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  1. Wealth
August 20, 2020

Summer reading: Three of the best books out now

By Spear's

Looking for something to read? Here are three books out now recommended by Spear’s 

The Deficit Myth By Stephanie Kelton (John Murray, £20)

Bernie Sanders may be out of the US presidential race, but the ideas of his former economic adviser are still relevant. Stephanie Kelton is a pioneering advocate of modern monetary theory, which broadly holds that governments should print money to pay for expensive programmes. In The Deficit Myth she argues that defi cits can be used for ‘good or evil’: they can fund wars and drive inequality, but they can also ‘be used to sustain life and build a more just economy’. Kelton certainly offers food for thought at a time when governments are spending eye-watering sums to mitigate damage from the coronavirus pandemic. Arun Kakar

Discussion Materials By Bill Keenan (Post Hill Press, £16.99) 

If you think investment banking is all Ferraris, bull markets and weekends in the Hamptons, then prepare to have that myth shattered by this memoir of two years as the whipping boy of Wall Street. Yes, the job has its moments, writes Harvard graduate, Columbia MBA and former professional ice hockey player Bill Keenan, but these are few and far between. His account of a life filled with labyrinthine Excel spreadsheets, interminable PowerPoint presentations and teary all-nighters manages to convey the harsh reality of investment banking, while also being arch, honest and immensely readable. Edwin Smith

Calling Bullshit By Carl T Bergstrom & Jevin D West (Allen Lane, £20)

Over the past few months we’ve been inundated with data. We’ve learnt about the importance of something called ‘R’, entrusted our path out of lockdown to a series of graphs, and measured almost every tangential impact of the pandemic. It’s from this glut of data that Calling Bullshit arrives, with its plea for scepticism. Professor Carl Bergstrom and data scientist Jevin West offer six rules to help readers recognise when numbers are being manipulated. Whether it’s confirming a personal bias or muddling the relationship between correlation and causation, it’s never been more important to practise scepticism in a world awash with data. AK

Image: Carl Schleicher, Ein lesender Mönch (19th century)

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