What We Are Reading Today: El Norte

Updated 10 March 2019

What We Are Reading Today: El Norte

Author: Carrie Gibson

This is a comprehensive exploration of the “Spanish” experience in North America, from the days of Columbus to US President Donald Trump. 
El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America “is the book that Americans, Anglo and Hispanic, should read as an education on their own American place or role,” said Julio Ortega in a review published in The New York Times.
The author of Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean From Columbus to the Present Day, Carrie Gibson “takes on the task of accounting for the relevant and telling cases of our modern process of national formation and regional negotiations,” said Ortega.
“This is a serious book of history but also an engaging project of reading the future in the past,” the review added.
“What is particularly fascinating about this book is that its encyclopedic project is not a rewriting of history but a recitation of readings. Almost each historical event is retold through memory, recording, evaluation and discussion,” Ortega said.


What We Are Reading Today: Darkness by Design

Updated 20 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Darkness by Design

Author: Walter Mattli

Capital markets have undergone a dramatic transformation in the past two decades. Algorithmic high-speed supercomputing has replaced traditional floor trading and human market makers, while centralized exchanges that once ensured fairness and transparency have fragmented into a dizzying array of competing exchanges and trading platforms. Darkness by Design exposes the unseen perils of market fragmentation and “dark” markets, some of which are deliberately designed to enable the transfer of wealth from the weak to the powerful.
Walter Mattli traces the fall of the traditional exchange model of the NYSE, the world’s leading stock market in the twentieth century, showing how it has come to be supplanted by fragmented markets whose governance is frequently set up to allow unscrupulous operators to exploit conflicts of interest at the expense of an unsuspecting public.
Market makers have few obligations, market surveillance is neglected or impossible, enforcement is ineffective, and new technologies are not necessarily used to improve oversight but to offer lucrative preferential market access to select clients in ways that are often hidden.
Mattli argues that power politics is central in today’s fragmented markets.