finance

non-fiction

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Notee:The books in this section are in chronological order according to their publication years (old to new)

More than 2 million copies sold

The Richest Man In Babylon

Author: George S. Clason

164 pages

published: 1926

Amazon Bestseller Ranking:

#6 in Budgeting 7 Money Management

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The ancient Babylonians were the first people to discover the universal laws of prosperity. In his classic bestseller, "The Richest Man in Babylon," George S. Clason reveals their secrets for creating, growing, and preserving wealth. Through these entertaining tales of merchants, tradesmen, and herdsmen, you'll learn how to keep more of what you earn; get out of debt; put your money to work; attract good luck; choose wise investments; and safeguard a lasting fortune. This is a beautifully-designed edition of the complete, classic work. (A simplified version is also available: The Richest Man in Babylon: Six Laws of Wealth by Charles Conrad.amazon.com 

Beloved by millions, this timeless classic holds the key to all you desire and everything you wish to accomplish. This is the book that reveals the secret to personal wealth. The Success Secrets of the Ancients—An Assured Road to Happiness and Prosperity. Countless readers have been helped by the famous “Babylonian parables,” hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. In language as simpleas that in the Bible, these fascinating and informative as

 stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys. Acclaimed as a modern-day classic, this celebrated bestseller offers an understanding of—and a solution to—your personal financial problems that will guide you through a lifetime. This is the book that holds the secrets to keeping your money—and making more. The Richest Man in Babylon Read it and recommend it to loved ones—and get on the road to riches. goodreads.com

An inspirational guide to personal money problems presents eleven ancient Babylonian tales and fables that reveal the path to lifetime financial success as they explain the secrets of acquiring money, keeping money, and making money earn more money. Reissue. Kinokuniya.com

This book holds the secrets to acquiring money, keeping money, and making money earn more money.Millions of readers have become familiar with George S. Clason's famous "Babylonian parables" through the distribution of these success secrets of the ancients by banks, insurance companies, investment houses and employers. Acclaimed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift and financial planning, these fascinating and informative stories have become a modern classic in their field. In language as simple as that of the Bible, this book presents a sure path to prosperity and happiness. It offers an understanding of—and a solution to—your personal financial problems which will guide you successfully through a lifetime. The Richest Man in Babylon is a book you will want to read yourself, recommend to friends, and give to young people just starting out in life.  leadershop.com

Sold more than 1 million copies through five editions

Security Analysis (Sixth Edition) Foreword By Warren Buffett

Authors: Benjamin Graham & David Dodd

1,183 pages

published 1st edition: 1934, 6th edition: 2008

Amazon Bestseller Ranking:

#7in Business Investments

#12 in Stock Market Investing (Books)

#84 Introduction To Investing

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First published in 1934Security Analysis is one of the most influential financial books ever written. Selling more than one million copies through five editions, it has provided generations of investors with the timeless value investing philosophy and techniques of Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd.

As relevant today as when they first appeared nearly 75 years ago, the teachings of Benjamin Graham, “the father of value investing,” have withstood the test of time across a wide diversity of market conditions, countries, and asset classes.

This new sixth edition, based on the classic 1940 version, is enhanced with 200 additional pages of commentary from some of today’s leading Wall Street money managers. These masters of value investing explain why the principles and techniques of Graham and Dodd are still highly relevant even in today’s vastly different markets. The contributor list includes:

  • Seth A. Klarman, president of The Baupost Group, L.L.C. and author of Margin of Safety

  • James Grant, founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, general partner of .

          Nippon Partners

  • Jeffrey M. Laderman, twenty-five year veteran of BusinessWeek

  • Roger Lowenstein, author of Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist and When America Aged and Outside Director, Sequoia Fund

  • Howard S. Marks, CFA, Chairman and Co-Founder, Oaktree Capital Management L.P.

  • J. Ezra Merkin, Managing Partner, Gabriel Capital Group .

  • Bruce Berkowitz, Founder, Fairholme Capital Management.

  • Glenn H. Greenberg, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Chieftain Capital Management

  • Bruce Greenwald, Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, Columbia Business School

  • David Abrams, Managing Member, Abrams Capital

Featuring a foreword by Warren E. Buffett (in which he reveals that he has read the 1940 masterwork “at least four times”), this new edition of Security Analysis will reacquaint you with the foundations of value investing—more relevant than ever in the tumultuous 21st century markets amsazon.com

