Monday, April 28, 2014

Three Interesting Books

I have three really interesting recent books sitting on my reading pile. (Much of my reading is now on a Kindle, so I guess “reading pile” is no longer appropriate.)

Unfortunately, I am unlikely to make a dent in that “pile” for a bit. Exams and a couple of article deadlines are going to keep me busy in the near future. But, just in case some of you have a little more spare time than me, I wanted to bring these important books to your attention.

Erik F. Gerding, Law Bubbles, and Financial Regulation (Routledge 2014).

Gerding is a law professor at the University of Colorado. He examines the history and causes of market bubbles, with special attention to the crisis of 2007-2008, and attempts to fight bubbles. It’s a fairly expensive book so, with apologies to Erik, I suggest you try to find it in your library if you can. If they don’t have it, do what I did and ask your library to order it. An introductory chapter is available here.

Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl E. Schneider, More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure (Princeton University Press 2014).

Ben-Shahar is a law professor at the University of Chicago and Schneider is a law professor at the University of Michigan. Their focus is on the many mandated disclosures people encounter in their daily lives—for example, the dozens of pages we all must sign when we get a mortgage. They argue that mandated disclosure seldom works.

William Easterly, The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (Basic Books 2014).

This is the only book of the three that doesn’t fit into the main channel of business law. Easterly, an economist at N.Y.U., discusses anti-poverty programs and their effect on the third world. He argues that the technical solutions proposed by experts haven’t worked and that the real key to development is bottom-up: giving poor people economic freedom.

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