What We Are Reading Today: Five Days at Memorial

Updated 10 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Five Days at Memorial

Author: Sheri Fink

This book is a devastating account of what happened at a hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit
in 2005.
Physician and reporter Sheri Fink spent years reporting on this story and her writing “is strong, filled with grim details and dreadful scenes,” said a review in goodreads.com.
“In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, Fink reconstructs five days at the medical center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos,” said the review.
It said Fink’s epilogue “highlights the lessons learned, if any, from what the hospitals in New Orleans faced after Katrina.
Fink is a fellow at the New America Foundation. A former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, she received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Her first book, War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival (Public Affairs), is about medical professionals under siege during the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina.


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.