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Economics

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  1. 10.5 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    From the New York Times-bestselling author of Unintended Consequences comes another bold and contrarian book by the man who famously defended capitalism and the one percent at the height of the Occupy movement.Conventional wisdom says income inequality is rising and harmful to nearly everyone, and the rich are to blame. But as Ed Conard shows, anyone who can produce a product valued by the entire economy will find his or her income growing faster than those who are limited by the number of customers they can serve, such as schoolteachers, plumbers, doctors, and lawyers. Consider Taylor Swift, the current queen of pop, who made $64 million in 2014. She earns more because her audience is huge, not because she takes anything away from the tens of millions of fans who happily pay for all those concert tickets, iTunes downloads, and souvenir t-shirts. Her ability to generate value can scale with the economy. The same is true for others who improve the lives of millions, like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook. The growing success of innovators doesn’t hurt the rest of the workforce. In fact, the opposite is true—their success increases the demand for our middle and working class labor. Challenging the arguments of liberal economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, Conard reveals the truth about the income inequality panic. And by drawing on a historical study of the ebbs and flows of our economy, he proposes ways to grow the economy faster, which will benefit everyone on the income spectrum.

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    The Upside of Inequality

    10.5 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 13.8 hrs • 7/8/2016 • Unabridged

    Finally! A book about economics that won’t put you to sleep. In fact, you won’t be able to put this bestseller down. In our challenging economic climate, this perennial favorite of students and general readers is more than a good read, it’s a necessary investment―with a blessedly sure rate of return. Demystifying buzzwords, laying bare the truths behind oft-quoted numbers, and answering the questions you were always too embarrassed to ask, the breezy Naked Economics gives readers the tools they need to engage with pleasure and confidence in the deeply relevant, not so dismal science. This revised and updated edition adds commentary on hot topics, including the current economic crisis, globalization, the economics of information, the intersection of economics and politics, and the history―and future―of the Federal Reserve.

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    Naked Economics

    13.8 hrs • 7/8/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.2 hrs • 3/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Capital in the Twenty-First Century meets The Second Machine Age in this stunning and optimistic tour de force on the promise and peril of the digital economy, from one of the most brilliant social critics of our time. Digital technology was supposed to usher in a new age of endless prosperity, but so far it has been used to put industrial capitalism on steroids, making it harder for people and businesses to keep up. Social networks surrender their original missions to more immediately profitable data mining, while brokerage houses abandon value investing for algorithms that drain markets and our 401ks alike—all tactics driven by the need to stoke growth by any means necessary. Instead of taking this opportunity to reprogram our economy for sustainability, we have doubled down on growth as its core command. We have reached the limits of this approach. We must escape the growth trap, once and for all. Media scholar and technology author Douglas Rushkoff—one of today’s most original and influential thinkers—argues for a new economic program that utilizes the unique distributive power of the internet while breaking free of the winner-take-all system the growth trap leaves in its wake. Drawing on sources both contemporary and historical, Rushkoff pioneers a new understanding of the old economic paradigm, from central currency to debt to corporations and labor. Most importantly, he offers a series of practical steps for businesses, consumers, investors, and policymakers to remake the economic operating system from the inside out—and prosper along the way. Instead of boycotting Wal-Mart or overtaxing the wealthy, we simply implement strategies that foster the creation of value by stakeholders other than just ourselves. From our currency to our labor to the corporation, every aspect of the economy can be reprogrammed with minimal disruption to create a more equitably distributed prosperity for all. Inspiring and challenging, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus provides a pragmatic, optimistic, and human-centered model for economic progress in the digital age.

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    Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

    9.2 hrs • 3/1/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 17.8 hrs • 10/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Now in audio, the updated and expanded edition of David Graeber’s “fresh, fascinating, thought-provoking, and exceedingly timely” (Financial Times) history of debt Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: he shows that before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods-that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors. Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it.