With nearly a million copies sold, Security Analysis has been continuously in print for more than sixty years. No investment book in history had either the immediate impact, or the long-term relevance and value, of its first edition in 1934. By 1951, seventeen years past its original publication and more than a decade beyond its revised and acclaimed 1940 second edition, authors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd had seen business and investment markets travel from the depths of Depression to the heights of recovery, and had observed investor behavior during both the calm of peacetime and the chaos of World War II.The prescient thinking and insight displayed by Graham and Dodd in the first two editions of Security Analysis reached new heights in the third edition. In words that could just as easily have been written today as fifty years ago, they detail techniques and strategies for attaining success as individual investors, as well as the responsibilities of corporate decision makers to build shareholder value and transparency for those investors.The focus of the book, however, remains its timeless guidance and advice--that careful analysis of balance sheets is the primary road to investment success, with all other considerations little more than distractions. The authors had seen and survived the Great Depression as well as the political and financial instabilities of World War II and were now better able to outline a program for sensible and profitable investing in the latter half of the century.Security Analysis: The Classic 1951 Edition marks the return of this long-out-of-print work to the investment canon. It will reacquaint you with the foundations of value investing--more relevant than ever in tumultuous twenty-first century markets--and allow you to own the third installment in what has come to be regarded as the most accessible and usable title in the history of investment publishing. goodreads.com

The bible of value investing--updated by today's value investing masters kinokuniya.com

Common Stocks And Uncommon Profits

And Other Writings

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Amazon Bestseller Rankings:

#1   in Professional Investments & Securities

#4  in Business Investments

#19 in Professional Investments & Securities

#25 in Stock Market Investing (Books)

#39 in Bestseller in Books

#59 in Introduction To investing

Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today's financiers and investors, but are also regarded by many as gospel. This book is invaluable reading and has been since it was first published in 1958. The updated paperback retains the investment wisdom of the original edition and includes the perspectives of the author's son Ken Fisher, an investment guru in his own right in an expanded preface and introduction

"I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits...A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil's techniques...enables one to make intelligent investment commitments."
Warren Buffet. amazon.com

You will find lots of jewels in these pages that may do as much for you as they have for me."-from the Introduction by Kenneth L. Fisher Forbes columnist Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today's finance professionals, but are also regarded by many as gospel. He recorded these philosophies in Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, a book considered invaluable reading when it was first published in 1958, and a must-read today. Acclaim for Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits "I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits...When I met him, I was impressed by the man as by his ideas. A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil's techniques...enables one to make intelligent investment commitments."-Warren Buffett "Little known to the public, rarely interviewed and accepting few clients, Philip Fisher is nevertheless read and studied by most thoughtful investment professionals ...everyone will profit from pondering-as Warren Buffett has done-the investment principles Fisher espouses. "-James W. Michaels Editor, Forbes "My own copy [of Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits] has underlinings and marginal thoughts throughout."-John Train Author of Dance of the Money Bee. amazon.com

By the late 1980’s, it became well known that Warren Buffett identified some of his approach as being influenced by Philip Fisher’s classic book, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. More specifically, Buffett says he is 85% Graham and 15% Fisher. Although many investors think they need to identify themselves as either a value investor or a growth investor, Buffett tends to disagree with this idea. Instead, Buffett suggests that investors who make this binary distinction are demonstrating their lack of understanding instead of aptitude. If you’re looking to read a book that helps bridge the gap of understanding between these two approaches, this is a great place to start. Fisher’s approach is deeply rooted in the idea that intangible factors can produce enormous impacts on the long-term value of common stock picks. theinvestorspodcast.com

A Best Book For Investors Pick by the Wall Street Journal’s “Weekend Investor”

Over 1.5 million copies sold

A Random Walk Down Wall Street (12th Edition)

Author: Burton G. Malkiel

430 pages

published 1st Edition: 1973, published 12th Edition: 2019

Amazon Bestsellers Rankings:

#4 in Retirement Planning (Books)

#6 Bin Business & Finance

#13 in Budgeting & Mooney Management (Books)

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Whether you’re considering your first 401k contribution, contemplating retirement, or anywhere in between, A Random Walk Down Wall Street is the best investment guide money can buy. In this new edition, Burton G. Malkiel shares authoritative insights spanning the full range of investment opportunities—including valuable new material on cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and “tax-loss harvesting”—to help you chart a calm course through the turbulent waters of today’s financial markets. amazon.com

In the tenth edition of A Random Walk down Wall Street, Malkiel evaluates and emphatically stands by his original investment thesis, that it is extremely rare for an individual investor to consistently beat the stock-market averages. Investors are better off buying and holding an index fund than attempting to buy and  sell

individual securities or actively managed mutual funds. An index fund which buys and sells all the stocks in a broad stock-market average is likely to outperform professionally managed funds whose high expense 

