A compact and detailed plan for understanding—and mitigating—largely unpredictable episodes in the markets.

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TAIL RISK MANAGEMENT

BUILDING A RESILIENT FINANCIAL BUSINESS IN A VOLATILE WORLD

An in-depth series of strategies focuses on managing long-term survival in the business world.

Vander Straeten’s dense, information-packed nonfiction debut concentrates so tightly on tail-risk management in the modern, interconnected global world that it begins discussing tail events even before it properly defines them. (This is one of many indications that the book will be far more useful to business and management professionals than to beginners in the field.) A tail event, as the author sees it, is an occurrence that “from the perspective of the regularity of historical events or perhaps only from perception, should happen only once in a thousand, million, or billion years.” The key allowance there is of course “perception”—in reality, tail events are common enough on a small scale for experts to generalize about them and produce books like this one, designed to predict and alleviate their effects. “Tail-risk management,” vander Straeten writes, “has mostly been the focus of important theoretical literature that aims at explaining how real aggregate tail risks can arise from a variety of shock configurations at disaggregated levels of an economy and how one can model and hedge against them.” His guide aims—and admirably succeeds—at taking such discussions out of the realm of theoretical literature and putting them before readers in concise and concrete terms. The book includes an extensive bibliography and well-produced graphics designed to lighten its informational load, although the reading experience here is nevertheless pleasingly steep. The author, paraphrasing former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, has thought deeply about the “unknown unknowns” that threaten the long-term survival of a business just as surely as they imperil society or the world itself. Vander Straeten breaks his work into roughly even segments dealing with tail-event assessment, management, and response, but the most compelling section covers the messages of these highly unlikely “black swan” episodes. “The idea is not to prevent tail risks from occurring,” readers are told, “but rather to build a resiliency in the business model to face and mitigate the effects of a black swan event.” Naturally, a good deal of the volume’s focus is on financial speculation, where the immediate personal effects of such unexpected incidents can be quantified. The central core of vander Straeten’s manual centers on capital and hedge fund management, outlining approaches to riding out market fluctuations and such. Here, as elsewhere, the author can get quite technical (“It is widely accepted within the financial markets community,” he writes in a typically galloping passage, “that there is a need to accept investment risk in order to generate the target returns set out in their investment portfolio strategies”). But the book’s clear common sense and advocacy of bold thinking in the face of uncertainty compensate for a perhaps unavoidable level of wonkishness.

A compact and detailed plan for understanding—and mitigating—largely unpredictable episodes in the markets.

Pub Date: July 15, 2017

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Value4Risk

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2017

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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