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    Debt

    17.8 hrs • 10/1/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 11.9 hrs • 10/1/2015 • Unabridged

    A concise and revealing look into the state of the financial world after the Great Recession. The finance sector of Western economies is too large and attracts too many of the smartest college graduates. Financialization over the past three decades has created a structure that lacks resilience and supports absurd volumes of trading. The finance sector devotes too little attention to the search for new investment opportunities and the stewardship of existing ones and far too much to secondary markets dealing in existing assets. Regulation has contributed more to the problems than to the solutions. Why? What is finance for? John Kay, with wide practical and academic experience in the world of finance, understands the operation of the financial sector better than most. He believes in good banks and effective asset managers, but good banks and effective asset managers are not what he sees. In a dazzling and revelatory tour of the financial world as it has emerged from the wreckage of the 2008 crisis, Kay does not flinch in his criticism: we do need some of the things that Citigroup and Goldman Sachs do, but we do not need Citigroup and Goldman to do them. And many of the things done by Citigroup and Goldman do not need to be done at all. The finance sector needs to be reminded of its primary purpose: to manage other people’s money for the benefit of businesses and households. It is an aberration when some of the finest mathematical and scientific minds are tasked with devising algorithms for the sole purpose of exploiting the weakness of other algorithms for computerized trading in securities. To travel further down that road leads to ruin.

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    Other People’s Money by John Kay

    Other People’s Money

    11.9 hrs • 10/1/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.4 hrs • 9/8/2015 • Unabridged

    In Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, Thomas Sowell, one of the foremost conservative public intellectuals in the country, argues that political and ideological struggles have led to dangerous confusion about income inequality in America. Pundits and politically motivated economists trumpet ambiguous statistics and sensational theories while ignoring the true determinant of income inequality: the production of wealth. We cannot properly understand inequality if we focus exclusively on the distribution of wealth and ignore wealth production factors such as geography, demography, and culture. Sowell contends that liberals have a particular interest in misreading the data and chastises them for using income inequality as an argument for the welfare state. Refuting Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, and others, Sowell draws on empirical data to show that the inequality is not nearly as extreme or sensational as we have been led to believe. Transcending partisanship through a careful examination of data, Wealth, Poverty, and Politics reveals the truth about the most explosive political issue of our time.

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    Wealth, Poverty, and Politics by Thomas Sowell

    Wealth, Poverty, and Politics

    8.4 hrs • 9/8/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.7 hrs • 6/2/2015 • Unabridged

    A Nobel laureate reveals the often surprising rules that govern a vast array of activities—both mundane and life-changing—in which money may play little or no role. If you’ve ever sought a job or hired someone, applied to college or guided your child into a good kindergarten, asked someone out on a date or been asked out, you’ve participated in a kind of market. Most of the study of economics deals with commodity markets, where the price of a good connects sellers and buyers. But what about other kinds of “goods,” like a spot in the Yale freshman class or a position at Google? This is the territory of matching markets, where “sellers” and “buyers” must choose each other, and price isn’t the only factor determining who gets what. Alvin E. Roth is one of the world’s leading experts on matching markets. He has even designed several of them, including the exchange that places medical students in residencies and the system that increases the number of kidney transplants by better matching donors to patients. In Who Gets What—and Why, Roth reveals the matching markets hidden around us and shows how to recognize a good match and make smarter, more confident decisions.

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    Who Gets What—and Why

    7.7 hrs • 6/2/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 7.9 hrs • 6/1/2015 • Unabridged

    While millions of consumers carry on unaware, powerful companies are racing to gain more knowledge and data than anyone, including any government, has ever had. The goal is to understand consumer behavior and desires, from mundane matters to our most private and intimate affairs. This massive trove of data represents an immense prize for these companies. In economic terms, it is one of the most valuable assets on the planet. In All You Can Pay, Anna Bernasek and D.T. Mongan show how companies use what they know about you to determine how much you are willing to pay for certain products and services. Colleges calculate the price you pay based on the information revealed in the application almost all parents submit for federal aid. Hotels, sports events and health products and services are also using this strategy. The price of everything online—from airline tickets to toilet paper—now fluctuates from moment to moment. Through a toxic combination of price discrimination and cutting-edge technology, sellers can instantly change the price they charge an individual based on their calculations of demand and supply at that point in time. Online stores use your zip code to charge you a different price from someone in another zip code. Bernasek and Mongan offer a dire warning and demonstrate how big data threatens the very icon of the American way: the free market. The ability to understand consumers on a granular level, in real time, and simultaneously to customize the price each person is offered, shifts the balance of power away from the consumer so dramatically that the freedom of markets is at risk. The trend is alarming and, if left unchecked, the destination is clear. Yet consumers and companies can still choose a different path, and in this chilling and illuminating book, Bernasek and Mongan show us how.