charges and large trading costs detract substantially from investor returns. With commentary on numerous investment issues, this readable investment guide for individuals offers information on the full range of new investment products available, the results of current research by academics and other marketplace professionals, and a section on investment strategies for retired investors or those anticipating retirement. This excellent book offers important information for individual investors and is a valuable resource for library patrons. --Mary Whaley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.It's unlikely that you'll spot many dog-eared copies of A Random Walk floating amongst the Wall Street set (although bookshelves at home may prove otherwise). After all, a "random walk"--in market terms--suggests that a "blindfolded monkey" would have as much luck selecting a portfolio as a pro. But Burton Malkiel's classic investment book is anything but random. Since stock prices cannot be predicted in the short term, argues Malkiel, individual investors are better off buying and holding onto index funds than meddling with securities or actively managing mutual funds. Not only will a broad range of index funds outperform a professionally managed portfolio in the long run, but investors can avoid expense charges and trading costs, which decrease returns.First published in 1973, this seventh printing of a A Random Walk looks forward and does so broadly, examining a new range of investment choices facing the turn-of-the-century investor: money-market accounts, tax-exempt funds, Roth IRAs, and equity REITs, as well as the potential benefits and pitfalls of the emerging global economy. In his updated "life-cycle guide to investing," Malkiel offers age-related investment strategies that consider one's capacity for risk. (A 30-year-old who can depend on wages to offset investment losses has a different risk capacity from a 60-year-old.) In his assessment of rocketing Internet stocks, Malkiel defends his "random" position well, explaining how "the market eventually corrects any irrationality--albeit in its own slow, inexorable fashion. Anomalies can crop up, markets can get irrationally optimistic, and often they attract unwary investors. But eventually, true value is recognized by the market, and this is the main lesson investors must heed." Written for the financial layperson but bolstered by 30 years of research, A Random Walk will help individual investors take charge of their financial future. Recommended. --Rob McDonald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.  amazon.com Review

Liar's Poker (25th Anniversary Edition): Rising Through The Wreckage Of Wall Street

Author: Michael Lewis

304 pages

published: 1989 (1st Edition), 2013 (current Edition)

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Bestseller Rankings:

#5 in Workplace Culture

#19 in Bonds Investing (Books)

#23 in Biographies & Memoirs

#31 in Professional Investment & Securities

The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar’s Poker.

Before there was Flash Boys and The Big Short, there was Liar's Poker. A knowing and unnervingly talented debut, this insider’s account of 1980s Wall Street excess transformed Michael Lewis from a disillusioned bond salesman to the best-selling literary icon he is today. Together, the three books cover thirty years of endemic global corruption—perhaps the defining problem of our age—which has never been so hilariously skewered as in Liar's Poker, now in a twenty-fifth-anniversary edition with a new afterword by the author.

It was wonderful to be young and working on Wall Street in the 1980s: never before had so many twenty-four-year-olds made so much money in so little time. After you learned the trick of it, all you had to do was pick up the phone and the money poured in your lap.This wickedly funny book endures as the best record we have of those heady, frenzied

years. Lewis describes his own rake’s progress through a powerful investment bank. From an unlikely beginning (art history at Princeton?) he rose in two short years from Salomon Brothers trainee to Geek (the lowest form of life on the trading floor) to Big Swinging Dick, the most dangerous beast in the jungle, a bond salesman who could turn over millions of dollars' worth of doubtful bonds with just one call.As he has continued to do for a quarter century, Michael Lewis here shows us how things really worked on Wall Street. In the Salomon training program a roomful of aspirants is stunned speechless by the vitriolic profanity of the Human Piranha; out on the trading floor, bond traders throw telephones at the heads of underlings and Salomon chairmen Gutfreund challenges his chief trader to a hand of liar’s poker for one million dollars.amazon.com

Liar's Poker is a non-fiction, semi-autobiographical book by Michael Lewis describing the author's experiences as a bond salesman on Wall Street during the late 1980s. First published in 1989, it is considered one of the books that defined Wall Street during the 1980s, along with Bryan Burrough and John Helyar's Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, and the fictional The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. The book captures an important period in the history of Wall Street. Two important figures in that history feature prominently in the text, the head of Salomon Brothers' mortgage department Lewis Ranieri and the firm's CEO John Gutfreund.

The book's name is taken from liar's poker, a high-stakes gambling game popular with the bond traders in the book. The narrative of Liar's Poker jumps back and forth between two different threads.

One thread is autobiographical: it follows Lewis through his college education, his hiring by Salomon Brothers (now a subsidiary of Citigroup) in 1984, and his training at the firm. It is a first-person account of the personalities, workplace practices, and culture of bond traders. Several high-ranking Salomon Brothers employees of the era, such as arbitrageur John Meriwether, mortgage department head Lewis Ranieri, and firm CEO  John Gutfreund, feature prominently.

The book's other thread gives an overview of Wall Street history before focusing on the history of Salomon Brothers particularly. This thread is less dependent on Lewis' personal experience and features quotes drawn from interviews. It is primarily concerned with how the Salomon Brothers firm almost single-handedly created a market for mortgage bonds that made the firm wealthy, only to be outdone by Michael Milken and his junk bonds.  Wikipedia

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street s premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar s Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game of bluffing and deception, here is Michael Lewis s knowing and hilarious insider s account of an unprecedented era of greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune." amazon.com

