bestseller Beat The Dealer

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Why Wall Street Matters by William D. Cohan

The Blurb On The Back:

”This is my effort to pry open the black box that Wall Street has carefully constructed around itself in the last generation, much to its detriment.  It’s a black box that makes it almost impossible for the average American to understand what goes on there, why it is important to nearly everything we hold dear, and why we wouldn’t much like to live in a world without Wall Street.”

If you like your smartphone or your widescreen TV, your car or your pension, then, whether you know it or not, you are a fan of Wall Street.

William D. Cohan, bestselling author of House of Cards, has long been critical of the bad behaviour that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and, as an ex-banker, he is an expert on its inner workings as well.  But in recent years he has become alarmed by the vitriol directed at the bankers, traders and executives who keep the wheels of our economy turning.  Why Wall Street Matters is a timely and trenchant reminder of the actual good these institutions do and the dire consequences for us all if the essential role they play in making our lives better is carelessly curtailed.

In a brisk, non-nonsense narrative, Cohan traces the history of Wall Street from a handful of traders on a cobblestone street in downtown Manhattan to the global financial behemoth it is today.  Along the way, he argues that Wall Street and the big banks, with their important interstitial role between those who have capital and those who need it, are the invisible, albeit flawed, engines that power our ideas.  Instead of denigrated, they should be celebrated and made to work better for us.

Maybe you think the banks should be broken up and the bankers held accountable for what happened in 2008.  Maybe you hate the greed of Wall Street but know that it’s important to the world economy.  Maybe you don’t really understand Wall Street, and phrases such as credit default swap make your eyes glaze over.  Maybe you think President Trump is America’s saviour or believe that he will destroy everything.

Whoever you are, whatever you think, the blunt, brief and utterly accessible Why Wall Street Matters will be your beacon through the fog.

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The Fix by Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch

The Blurb On The Back:

”The first thing you think is, where’s the edge?  Where can I make a bit more money?  You want every little bit of money that you can possibly get because, like I say, that is how you are judged: that is your performance metric.”

– Tom Hayes, convicted former trader for UBS and Citigroup

The Fix, by award-winning Bloomberg journalists Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch, is the inside story of the Libor scandal told through the journey of the man at the center of it – Tom Hayes, a young, scruffy, socially awkward misfit from England whose genius for math and obsessive personality made him a trading phenomenon but ultimately paved the way for his own downfall.   

In the midst of the financial crisis, Hayes and his network of traders and brokers from Wall Street’s leading firms engineered the biggest financial conspiracy ever seen.  As the rest of the world burned, they came together on secret chat rooms and late-night phone calls to hatch an audacious plan to rig Libor.  Without the persistence of a rag-tag team of investigators from the US, they would have gotten away with it …

Based on hundreds of interviews opening up unprecedented access to the traders and brokers involved in the scandal, the regulators and central bankers who failed to stop it and the investigators who caught up with them, The Fix provides a rare look into the dark heart of global finance at the start of the 21st century.

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Nothing But A Circus: Misadventures Among The Powerful by Daniel Levin

The Blurb On The Back:

In this eye-opening exploration of the human weakness for power, Daniel Levin takes us on a journey through the absurd world of our global elites, drawing unforgettable sketches of some of the puppets who stand guard, and the jugglers and conjurers employed within.  Most spectacular of all, however, are the astonishing contortions performed by those closest to the top in order to maintain the illusion of integrity, decency and public service.

Based on the author’s first hand experiences of dealing with governments and political institutions around the world, NOTHING BUT A CIRCUS offers a rare glimpse of the conversations that happen behind closed doors, observing the appalling lengths that people will go to in order to justify their unscrupulous choices, from Dubai to Luanda, Moscow to Beijing, and at the heart of the UN and the US government.  

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