What We Are Reading Today: One Nation Undecided

Updated 04 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: One Nation Undecided

Author: Peter H. Schuck

Let’s be honest, we have all expressed opinions about difficult hot-button issues without always thinking them through. With so much media spin, political polarization, and mistrust of institutions, it is hard to know how to think about these tough challenges, much less what to do about them. One Nation Undecided takes on some of today’s thorniest issues and walks you through each one step-by-step, explaining what makes it so difficult to grapple with and enabling you to think smartly about it, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. In this unique what-to-do book, Peter Schuck tackles poverty, immigration, affirmative action and campaign finance. For each issue, he provides essential context; defines key concepts and values; presents the relevant empirical evidence; describes and assesses the programs that now seek to address it; and considers many plausible solutions. Schuck looks at all sides with scrupulous fairness while analyzing them rigorously and factually. Each chapter is self-contained so that readers may pick and choose among the issues that interest and concern them most.


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.