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"Barbarians At The Gate" is my absolute personal favourite. The way the battle for RJR Nabisco and the business atmosphere at Wall Street is narrated is unrivalled.The story features some of the big names in investment banking and private equity of Wall Street, such as Henry Kravis, co-founder of private equity firm KKR, who was the leveraged buyout king, his cousin and business partner (also co-founder of KKR). George R. Roberts, and  his main opponent Nabisco CEO Ross Johnson, as well as American Express CEO and Chairman Jim Robinson, and Ed Horrigan, the CEO and President of the  R.J. Reynolds Tobacco division of RJR Nabisco Brothers, John Gutfreund. An amazing and highly entertaining true saccount KKR ended up buying Nabisco for $25.1 billion in 1988, which at the time was an unimaginable sum! The MBO of Nabisco as of today still is the sixth largest management buyout (nominal in today's dollar terms), in U.S. history. At the time in 1989 this transaction was the largest and most dramatic takeover in U.S. history, which was so fantastically well captured that the authors Bryan Burrough and John Helyar were awarded highest honors in investigative journalism. Insider Tip: Grab this book and don't touch the HBO movie "Barbarians At The Gate", which is nowhere as informative  and entertaining as the book (as it's mostly the case). This book, and Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker probably best capture the "heydays" of Wall Street in the 1980s"

Manfred Liechti, Founder & MD of Info Digital Pte Ltd

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Arguably the best business narrative ever written!

Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall Of RJR Nabisco

Authors: Bryan Burrough & John Helyar

531 pages

published: 1989

Amazon Bestseller Ranking:

#5 in Mergers & Acquisitions

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“One of the finest, most compelling accounts of what happened to corporate America and Wall Street in the 1980’s.”New York Times Book Review

A #1 New York Times bestseller and arguably the best business narrative ever written, Barbarians at the Gate is the classic account of the fall of RJR Nabisco. An enduring masterpiece of investigative journalism by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, it includes a new afterword by the authors that brings this remarkable story of greed and double-dealings up to date twenty years after the famed deal. The Los Angeles Times calls Barbarians at the Gate, “Superlative.” The Chicago Tribune raves, “It’s hard to imagine a better story...and it’s hard to imagine a better account.” And in an era of spectacular business crashes and federal bailouts, it still stands as a valuable cautionary tale that must be heeded  amazon.com

The battle for the control of RJR Nabisco in the Autumn of 1988, which became the largest and most dramatic corporate takeover in American history, sent shock-waves through the international

shock-waves through the international business world and became a symbol of the greed, excess and egotism of the eighties. Barbarians at the Gate recounts this two-month battle with breathtaking pace and flair, and transports back to the Wall Street empire before it crumbled, through the boardroom doors, into the midnight meetings, the betrayals, the deal makers and publicity flaks, into a world where - as Nabisco CEO Ross Johnson put it - 'a few million dollars are lost in the sands of time'. Twenty years on, the world is once again recovering from a period of financial extravagance and irresponsibility. This revised edition brings the ultimate business thriller up to date for a new generation of readers. amazon.com

This should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in understanding the current financial world. The authors write a gripping account of the outsized personalities and egos of the 1980s LBO boom using their exhaustive list of contacts. The book reads like a movie as the personalities leap out of the page. A lot of today's issues are explored: real business vs the financial world, the possibilities and risks of leverage, captured boards and profligate executives vs activist investors.The authors pass along such perfect lines like, when speaking about RJR's expense account manager, "the only man who can take an unlimited budget and exceed it." I also liked Ross Johnson's summary of Wall Street: "Never play by the rules. Never pay in cash. And never tell the truth."  Brian LaRocca on amazon.com

A #1 New York Times bestseller and arguably the best business narrative ever written, Barbarians at the Gate is the classic account of the fall of RJR Nabisco. An enduring masterpiece of investigative journalism by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, it includes a new afterword by the authors that brings this remarkable story of greed and double-dealings up to date twenty years after the famed deal. The Los Angeles Times calls Barbarians at the Gate, “Superlative.” The Chicago Tribune raves, “It’s hard to imagine a better story...and it’s hard to imagine a better account.” And in an era of spectacular business crashes and federal bailouts, it still stands as a valuable cautionary tale that must be heeded.   goodreads.com

The battle for the control of RJR Nabisco in the Autumn of 1988, which became the largest and most dramatic corporate takeover in American history, sent shock-waves through the international business world and became a symbol of the greed, excess and egotism of the eighties. kinokunya.com

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco is a 1989 book about the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco, written by investigative journalists Bryan Burrough and John Helyar. The book is based upon a series of articles written by the authors for The Wall Street Journal.[1] The book was later made into a made-for-TV movie by HBO, also called Barbarians at the Gate. The book centers on F. Ross Johnson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco, who planned to buy out the rest of the Nabisco shareholders. Wikipedia

Those opposed to Johnson's bid for the company, Henry Kravis and his cousin George R. Roberts, were among the pioneers of the leveraged buyout (LBO). Kravis was the first person Johnson had talked to about doing the LBO and felt betrayed after learning that Johnson wanted to do the deal with another firm, American Express's former Shearson Lehman Hutton division. Ted Forstmann and his Forstmann Little buyout firm also played a prominent role.

