Reforming U.S. Financial Markets Reflections Be.

BOOKS
POLITICS

1.
Randall S. Kroszner, Robert J. Shiller
Reforming U.S. Financial Markets: Reflections Before and Beyond Dodd-Frank
(Alvin Hansen Symposium on Public Policy at Harvard University)

Over the last few years, the financial sector has experienced its worst crisis since the 1930s. The collapse of major firms, the decline in asset values, the interruption of credit flows, the loss of confidence in firms and credit market instruments, the intervention by governments and central banks: all were extraordinary in scale and scope. In this book, leading economists Randall Kroszner and Robert Shiller discuss what the United States should do to prevent another such financial meltdown. Their discussion goes beyond the nuts and bolts of legislative and regulatory fixes to consider fundamental changes in our financial arrangements.

Kroszner and Shiller offer two distinctive approaches to financial reform, with Kroszner providing a systematic analysis of regulatory gaps and Shiller addressing the broader concerns of democratizing and humanizing finance. After brief discussions by four commentators Benjamin M. Friedman, George G. Kaufman, Robert C. Pozen, and Hal S. Scott), Kroszner and Shiller each offer a response to the other’s proposals, creating a fruitful dialogue between two major figures in the field.

2.
Douglas Farah, Stephen Braun
Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Praise for Merchant of Death “A riveting investigation of the world’s most notorious arms dealer–a page-turner that digs deep into the amazing, murky story of Viktor Bout. Farah and Braun have exposed the inner workings of one of the world’s most secretive businesses–the international arms trade.” -Peter L. Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know “Viktor Bout is like Osama bin Laden: a major target of U.S. intelligence officials who time and again gets away. Farah and Braun have skillfully documented how this notorious arms dealer has stoked violence around the world and thwarted international sanctions. Even more appalling, they show how Bout ended up getting millions of dollars in U.S. government money to assist the war in Iraq. A truly impressive piece of investigative reporting.” -Michael Isikoff, coauthor of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War “Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun are two of the toughest investigative reporters in the country. This is an important book about a hidden world of gunrunning and profiteering in some of the world’s poorest countries.” -Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 “In Merchant of Death , two of America’s finest reporters have performed a major public service, turning over the right rocks that reveal the brutal international arms business at the dawn of the twenty-first century. In Viktor Bout, they have given us a new Lord of War, a man who knows no side but his own, and who has a knack for turning up in every war zone just in time to turn a profit. As Farah and Braun uncover and document his troubling role in the Bush Administration’s Global War on Terror, his ties to Washington almost seem inevitable.” -James Risen, author of State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration “An extraordinary and timely piece of investigative reporting, Merchant of Death is also a vividly compelling read. The true story of Viktor Bout, a sociopathic Russian gunrunner who has supplied weapons for use in some of the most gruesome conflicts of modern times–and who can count amongst his clients both the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the U.S. military in Iraq–is a stomach-churning indictment of the policy failures and moral contradictions of the world’s most powerful governments, including that of the United States.” -Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Fall of Baghdad Two respected journalists tell the incredible story of Viktor Bout, the Russian weapons supplier whose global network has changed the way modern warfare is fought. Bout’s vast enterprise of guns, planes, and money has fueled internecine slaughter in Africa and aided both militant Islamic fanatics in Afghanistan and the American military in Iraq. This book combines spy thrills with crucial insights on the shortcomings of a U.S. foreign policy that fails to confront the lucrative and lethal arms trade that erodes global security.

3.
Deborah L. Jaramillo
Ugly War, Pretty Package: How CNN and Fox News Made the Invasion of Iraq High Concept

Deborah L. Jaramillo investigates cable news’ presentation of the Iraq War in relation to “high concept” filmmaking. High concept films can be reduced to single-sentence summaries and feature pre-sold elements; they were considered financially safe projects that would sustain consumer interest beyond their initial theatrical run. Using high concept as a framework for the analysis of the 2003 coverage of the Iraq War-paying close attention to how Fox News and CNN packaged and promoted the U.S. invasion of Iraq-Ugly War, Pretty Package offers a new paradigm for understanding how television news reporting shapes our perceptions of events.

4.
Lina Khatib and Dina Matar
The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication

Hizbullah is not only a leading political actor in Lebanon and a dynamic force in the Middle East, but it is also distinguished by a sophisticated communication strategy. From relatively humble beginnings in the 1980s, Hizbullah’s political clout and its public perception have followed an upward trajectory, thanks to a political programme that blends military, social, economic and religious elements and adapts to changes in its environment. Its communication strategy is similarly adaptive, supporting the group’s political objectives. Hizbullah’s target audience has expanded to a regional and global viewership. Its projected identity, too, shifted from an Islamist resistance party opposed to Israel’s presence in Lebanon to a key player within the Lebanese state. At the same time, Hizbullah’s image has retained fixed features, including its image as an ally of Iran; its role as a resistance group (to Israel); and its original base as a religious party representative of the Lebanese Shiites. The authors of this book address how Hizbullah uses image, language and its charismatic leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to legitimise its political aims and ideology and ap- peal to different target groups.

5.
Torrance Kirby
The Zurich Connection and Tudor Political Theology (Studies in the History of Christian Thought)

Should students of Tudor political thought be interested in a feisty Swiss republican who hardly set foot outside his home canton of Zurich, and a Florentine aristocrat who spent just five years of his career in England? This book presents the case for including two leading lights of the Schola Tigurina – Heinrich Bullinger and Peter Martyr Vermigli – among the chief architects of the protestant religious and political settlement constructed under Edward VI and consolidated under Elizabeth I. Through study of selected texts of their political theology, this book explores crucial intellectual links between England and Zurich which came to exert a significant influence on the institutions of the Tudor church and commonwealth.

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