I bought this entirely on the strength of the title, and overall it delivered A quirky and refreshing look at the science of risk through a range of unexpected illustrations, including legal brothels, but taking in also the paparazzi, surfing, horse breeding, magic and poker, it does a good job of bringing the dry topic of financial economics to life However some of the illustrations are a little strained is it really a form of insurance when a magician builds trust with her audience And in many cases the point of the story was clear long before the story finished, so the engagement and curiosity she had cleverly created evaporated into impatience The big win of the book is that it makes the esoteric subject of financial risk feel accessible and interesting I certainly feel I understand some aspects of risk better, though I m not sure I m equipped to deal with it significantly differently But overall there s a feeling of dissatisfaction that some points were laboured while others seemed underdeveloped, and I couldn t sense an overarching framework that brought everything together in to a coherent whole Finishing it felt rather like ending a slightly strained conversation at a corporate party interesting in parts, not a complete waste of time, but ultimately, for me, there was just no spark. An entertaining read on risk assessment as it pertains to all areas of life It required my full concentration, but it was interesting to see the applications and lessons drawn from big wave surfers, war generals, paparazzi, and magicians. A Financial Times Book Of The Month Pick For April Is It Worth Swimming In Shark Infested Waters To Surf A Foot, Career Record Wave Is It Riskier To Make An Action Movie Or A Horror Movie Should Sex Workers Forfeit Percent Of Their Income For Added Security Or Take A Chance And Keep The Extra Money Most People Wouldn T Expect An Economist To Have An Answer To These Questions Or To Other Questions Of Daily Life, Such As Who To Date Or How Early To Leave For The Airport But Those People Haven T Met Allison Schrager, An Economist And Award Winning Journalist Who Has Spent Her Career Examining How People Manage Risk In Their Lives And CareersWhether We Realize It Or Not, We All Take Risks Large And Small Every Day Even The Most Cautious Among Us Cannot Opt Out The Question Is Always Which Risks To Take, Not Whether To Take Them At All What Most Of Us Don T Know Is How To Measure Those Risks And Maximize The Chances Of Getting What We Want Out Of LifeIn An Economist Walks Into A Brothel,Schrager Equips Readers With Five Principles For Dealing With Risk, Principles Used By Some Of The World S Most Interesting Risk Takers For Instance, She Interviews A Professional Poker Player About How To Stay Rational When The Stakes Are High, A Paparazzo In Manhattan About How To Spot Different Kinds Of Risk, Horse Breeders In Kentucky About How To Diversify Risk And Minimize Losses, And A War General Who Led Troops In Iraq About How To Prepare For What We Don T See ComingWhen You Start To Look At Risky Decisions Through Schrager S New Framework, You Can Increase The Upside To Any Situation And Better Mitigate The Downside Quite simply this book is bad The writing is unclear, the examples poorly explained, definitions sparse, and call backs poorly integrated It feels like the author found three or four examples they wished to use and kind of relied on them for everything When an example was used to explain a phenomenon, the tie wasn t obvious Some of this could have been improved by clearer writing and some of this could have been improved by spending time to talk through the logic For instance, the first section of the book is on the risk premium sex workers pay to work in managed brothels The author then explains how that compares to illegal markets for sex and drugs and how the difference in price provides information on supply, demand, and safety This section could have used a few examples rather than just leaning on sex work.The book then talks about options but brings in Black Scholes Merton which needlessly complications the discussion of options The types of options are simply mentioned with one sentence and two sentence explanations with few examples BSM shouldn t be introduced for a number of reasons but given that it s going to be brought up, flesh it out The book also talks about general risk strategies but doesn t provide enough examples to apply to life then introduces risk homeostatis to imply that it s all useless anyway.I strongly preferred Thinking in Bets Making Smarter Decisions When You Don t Have All the Facts which was focused, loaded with examples, and very readable. A very engaging presentation of an important, complex, and under taught concept.The book seems targeted at those who are not financial professionals and I think it hits the mark nicely, by avoiding dry formulations and presenting things in very human relatable ways We get a bit of financial risk management, but a lot on risk management in other walks of life, such as sex work, race horse breeding, being a paparazzi, etc As a financial professional though I think it s also valuable on this level as well With spreadsheets and various automated platforms so prevalent and statistical jargon so entrenched, I see too many pros being way too quick to put risk o n autopilot It s refreshing to step back a bit from all the high faulting stuff and remember what the heck we re actually trying to do and, with a refreshed point of view, double check to see that we re really managing risk as effectively as we can. Author tries too hard to reconcile supposed risks found in brothel, military, movie, surfing etc with financial risk concepts Interesting snippets but otherwise does nothing to increase understanding management of risks. More advanced readers may find find a bit too simplistic However, I found it quite a good book for the general non financialy educated public Alison has the capacity to simplify the financial aspects of risk, hedge and security into a everyday life sort of situations.Above all, the lessons of the book should be well known by the broader public, however they aren t This book works well as a first step towards it.More experienced readers might also enjoy some of the topics covered due to Alison s ability to simplify them People seeking to understand a bit of the basics of the financial world should benefit from the time spent reading the book. It s an okay economic book Some of the stories analogies are interesting, but not as good as similar books If your a hardcore economics business junky check it out, otherwise I would recommend one of the Freakonomics books if you haven t read them. I was listening to the Indicator on NPR and they were interviewing Allison Schrager who is an economist and who wrote this book, An Economist Walks into a Brothel I have many interests and economics is one of them Unfortunately, this book won t make it to the best seller and I won t be surprised if I m the only reviewer The information presented in the book is basic and logical to understand Anyone who grabs this book should understand clearly the basic on economics Instead of having to buy this informational book, I would like to see it in the public domain so that it will reach readers. We need to take risks to make our lives better In the 16th century, people started to think about risk as something controllable, not left to fate Once risk is measured it can bought or sold No institution spends time and energy on risk planning than the military Risk, a Greek seafaring term, rhizik n, a dangerous hazard The Middle High German word rysigo means, to dare, to undertake, enterprise, hope for economic success Financial economics assumes risk is a critical component of value.It was interesting to read about how risk is dealt with among brothels, movie studios, the paparazzi, poker champions, criminals, race horse breeders, magicians, big wave surfers, and the military No risk, no reward risk is the input, reward is the output The most important thing to figure out is what you want As Goethe wrote, The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety The author lists the following questions to help you determine what you want 1 What is your ultimate goal If you achieve it, what does that look like 2 How can you achieve your goal with no risk at all, or as little risk as possible 3 Is that no risk option possible or desirable If not, how much risk do you need to take to get what you want Some interesting facts 53% of movies don t earn back production costs at the box office.Idiosyncratic risk the risk unique to a particular asset Your Apple stock might go down Diversify.Systemic risk affects the larger system, entire market crashes.Secretariat s heart was 21 pounds but that doesn t translate into speed unless it meshes with the horse s other features Simply translating a bigger heart into another horse is like putting a Ferrari engine in a Subaru Fun is like life insurance the older you get, the it costs Frank Mckinney Hubbard, American CartoonistAn interesting read on a great topic I d also recommend Against the Gods by Peter Bernstein, reviewed herein.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the An Economist Walks Into a Brothel book, this is one of the most wanted Allison Schrager author readers around the world.
- 240 pages
- An Economist Walks Into a Brothel
- Allison Schrager
- 19 October 2019 Allison Schrager