Extreme Productivity Is Extremely Useful: Book Review of author Robert Pozen [Huffington Post]

By James Grundvig

‘Death by PowerPoint’ has been an old adage batted about by managers who have seen too many flat presentations jammed with too much information, while falling short on clarity of theme or message. Today, the same lament can be said about email.

‘Death by Email’ describes the ailment of what professionals are losing today: Time and productivity.

Read the rest at the Huffington Post

New York Times book review of The Fund Industry

Demystifying the Fund Industry

Paul B. Brown reviews the latest book by Bob Pozen, The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed

It is amazing how little many of us really know about our mutual funds.

We may have a handle on the investments they hold — large-cap stocks or bonds or whatever — and some understanding of how they work: our money is pooled with a lot of other people’s, and we share the gains and losses proportionately. Continue reading

‘The Fund Industry’: Learn How Your Money Is Really Managed

In 2009 more than 87 million Americans were invested in mutual funds, but it is unlikely that more than a handful outside of the industry had any idea how these funds work. Robert Pozen and Theresa Hamacher set out to educate the investor in The Fund Industry: How Your Money Is Managed (Wiley, 2011). The education is thorough, clear and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

They’ve Got It: Fixes for the Financial System [New York Times]

By SEWELL CHAN and BINYAMIN APPELBAUM. Robert C. Pozen, chairman of MFS Investment Management and author of “Too Big to Save? How to Fix the U.S. Financial System” (Wiley, 2010), wants to require banks to issue an existing kind of bond known as long-term subordinated debt. “Subordinated debt is bought by very sophisticated investors who insist on conditions like capital requirements and covenants to make sure that banks don’t take on too much risk,” he says.

Since their investment is not guaranteed and their time horizon is long term, such creditors have interests closely aligned with those of government regulators, says Mr. Pozen, who is also a lecturer at Harvard Business School.

Financial Crisis Reading List [New York Times – Economix]

By David Leonhardt. “One book that may deserve more attention than it’s received is “Too Big to Save,” by Robert Pozen, a former vice chairman of Fidelity Investments. I found Chapter 6 — on capital requirements — especially useful. As Mr. Pozen writes, these requirements are ‘the most criticial component of any regulatory system for commercial banks or investment banks.’ “

A Selective Defense of “Too Big to Fail” [Barron’s]

Reviewed by Jim McTague. Here’s an idea for curbing the rapine of all those financial executives thumbing their noses at the taxpayers who rescued them from ruin: Limit their annual salaries to $300,000 to $400,000, and institute three-year performance programs that award bonuses to good stewards, but not the bad.

That’s just one of several provocative ideas found in this thorough, intelligent and straightforward book by money manager Robert Pozen, which traces the ontogeny of the financial crisis and offers remedies — most of them delectably controversial — for preventing calamities.