A solid blend of the descriptive and the prescriptive, with plenty of lessons that will be of interest to Asia hands,...

HOW ASIA WORKS

SUCCESS AND FAILURE IN THE WORLD'S MOST DYNAMIC REGION

China Economic Quarterly founder Studwell (Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, 2007, etc.) delivers a sometimes-contrarian, sometimes-counterintuitive look at the fortunes of Asia’s economies, for better or worse.

One of those success stories is Taiwan, which benefits from a tropical climate and the abundant rain and heat that come with it, making the island nation a vast garden as compared to much of neighboring mainland China. It benefits more, Studwell writes, from having undergone a program of land reform that preserves the “labor-intensive gardening approach” while rewarding individual ownership through an incentivized market structure. By contrast, tropical Philippines is hampered by a land tenure system that concentrates ownership in a few hands, notably an “estranged first cousin” of Corazon Aquino, who had been a former crony of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. For all the success of places such as Taiwan, Kerala and West Bengal, Studwell writes that “a country cannot sustain growth on agriculture alone” and then moves on to discuss the development of profitable (and sometimes not-so-profitable) industries and innovative financial sectors. The author also examines all of the lessons learned from throughout Asia in the light of how China has fared, with extremely mixed results: The country, he observes, has failed to truly serve its private sector and maintains a financial system “that has almost certainly been unnecessarily inefficient.” Removing such hindrances and encouraging freely moving institutional systems can only further China’s growth, he adds.

A solid blend of the descriptive and the prescriptive, with plenty of lessons that will be of interest to Asia hands, investors and policymakers.

Pub Date: July 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8021-1959-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Grove

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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BEATING THE STREET

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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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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