Thursday, July 19, 2012

What is Frank Partnoy reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Frank Partnoy, author of Wait: The Art and Science of Delay.

His entry begins:
I tend to have several books going at a time, not because I necessarily like having several interesting stories in my mind at once, but because all too often I have the attention span of a pigeon. I recently finished the first half of Stephen King’s 11/22/63, his time-travel alternate-reality novel about the assassination of JFK. I’m a big Stephen King fan, and I was really enjoying this one. But then I had a conversation with a friend I trust who has read most of King’s books and told me he was disappointed in the second half of the book, particularly the ending. So I stopped reading. I’ve been thinking about what to do. Should I just preserve my memory and enjoyment from the first half, or should I run the risk of reading the rest? Maybe my friend is wrong: not every time travel book devolves into a contradictory mess. Also, if I decide not to finish the book, should I find out whether JFK lives? Do I deserve to know? I’m not sure...[read on]
About Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, from the publisher:
Warren Buffett compares stock trading to being at bat, except that you don't have to swing until there's a fat pitch. Great athletes agree, but with shorter time horizons. They excel, not because of fast neurological responses, but because of their ability to delay as long as possible before reacting, returning a serve or grabbing a rebound. Successful CEOs, fire fighters, and military officers all know how to manage delay.

In this provocative, entertaining book, Frank Partnoy provides a necessary rebuttal to the gurus of "go with your gut." He shows that decisions of all kinds, whether "snap" or long-term strategic, benefit from being made at the last possible moment. The art of knowing how long you can afford to delay before committing is at the heart of many a great decision—whether in a corporate takeover or a marriage proposal. Exploring decisions from those made in half a second to those that take months and years, Partnoy demonstrates that procrastination is often virtuous, that the ability to wait is the path to happiness, and that our gut instincts often betray us. We do not always make smart choices in the blink of an eye, as this eye-opening book reveals.
Read more about the book and author at Frank Partnoy's website and blog.

Partnoy is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance and is the director of the Center on Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego. He is one of the world's leading experts on the complexities of modern finance and financial market regulation. His books include The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals.

The Page 99 Test: The Match King.

The Page 99 Test: Wait: The Art and Science of Delay.

Writers Read: Frank Partnoy.

--Marshal Zeringue