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    All You Can Pay

    7.9 hrs • 6/1/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 8.2 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    When Freakonomics was initially published, the authors started a blog—and they’ve kept it up. The writing is more casual, more personal, even more outlandish than in their books. Now, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the landmark Freakonomics, comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the world. Why don’t flight attendants get tipped? If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? And why does KFC always run out of fried chicken? Over the past decade, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have published more than 8,000 blog posts on Freakonomics.com. Now the very best of this writing has been carefully curated into one volume, the perfect solution for the millions of readers who love all things Freakonomics. Discover why taller people tend to make more money; why it’s so hard to predict the Kentucky Derby winner; and why it might be time for a sex tax (if not a fat tax). You’ll also learn a great deal about Levitt and Dubner’s own quirks and passions. Surprising and erudite, eloquent and witty, When to Rob a Bank demonstrates the brilliance that has made their books an international sensation.

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  10. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    10.3 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    In a world of self-driving cars, big data, smart algorithms, and Siri, we know that artificial intelligence is getting smarter every day. Though all these nifty devices and programs might make our lives easier, they’re also well on their way to making “good” jobs obsolete. A computer winning Jeopardy might seem like a trivial, if impressive, feat, but the same technology is making paralegals redundant as it undertakes electronic discovery, and it is soon to do the same for radiologists. And that, no doubt, will only be the beginning. In Silicon Valley the phrase “disruptive technology” is tossed around on a casual basis. No one doubts that technology has the power to devastate entire industries and upend various sectors of the job market, but Rise of the Robots asks a bigger question: can accelerating technology disrupt our entire economic system to the point where a fundamental restructuring is required? Companies like Facebook and YouTube may only need a handful of employees to achieve enormous valuations, but what will be the fate of those of us not lucky or smart enough to have gotten into the great shift from human labor to computation? The more uninformed might imagine that this industrial revolution will unfold like the last: even as some jobs are eliminated, more will be created to deal with the new devices of a new era. In Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford argues that is absolutely not the case. Increasingly, machines will be able to take care of themselves, and fewer jobs will be necessary. The effects of this transition could be shattering. Unless we begin to radically reassess the fundamentals of how our economy works, we could have both an enormous population of the unemployed—the truck drivers, warehouse workers, cooks, lawyers, doctors, teachers, programmers, and many, many more, whose labors have been rendered superfluous by automated and intelligent machines—and a general economy that, bereft of consumers, implodes under the weight of its own contradictions. We are at an inflection point—do we continue to listen to those who argue that nothing fundamental has changed and take a bad bet on a miserable future, or do we begin to discuss what we must do to ensure all of us—not just the few—benefit from the awesome power of artificial intelligence? The time to choose is now. Rise of the Robots is a both an exploration of this new technology and a call to arms to address its implications. Written by a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, this is an audiobook that cannot be dismissed as the ranting of a Luddite or an outsider. Ford has seen the future, and he knows that for some of us, the rise of the robots will be very frightening indeed.

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    Rise of the Robots

    10.3 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 4.6 hrs • 4/1/2015 • Unabridged

    We weigh every significant decision based on how it will affect our future. But when it comes to figuring that out, we mostly make the process up as we go along. While financial professional Peter Neuwirth can’t help you actually predict the future, he can offer a simple, systematic way to make much better guesses about it—and so make better decisions. Neuwirth offers an accessible, step-by-step guide to using the powerful concept of Present Value—which allows you to determine the value today of something that might happen in the future—to evaluate all of the outcomes that might arise from choosing one path as opposed to another. Using examples that anyone can relate to, Neuwirth walks you through the process. Your old refrigerator doesn’t work as well as it used to—should you buy a new one right away or muddle through for a while? You’re offered a great discount on a service you don’t need at the moment but eventually will—buy the service now or wait? With just a little math and some common sense, you can compare future costs and benefits with present costs and benefits and make “apples to apples” comparisons. This book will be indispensable for anyone who has ever had to figure out whether to stick with an awful job or follow his or her bliss, fix that old car or buy a new one, increase 401(k) contributions or keep the same take-home pay, and a thousand other decisions.

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    What's Your Future Worth?