After Kravis and Johnson are unable to reconcile their differences, a bidding war took place which Johnson would eventually lose. The unfortunate side effect of the augmented buyout price to the shareholders was the creation of a worrying level of debt for the company.

The title of the book comes from a statement by Forstmann, in which he called Kravis' money "phoney junk bond crap" and declares him and his cousin as "real people with real money," also stating that to stop raiders like Kravis: "We need to push the barbarians back from the city gates."

Important personalities

Margin Of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investment Strategies For Thoughtful Investors

Seth A. Klarman

249 pages

published: 1991

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Margin of Safety is an excellent guide for investors because it focuses on how to succeed by not failing. The book is comprised of three main parts:
Part 1: Just like Charlie Munger's saying "All I want to know is where I'm going to die so I'll never go there", Seth Klarman devotes the first part of the book to highlight how most investors stumble:
- confusing speculation with investing
- falling victim to Wall Street
- failing to understand advisor's incentives
- short-term orientation
- emotions and faulty behavioral biases
Part 2: Here Seth Klarman explains the core fundamentals of value investing:

understanding risk,
- focusing on minimizing risks first as opposed to focusing on returns,
- the importance of bottom-up fundamental analysis
- the importance of a margin of safety,
- the need for discipline to avoid many unattractive temptations,
- the need for patience to wait for the right opportunities, and
- the need for judgment to distinguish between the two
Part 3: In the final part of the book the author what a value-oriented investment process looks like and where investors may begin to search for attractive opportunities.
It doesn't promise investment fortunes but if followed thoroughly it will certainly keep investors away from misery. On top, it is highly likely to make investors wealthy over time. 

User Review. GoogleBooks

Seth Klarman through his Baupost Fund is one of the greatest investors of the current generation, perhaps of all-time. This 1991 book is an investing classic, so much so that it sells for $780 on the secondary market. The key insight for most value investors is the all investments must have an inherent margin of safety. That means looking at the downside before looking at the upside. The notion of risk is asymmetric, not the standard deviation of returns as modern portfolio theory suggests. For example for any given stock under modern portfolio risk is independent of price; for a value investor risk is extraordinarily dependent upon price.
Klarman is focused on absolute performance, not relative performance. Thus unlike the bubbleheads on C
NBC he doesn’t have to be invested all of the time. He is rightly skeptical of Wall Street research and the exotic products their investment bankers come up with.
The key earnings metric for Klarman is rightly free cash flow. It is not earnings per share and it is not EBITDA. Depreciation is real and so too are capital expenditures which do not enter the income statement.he reader has to remember that this book was written in 1991 against the backdrop of the 1987 crash, the junk bond collapse and the 1990 bear market. He is critical of newly issued junk bonds (high yield in today’s terminology). Little did he realize that 27 years later high yield would dominate the new issues. He is also critical of the index funds that now dominate today’s stock market. For the average investor index funds make a great deal of sense.
Why? Simply put the average investor doesn’t have the talent or the time to be a value investor like Klarman. To be another Seth Klarman takes more than a few brains and much hard work.
Margin of Safety” is written in clear and concise language. My two criticisms are that there are far too few examples of value investing in action and it is obviously dated. Nevertheless the lessons to be learned from reading the book are timeless. David Schulman on amazon.com

Soros On Soros: Staying Ahead Of The Curve

Author: George Soros

326 psages

published: 1995

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George Soros Ends the Speculation
"The outcome of this book is a summing up of my life's work. . . As I finish the book, I feel I have succeeded."-George Soros from the Preface
Critical praise for Soros on Soros
"If you have ever wanted to sit down for a candid conversation with a phenomenal financial success, George Soros's book provides the opportunity. You will meet a complex man and a first-rate mind."-Henry A. Kissinger
"The best expert on Soros is undoubtedly George Soros! After all, who is better equipped to tell us what he really thinks and how he thinks, a matter of some importance given the fact that he has translated a remarkable personal financial success into a truly generous and historically significant effort to promote postcommunist democracy." -Zbigniew Brzezinski

