The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted WorldSubmitted by Joseph.Ngo on Fri, 08/23/2013 - 02:16
A book review by John Tamny from "Black Swans Are A Myth, Government Intervention Is The Only Black Swan."
...Thankfully for readers eager to understand why the markets and the economy are both a shadow of what they could be, Spitznagel has written an essential new book. Indeed, The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World might be one of the most important books of the year, or any year for that matter.
As evidenced by the book’s title, Spitznagel’s economics and investing are rooted in the Austrian School tradition of Carl Menger, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises whom he deems the greatest economist of them all, along with Bastiat and Hazlitt. Spitznagel rightly notes about Hazlitt that his Economics In One Lesson is the only book he’ll ever require his children to read, assuming they reveal no broader interest in the subject. To readers who e-mail this reviewer about books to read, it’s always said that a read of Hazlitt’s best known book will have them more informed about how economies work than 99.9% of economists. It’s that good, or perhaps economists are that bad. It would be a good debate.
What’s initially interesting about the endlessly fascinating The Dao of Capital is that Spitznagel ties the supreme logic underlying the Austrian School with Daoist thinkers 25 centuries before who, “in their concept of reversion saw everything emerging from – and as a result of – its opposite: hard from soft, advancing from retreating.” It’s rooted in the notion of ‘roundabout’ whereby the detour beats the direct route. Whether investing or engaging in direct commerce, Spitznagel notes that the normal, indeed human, route is one of taking the direct, perhaps easy, path to money, commercial success, or both.