    4.6 hrs • 4/1/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 9.4 hrs • 4/1/2015 • Unabridged

    One thing that will never change about the business world is the presence of risk. But risk management has changed dramatically since the 2008 financial crisis, and new developments in technology and communications demand up-to-the-minute approaches for defending against threats—and seizing opportunities. Extensively updated, the second edition of Fundamentals of Enterprise Risk Management examines the latest technologies, such as Riskonnect and High Tech Electronic Platform (HTEP), and helps listeners recognize both internal and external exposures, understand crucial concepts such as risk mapping and risk identification, and align risk opportunities with their organization’s business model. Packed with practical exercises and fresh case studies from organizations such as IBM, Microsoft, Apple, JPMorgan Chase, and Sony, as well as new material on topics like the new role of Risk Owner, cutting-edge collaboration methods, and the upside of risk, this critical guide provides listeners with the tools and information they need to keep their organizations as blissfully risk free as possible.

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  13. 6.5 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    Steve Lohr, a technology reporter for the New York Times, chronicles the rise of “Big Data,” addressing cutting-edge business strategies and examining the dark side of a data-driven world. Coal, iron ore, and oil were the key productive assets that fueled the Industrial Revolution. Today data is the vital raw material of the information economy. The explosive abundance of this digital asset, more than doubling every two years, is creating a new world of opportunity and challenge. Data-ism is about this next phase in which vast, Internet-scale data sets are used for discovery and prediction in virtually every field. It is a journey across this emerging world with people, illuminating narrative examples, and insights. It shows that, if exploited, this new revolution will change the way decisions are made—relying more on data and analysis and less on intuition and experience—and transform the nature of leadership and management. Steve Lohr explains how individuals and institutions will need to exploit, protect, and manage their data to stay competitive in the coming years. Filled with rich examples and anecdotes of the various ways in which the rise of “Big Data” is affecting our daily lives, Data-ism raises provocative questions about policy and practice that have wide implications for all of our lives.

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    Data-ism

    6.5 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
    23.8 hrs • 12/2/2014 • Unabridged

    In this fifth edition of Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell revises and updates his popular book on commonsense economics, bringing the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English. Basic Economics, which has now been translated into six languages and has additional material online, remains true to its core principle: that the fundamental facts and principles of economics do not require jargon, graphs, or equations and can be learned in a relaxed and even enjoyable way.

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    Basic Economics, Fifth Edition by Thomas Sowell

    Basic Economics, Fifth Edition

    23.8 hrs • 12/2/14 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
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  15. 14.9 hrs • 10/1/2014 • Unabridged

    From the chief economic commentator for the Financial Times comes a brilliant tour d’horizon of the new global economy and its trajectory. There have been many books that have sought to explain the causes and courses of the financial and economic crisis which began in 2007–8. The Shifts and the Shocks is not another detailed history of the crisis but the most persuasive and complete account yet published of what the crisis should teach us about modern economies and economics. The book identifies the origin of the crisis in the complex interaction between globalization, hugely destabilizing global imbalances, and our dangerously fragile financial system. In the eurozone, these sources of instability were multiplied by the tragically defective architecture of the monetary union. It also shows how much of the orthodoxy that shaped monetary and financial policy before the crisis occurred was complacent and wrong. In doing so, it mercilessly reveals the failures of the financial, political, and intellectual elites who ran the system. The book also examines what has been done to reform the financial and monetary systems since the worst of the crisis passed. “Are we now on a sustainable course?” Wolf asks. “The answer is no.” He explains with great clarity why “further crises seem certain” and why the management of the eurozone in particular “guarantees a huge political crisis at some point in the future.” Wolf provides far more ambitious and comprehensive plans for reform than any currently being implemented. Written with all the intellectual command and trenchant judgment that have made Martin Wolf one of the world’s most influential economic commentators, The Shifts and the Shocks matches impressive analysis with no-holds-barred criticism and persuasive prescription for a more stable future. It is a book no one with an interest in global affairs will want to neglect.

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    The Shifts and the Shocks

    14.9 hrs • 10/1/14 • Unabridged
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  16. 16.9 hrs • 8/19/2014 • Unabridged

    From Wall Street to Main Street, John Brooks, longtime contributor to the New Yorker, brings to life in vivid fashion twelve classic and timeless tales of corporate and financial life in America between 1959 and 1968. What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at GE and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened. Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. John Brooks’ insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history repeats itself. Five additional stories on equally fascinating subjects round out this wonderful collection that will both entertain and inform listeners. Business Adventures is truly financial journalism at its liveliest and best.

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    Business Adventures

    16.9 hrs • 8/19/14 • Unabridged
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