cover image Man vs. Markets: Economics Explained (Plain and Simple)

Man vs. Markets: Economics Explained (Plain and Simple)

Paddy Hirsch. Harper Business, $17.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-219665-1

Our lives are affected by the financial markets on a daily basis, but even with the rise of financial journalism and Internet access to financial information, how markets operate remains a mystery to many average Americans. In his first book Hirsch, journalist and producer of American Public Media’s Marketplace, offers a straightforward, accessible, and often hilarious overview of our financial and economic systems, products, and concepts. Using colorful but simple analogies from daily life to explain complex financial instruments such as derivatives or swaps, Hirsch populates the stories with madeup characters with colorful names and speech patterns. For example, he draws on the tiered benefits of first-class and coach tickets within the airline industry to explain the basics of corporate capital structure and uses an entertaining tale of buying a Thanksgiving turkey to teach options. Organized in manageable chapters, with cartoon illustrations by Dan Archer and callout boxes sprinkled throughout to highlight certain concepts, this helpful, amusing, and engaging beginner’s guide to our financial system is sure to delight and inform readers of all ages who want to understand and navigate the markets. Illus. (Sept.)