Professor Finkler points me to The Financial Times ten best books of 2014, including these that have been on my radar in one form or another:
- Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit , by Charles Calomiris and Stephen Haber,
- Microeconomics: A Very Short Introduction , by Avinash Dixit
- Capital in the Twenty-First Century , by Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer
- How to Speak Money , by John Lanchester
We will be reading an abbreviated version (via Foreign Affairs) of the Calomiris and Haber book in Political Economy of Regulation course this term. They forward a theory on why some banking systems are stable and have few crises (Canada, Scottland), whilst others are more susceptible to shenanigans and hence are less stable (U.S., England).
The Dixit book might be just what we are looking for in terms of a “textbook” for Econ 100, as the Very Short Introduction series is generally excellent. I have also been collecting links for the Piketty book for the better part of the last year and a half. I have read at least ten review pieces, and perhaps this summer I will sit down and slog through it. More to come on that one.
Finally, I am starting up with John Lanchester, a name possibly more familiar to English majors than economists. Nonetheless, Lanchester seeks to use “plain language” to convey complicated economics and financial terms to the layman. More on that later.