Saturday, December 22, 2012

Books That Marc Faber Recommends for this Christmas

Marc Faber : This year, I reread some books I had not looked at for years. Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom” is an excellent collection of brief essays about a wide range of subjects. It’s a reminder that larger and larger involvement of government in a society comes at a cost. The larger the government is, the more economic and financial volatility, the less growth and the less personal freedom will follow. This is the book you must give for Christmas to your entitlement-spoiled children. I particularly recommend Will Durant’s “The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time,” edited by John Little, for hedge-fund managers who have their eyes glued to Bloomberg terminals all day. In a few chapters, Durant -- whose seminal work is “The Story of Civilization” and whom I consider one of the great historians -- expresses his views about the “The Ten ‘Greatest’ Thinkers,” “The Ten ‘Greatest’ Poets,” “Twelve Vital Dates in World History,” “The One Hundred ‘Best’ Books for an Education” and other subjects. Durant also had a very human touch. When asked in an interview, “Of all the characters populating ‘The Story of Civilization,’ whom would you have most liked to have known?” he responded, “Madame de Pompadour ... because she was beautiful, she was charming, she was luscious -- what else do you want?” (I agree, although my choice would have been Cassandra.) The third book I am still reading -- Joseph A. Tainter’s “The Collapse of Complex Societies.” It’s a difficult read and there’s no hurry for me to finish it since Tainter observes “that the problem is not that states collapse (for this happens constantly) but rather that some states last so long.” So let us be cheerful for the U.S. as its society will only collapse once the Facebook generation becomes mature and completely brain-damaged. - excerpt from Bloomberg


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