"The best X-ray of the mind of the master yet." -Barton M. Biggs"George Soros brings a lot more to the world of finance than the intuition and nerve of a born trader-and in Soros on Soros he's no longer bashful about telling us about it. A philosopher at heart, George attributes his success at investing to a theory of the interaction of reality and human perception. What really drives the man now, with a personal fortune beyond all personal need, is a different kind of strategic investing-investment to build in Eastern Europe the kind of open societies he came to value in his own life." -Paul A. VolckerFinancial guru George Soros is one of the most colorful and intriguing figures in the financial world today. Now in Soros on Soros, readers are given their most intimate and revealing look yet into the life and mind of the one BusinessWeek dubbed, "The Man Who Moves Markets."Soros on Soros interweaves financial theory and personal reminiscence, political analysis and moral reflection to offer a compelling portrait of the world (and its markets) according to Soros. In an interview-style narrative with Byron Wien, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, and with German journalist Krisztina Koenen, Soros vividly describes the genesis of his brilliant financial career and shares his views on investing and global finance, politics and the emerging world order, and the responsibility of power.Speaking with remarkable candor, he traces his progress from Holocaust survivor to philosophy student, unsuccessful tobacco salesman to the world's most powerful and profitable trader and introduces us to the people and events that helped shape his character and his often controversial views.In describing the investment theories and financial strategies that have made him "a superstar among money managers" (The New York Times), Soros tells the fascinating story of the phenomenally successful Soros Fund Management and its $12 billion flagship, Quantum Fund. He also offers fresh insights into some of his most sensational wins and losses, including a firsthand account of the $1 billion he made going up against the British pound and the fortune he lost speculating on the yen. Plus: Soros's take on the devaluation of the peso and currency fluctuations internationally.He tells of the personal and professional crises that more than once threatened to destroy him and of the personal resources he drew upon to turn defeat into resounding victory. And he explains his motivations for establishing the Soros Foundation and the Open Society Institute through which he worked to build open societies in postcommunist countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.Finally, turning his attention to international politics, Soros offers keen insights into the current state of affairs in Russia and the former communist bloc countries and analyzes the reasons behind and likely consequences of the West's failure to properly integrate them into the free world. He also explores the crisis of the ERM and analyzes the pros and cons of investing in a number of emerging markets.<

Hungarian-born investor Soros, already well known for the unmatched success of his Quantum Fund, achieved additional notoriety in 1992 when he amassed over $1 billion in profits with the collapse of the British pound. He is also recognized for his philanthropic activities, having established foundations in several Eastern European nations. Soros on Soros is a book-length interview, conducted by the managing director of Morgan Stanley and a Hungarian journalist. Its scope reaches far beyond the topic of investing and includes Soros's responses to questions about life influences, philanthropy, international politics, and philosophy. The book should be a hit with those wanting an in-depth look into the mind of the master investor, but the interview format does not allow for the broadest coverage. Reporter and biographer Slater's Soros is better suited for those approaching the subject for the first time. Slater's presentation is balanced and well organized, and he succeeds at providing clear, concise summaries of Soros's sometimes confusing ideas and theories. Both titles would make good additions to business collections.?Mark McCullough, Heterick Lib., Ohio Northern Univ., Ada.  Library Journal

Soros on Soros interweaves financial theory and personal reminiscence, political analysis and moral reflection to offer a compelling portrait of the world (and its markets) according to Soros. In an interview-style narrative with Byron Wien, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, and with German journalist Krisztina Koenen, Soros vividly describes the genesis of his brilliant financial career and shares his views on investing and global finance, politics and the emerging world order, and the responsibility of power. Speaking with remarkable candor, he traces his progress from Holocaust survivor to philosophy student, unsuccessful tobacco salesman to the world's most powerful and profitable trader and introduces us to the people and events that helped shape his character and his often controversial views. Finally, turning his attention to international politics, Soros offers keen insights into the current state of affairs in Russia and the former communist bloc countries and analyzes the reasons behind and likely consequences of the West's failure to properly integrate them into the free world. He also explores the crisis of the ERM and analyzes the pros and cons of investing in a number of emerging markets. goodreads.com

Fred Profile Picture on About Us.jpg

"Rogue Trader"will always be a special book for me, asitwas the first English book I ever read  when I first came to Singapore in 1996.Singapore is the place where the story of rogue trader Nick Leeson, who  single-handedly brought down the traditional English merchant bank Barings, happened.As a fresh trainee in Singapore at the time,I  found  it fascinating to see the places as Leeson described them in the book. It somehow felt special!"

Manfred Liechti, Banker for over 30 Years!

Rogue Trader: Nick Leeson - His Own Amazing Story

Author: Nick Leeson

273 pages

published: 1996

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Pressure, pace, error: ROGUE TRADER grippingly tells the inside story of how the greatest gamble ever made rocked the City of London to its foundations. Crackling with tension, in a narrative as crisp as any thriller, Nick Leeson's autobiographical account reveals how he 'lost' GBP800 millions as General Manager of Baring Futures Singapore through foolhardy speculations on behalf of his employer, Barings Brothers - the world's first merchant bank. As Leeson's audacity escalated, so did his losses while London continued to pour money down the drain. ROGUE TRADER is a dazzlingly revealing story of a man shaped by events that proved beyond his control.  bookdepository.com

A real-life thriller - Nick Leeson's own account of how a 'rogue trader' rocked the City to its foundations in 1995. kinokuniya.com

A rogue trader is an employee authorized to make trades on behalf of their employer (subject to certain conditions) who makes unauthorized 

trades. It is most often a phrase applied to financial trading, when a rogue trader makes unapproved financial transactions In addition, it refers to a trader who engages in the mismarking of securities.[2][3][4] The perpetrator is a legitimate employee of a company, but enters into transactions on behalf of their employer, or mismarks securities held by their employer, without their employer's permission.

