Jason Del Rey
Interview with the author via the Wired podcast
Amazon and Walmart are obviously different in many ways, but the two companies are also surprisingly similar. This becomes especially evident when you trace the history of their rivalry, as they battle to win online shopping wins, or as they battle to acquire the same businesses. Journalist and author Jason Del Ray writes about dueling giants in his new book, Winner Sells All: Amazon, Walmart, and the Battle for Our Wallets, which traces the moves the two companies took during their multi-year slugfest. decades.
● Retirement Guardrails: How Proactive Trustees Can Improve Plan Outcomes
Ian Ayres and Quinn Curtis
Summary via publisher (Cambridge U. Press)
Dozens of lawsuits have pushed pension plan sponsors toward shorter, easier-to-navigate menus, but – as Ian Ayres and Quinn Curtis argue in this book – we’ve only scratched the surface. pension plan design. Using participant-level plan data and simple tests, Ayres and Curtis show how plan sponsors can monitor plans for likely allocation errors and adapt menus to encourage success. Beginning with an overview of the problem of high costs and the first empirical evidence on lawsuits regarding pension plan costs, they offer an overview of the current plan landscape. They then show, based on real diet reforms, how streamlining menus, eliminating pitfalls, and adopting static and dynamic limits on participants’ allocations to certain risky assets or “safeguards” can reduce errors and lead to better results in retirement. By focusing on interventions that are plausible and easy to implement, Retirement Guardrails shows that trustees should not limit themselves to screening funds, but can design menus to actively promote the right choices.
● Sovereign wealth funds: how the Chinese Communist Party finances its global ambitions
Zongyuan Zoe Liu
Summary via publisher (Belknap/Harvard U. Press)
The first in-depth account of the sudden growth of Chinese sovereign wealth funds and their transformative impact on global markets, national and multinational corporations, and international politics. One of the keys to China’s global rise has been its strategy of deploying sovereign wealth in the name of state power. Since President Xi Jinping took office in 2013, China has redoubled its financial policy efforts, making wise investments with the sovereign wealth funds it has built up by tapping into its foreign exchange reserves. Sovereign Funds tells how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) became a global financier with outsized ambitions. Zongyuan Zoe Liu offers a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of developments in Chinese sovereign wealth funds, including China Investment Corporation, State Administration of Foreign Exchange and Central Huijin Investment. Liu shows how these institutions became mechanisms not only for turning low-reward foreign exchange reserves into investment capital, but also for power projection.
● Union Booms and Busts: The Ongoing Struggle Against the American Labor Movement
Judith Stepan-Norris and Jasmine Kerrissey
Summary via publisher (Oxford U. Press)
Union Booms and Busts provides an overview of the changing fortunes of American workers and their unions on the one hand, and employers and their organizations on the other. Using detailed data, this book analyzes union density across 11 sectors and 115 years, contrasting the successes and failures of organizing and building unions over the decades. By paying attention to historical developments and the economic, political and legal contexts of each period, it highlights the actions of workers and their unions, including strikes, union elections and organizing strategies, as well as those of employers, who aimed to disrupt union organizing using legal maneuvers, labour-based strategies, and racial and gender divisions. By demonstrating how workers have used strikes, elections and other strategies to gain power and how employers have used legal maneuvers, labour-based strategies and racial and gender divisions to disrupt unions, the authors reveal data-based truths about the ongoing history of unionization.
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