Mar 14, 2014 16:39 UTC
Edward Hadas

Review: An unreliable guide to inequality

Photo

By Edward Hadas

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Thomas Piketty is set to become a star. “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” – the new book from the founder of the Paris School of Economics – has received gushing praise from the New York Times and the Economist, even before the official publication of the English translation next month. The massive production, 577 pages of text plus voluminous supporting material, posits that economic inequality is a major social problem which is likely to get worse. Piketty’s arguments, however, fail to persuade.

Mar 7, 2014 14:32 UTC

Review: Why all you know about money is wrong

Photo

By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Everyone knows what money is. Whether denominated in paper, coins or something else entirely, transactions get paid for by a physical commodity that enables humans not to waste their time bartering with each other. Felix Martin’s book, published this week in the United States, convincingly argues this view is not only wrong, but dangerous.

Feb 28, 2014 16:20 UTC
Edward Hadas

Review: GDP and its discontents

Photo

By Edward Hadas

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Gross domestic product is both a useful measure and a terrible one. Diane Coyle explains why in “GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History.” Despite some cogent arguments in support of its use, readers may struggle to share the British economist’s fondness.

Nov 29, 2013 12:28 UTC

Review: A no-nonsense recipe for retail success

Photo

By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Malcolm Walker has a no-nonsense recipe for retail success. While larger supermarkets have expanded upmarket, overseas, and away from food, he’s made a fortune selling cheap frozen dinners to hard-up Britons through his Iceland Foods chain. It’s all about meeting customer demand, controlling costs, and staying focused, his autobiography shows. Still, Walker’s travails down the years are a reminder how easily things can go wrong in the food business.

Nov 15, 2013 17:14 UTC

Review: At Apple’s core, a fitting man of mystery

Photo

By Richard Beales
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Jonathan Ive is the British perfectionist who leads Apple’s design team. A new book about him by journalist Leander Kahney shows his huge influence uniting form and function at the U.S. tech giant. But Ive the man remains largely hidden behind a screen that’s as obsessively crafted as any of the company’s gadgets.

Nov 8, 2013 18:12 UTC

Review: Frackers needed long view to make history

Photo

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The revolution in U.S. energy came from an unlikely source, as Gregory Zuckerman recounts in “The Frackers: the Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters.” Tiny drillers like George Mitchell and Harold Hamm persisted with shale while deep-pocketed giants such as Chevron gave up. It was a triumph of leadership over short-term shareholder value.

Oct 25, 2013 15:30 UTC

Review: Buffett clan puts up a good food fight

Photo

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Warren Buffett has made billions of dollars investing and his farmer son is helping give them away. In the new book “Forty Chances,” Howard Graham Buffett chronicles his efforts with his own son Howard Warren to combat the mind-boggling inefficiencies and bad philanthropic habits that get in the way of ending world hunger. It’s hard at times to relate to the plight, but reassuring to know the Buffett family is on the case.

Oct 11, 2013 15:19 UTC

Review: Inequality is the dark side of leaning in

Photo

By Christopher Swann

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Inequality is the dark side of leaning in. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, used “Lean In” as the title of her book about how women should be more assertive. Alison Wolf shows in “The XX Factor” that elite females are already catching up with male peers. Wolf, a professor of public sector management at King’s College London, shows gains at the top have only been possible because of a revival of a distinctly non-elite occupation: the “female servant”. The result is a rising income gap among women.

Oct 4, 2013 15:50 UTC
Edward Hadas

Review: Economic history makes a happier return

Photo

By Edward Hadas
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

It is easy to tell grim stories about the world economy. A billion people still live in desperate poverty. The world’s rich are pulling further away from the poor. Many developed economies are still in a rut, five years after a financial crisis. In “The Great Escape”, Angus Deaton provides a more optimistic, and much more accurate, narrative.

Sep 27, 2013 18:28 UTC

Review: U.S. can’t afford to forget the little guy

Photo

By Christopher Swann
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The Occupy Wall Street movement failed to ignite popular indignation about the widening gap between poor and rich in the United States. “Inequality for All”, a documentary based around Robert Reich, President Bill Clinton’s Labor Secretary, makes a strong case for action.