External audio

 What a Rogue Trader Learned From the Financial Crisis, Alexis Stenfors interviewed by Knowledge@Wharton, 24:35, July 18, 2017. Includes edited transcript.[5]

One famous rogue trader is Nick Leeson, whose losses on unauthorized investments in index futures contracts were sufficient to bankrupt his employer Barings Bank in 1995. Through a combination of poor judgment on his part, increasingly large initial profits, lack of oversight by management, a naïve regulatory environment, and an unforeseen outside event, the Kobe earthquake, Leeson incurred a US$1.3 billion loss that bankrupted the centuries-old financial institution.[6][7] In some cases traders have initially made large profits for their employers, and - their goal - large bonuses for themselves, from trades in breach of applicable laws and company rules, and it has been questioned by some whether in some instances traders are not in face "rogue," as in those cases in which employers directed the activity or knew of it and turned a blind eye to the transgressions due to the profits involved.

The key factor determining the use of the term is lack of authorisation by the employer. There have been colossal financial losses and bankruptcies from what are considered to be catastrophically bad decisions by senior decision-makers in financial institutions, such as the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers which necessitated the 2008 United Kingdom bank rescue package, but this is not described as rogue trading and is not punishable.

In the UK the term rogue tradesmen is also used to describe dishonest tradesmen, such as double-glazing salesmen, second-hand car dealers, gas fitters, mechanics, roofers, plumbers, and domestic rubbish collectors A BBC Television programme exposing such practices was called Watchdog, which was later followed by Rogue Traders. Wikipedia

#1 Business Week Bestseller

#1 New York Times Business Bestseller

#1 USA Today Bestseller

Against The Gods: The Remarkable Story Of Risk

Author: Peter L. Bernstein

400 pages

published: 1998

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Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read."―The Economist

Amazon Bestseller Rankings:

#2 in Risk Management (Books)

#8 in Financial Risk Management (Books)

#14 in Investment Portfolio Management

Ambitious and readable . . . an engaging introduction to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as true humanists helping to release mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism."―The New York Times

"A lively panoramic book . . . Against the Gods sets up an ambitious premise and then delivers on it."―Business Week

An extraordinarily entertaining and informative book."―The Wall Street Journal

A] challenging book, one that may change forever the way people think about the world."―Worth

No one else could have written a book of such central importance with so much charm and excitement."―Robert Heilbroner author, The Worldly Philosophers

With his wonderful knowledge of the history and current manifestations of risk, Peter Bernstein brings us Against the Gods. Nothing like it will come 

out of the financial world this year or ever. I speak carefully: no one should miss it."John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University

In this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the distant past. Against the Gods chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today.

An extremely readable history of risk."―Barron's

"A singular achievement."―Times Literary Supplement

"Fascinating . . . this challenging volume will help you understand the uncertainties that every investor must face."―Money

There's a growing market for savants who can render the recondite intelligibly-witness Stephen Jay Gould (natural history), Oliver Sacks (disease), Richard Dawkins (heredity), James Gleick (physics), Paul Krugman (economics)-and Bernstein would mingle well in their company."―The Australian

With the stock market breaking records almost daily, leaving longtime market analysts shaking their heads and revising their forecasts, a study of the concept of risk seems quite timely. Peter Bernstein has written a comprehensive history of man's efforts to understand risk and probability, beginning with early gamblers in ancient Greece, continuing through the 17th-century French mathematicians Pascal and Fermat and up to modern chaos theory. Along the way he demonstrates that understanding risk underlies everything from game theory to bridge-building to winemaking.goodreads.com

Common Sense On Mutual Funds (10th Anniversary Edition)

Author: John C. Bogle

656 pages

Published 1st Edition: 1999, published 10th Anniversary Edition: 2009

Amazon Bestselle Ranking: 

#13 on Bonds Investing (Books)

#24 in Mutual Funds Investing (Books)

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John C. Bogle shares his extensive insights on investing in mutual fundsSince the first edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds was published in 1999, much has changed, and no one is more aware of this than mutual fund pioneer John Bogle. Now, in this completely updated Second Edition, Bogle returns to take another critical look at the mutual fund industry and help investors navigate their way through the staggering array of investment alternatives that are available to them.Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this reliable resource examines the fundamentals of mutual fund investing in today's turbulent market environment and offers timeless advice in building an investment portfolio. Along the way, Bogle shows you how simplicity and common sense invariably trump costly complexity, and how a low cost, broadly diversified portfolio is virtually assured of 

outperforming the vast majority of Wall Street professionals over the long-term. * Written by respected mutual fund industry legend John C. Bogle * Discusses the timeless fundamentals of investing that apply in any type of market * Reflects on the structural and regulatory changes in the mutual fund industry * Other titles by Bogle: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing and Enough.Securing your financial future has never seemed more difficult, but you'll be a better investor for having read the Second Edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds.amazon.com

