Opulence. Many seek it, some attain it, and a few disdain it. Yet we’re all aware of it. This quarter’s selections follow the path some have traveled to obtain wealth, both on an individual and corporate level. We’ll look back at the trials and travails of the recent economic crash. Finally, enjoy the handsome rewards financial success can bring while visiting coastal homes that are the epitome of creative furnishing that match their nearby ocean view. Maybe your idyllic dream lies within the pages of these books?
After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead
Alan S. Binder
Penguin Press HC; 2013
From the former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve comes this compelling read of the U.S. economic meltdown. Told in simple and understandable English, it has been touted by numerous reviewers as “the best account of what happened.” Binder does not attempt to lay blame but rather summarizes the events that surrounded last decade’s economic collapse. From “The Lehman Decision” to government regulation, Binder, a Keynesian, also takes a glance at the future and details how some very unpopular decisions need to be made to prevent history from repeating itself.
Catching the Wolf of Wall Street: More Incredible True Stories of Fortunes, Schemes, Parties, and Prison
Bantam Books; 2009
As he writes in his book, his was a lifestyle of the rich and dysfunctional – a sexed up, drugged-up, hyped-up, over-the-top version of the American dream. It was a rags to riches story of a lifestyle replete with money, power, women, and drugs. This sequel picks up where the 2013 Martin Scorsese film leaves off: a climactic downfall is followed by a rock-bottom landing into (as the subtitle suggests) prison and, finally, a resurfacing redemption. While it may not detail the orgiastic excesses of the original, it is an entertaining read nonetheless.
The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable
James Owen Weatherall
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2013
Is Wall Street about money or physics? Physicist, philosopher, mathematician, and UC Irvine professor James Weatherall proposes that physicists have successfully conquered some of the toughest economic problems. He explains that models break down under certain conditions; it’s those that can understand then modify them that will succeed. To wit are quants, physicists and mathematicians who have migrated to Wall Street and are using their expertise to predict market behavior. A tale about both past and future economics, he ends the book by suggesting a strong commitment to developing the next generation of economic models to make the economy safer and more robust.
Coastal Modern: Sophisticated Homes Inspired by the Ocean
Tim Clarke and Jake Townsend
Random House; 2012
Fifteen extraordinary homes, inspired by their coastal settings, are spotlighted in this book complemented by more than 250 photographs taken by award-winning photographer Noah Webb. Divided into five coastal modern styles each with its own aesthetic, be prepared to be transported to a place many dream of but few experience. For those living by the shore and wishing to decorate or model, some excellently detailed photographs and articles; for those of us living vicariously, a grand trip to a getaway by the water.