A canny snapshot of a sprawling, kaleidoscopic and ever growing marketplace.



A sharp tour d’horizon of the East’s significant market opportunities.

Business-strategy consultant and Financial Times columnist Simpfendorfer (The New Silk Road: How a Rising Arab World Is Turning Away from the West and Rediscovering China, 2009) writes with vibrancy and enthusiasm, yet neither disguises his closely argued, multipronged business advice to merchants and investors. Once primarily a manufacturer, the East—which Simpfendorfer considers to be the span from Beijing to Jakarta to Istanbul, with Cairo an important consideration—is now as much a market. The East is growing, and along with that growth comes complexity and the side effects of doing business abroad—e.g., cultural tastes, income variations, regulations and national currencies. The author, who has two decades of experience working in the region and brings a respectful sensitivity to doing business in the global marketplace, has witnessed this extraordinary transformation of the area, now comprising 50 percent of the world’s population and 80 percent of its Muslim population. The scope of the region’s market is vast and varied, and it requires much more intimate knowledge than that gained managing from afar; there will be a critical need for country managers and local staff on the ground. Simpfendorfer is both persuasive and common-sensical as he counsels businesses to explore the halal market, the exhilarating film scene, and entertainment ranging from cricket to Korean pop music. He points to serious potential problems looming ahead—clean water, pollution, waste removal, energy conservation—and the various cultural and economic obstacles that have thwarted dealing with these issues. China, being central to this transformation, garners much of the author’s attention, and his recommendation is not to put all your eggs in one basket but to partner up with other emerging economies. In China, “the state sector grew more powerful as it squeezed out private firms and turned back the clock on market reforms,” though only the negligent would overlook China’s “143 mid- and large-sized cities with populations larger than 750,000.”

A canny snapshot of a sprawling, kaleidoscopic and ever growing marketplace.

Pub Date: June 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-137-37005-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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