"Cogent, honest, and hard-hitting-a must read for every investor." -Warren E. Buffett
Praise for Common Sense on Mutual Funds"Invoking both Thomas Paine and Benjamin Graham, Jack Bogle outlines a supremely logical plan not only to better investors' returns, but to improve the whole fund industry. This isn't just the best book yet by Bogle, it may well be the best book ever on mutual funds." -DON PHILLIPS, President & CEO, Morningstar, Inc.
"Buffett cannot teach you or me how to become a Warren Buffett. Bogle's reasoned precepts can enable a few million of us savers to become in twenty years the envy of our suburban neighbors-while at the same time we have slept well in these eventful times."-PAUL A. SAMUELSON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics
"After a lifetime of picking stocks, I have to admit that Bogle's arguments in favor of the index fund have me thinking of joining him rather than trying to beat him. Bogle's wisdom and his commonsense way of explaining things make this book indispensable reading for anyone trying to figure out how to invest in this crazy stock market."-JAMES J. CRAMER, Money Manager and Senior Columnist for TheStreet.com
"Written in his characteristic forthright and visionary style, Bogle penetrates the myths and jargon to shed a powerful light on the central issues that confront every investor, no matter what their level of experience or sophistication." -MARTIN L. LEIBOWITZ, Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, TIAA-CREF
"Jack Bogle is one of the great pioneer/visionaries of the investment business. In this book, he shares his knowledge, experience, and judgment to enable us to become better investors. The final philosophical chapters provide insights that may help some of us become better people." -BYRON R. WIEN, Chief U.S. Investment Strategist Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor, written by John Bogle, is a book advising investors about mutual funds, with a focus on the praise of index funds and the importance of having a long term strategy. On the dust jacket cover, Jim Cramer wrote, "After a lifetime of picking stocks, I have to admit that (Vanguard Group founder John) Bogle's arguments in favor of the index fund have me thinking of joining him rather than trying to beat him."[1]

Since its release, it has received high accolades in the investment community. It has become a bestseller and is considered a "classic".[2][3] ConsumerAffairs.com rated it on its "15 Business Books That Could Actually Help Make You Rich" list.[4] Despite it being aimed at American audiences, the British newspaper The Independent stated "there is nothing in it that does not apply in some measure to the UK fund industry."[5].    Wikipedia

Your Money Or Your Life: 9 Steps To Transforming Your Relationship With Money And Achieving Financial Independence: Revised And Updated for the 21st Century

Authors: Vicky Robin & Joe Dominguez

384 pages

published 1st Edition: 1999, published current Edition 2008

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Bestseller Rankings:

#24 in Budgeting &Moneyt Management (Books)

#98 in Business Management

"The best book on money. Period." -Grant Sabatier, founder of "Millennial Money," on CNBC Make It

This is a wonderful book. It can really change your life. -Oprah
For more than twenty-five years, Your Money or Your Life has been considered the go-to book for taking back your life by changing your relationship with money. Hundreds of thousands of people have followed this nine-step program, learning to live more deliberately and meaningfully with Vicki Robin's guidance. This fully revised and updated edition with a foreword by the Frugal Guru (New Yorker) Mr. Money Mustache is the ultimate makeover of this bestselling classic, ensuring that its time-tested wisdom applies to people of all ages and covers modern topics like investing in index funds, managing revenue streams like side hustles and freelancing, tracking your finances online, and having difficult conversations about money.

Whether you're just beginning your financial life or heading towards retirement, this book will show you how to:

- Get out of debt and develop savings
- Save money through mindfulness and good habits, rather than strict budgeting
- Declutter your life and live well for less
- Invest your savings and begin creating wealth
- Save the planet while saving money
- ...and so much more!   amazon.com

The seminal guide to the new morality of personal money management. -Los Angeles Times

As a Certified Financial Planner professional with over ten years of experience helping clients with retirement planning, I'm sincerely impressed by this book, and have to say that this is a powerful resource for anyone that is seriously interested in becoming Financially Independent (FI). My only feedback is that the book, doesn't emphasize enough, how difficult it is, when you have a spouse or life partner, to change deeply rooted financial money scripts and behaviors. That said, if you (and your life partner) are dedicated to Financial Independence, then this read, is in my professional opinion, a very worthy investment of "life energy" in deed. Good luck on your financial life journey, and may there be many blessings to you and yours! :-)    Gregory Alerte on amazon.com

Now more than ever given today's uncertain economic climate a transformed relationship with money is the key to a healthy and happy life. Vicki Robin offers Your Money or Your Life, an original audio adaptation of the New York Times bestselling book that has helped more than 600,000 people worldwide gain greater financial freedom. Join this acclaimed author for hands-on tools and insights that will help you reach new levels of comfort, competence, and consciousness around your personal finances. Building on the recent updates and revisions to the book Your Money or Your Life (Penguin, 2008), this two-CD program reflects the major social, technological, and environmental changes since its first publication in 1992 plus wisdom from 15 years of readers lived experiences including: --How to develop your financial intelligence, integrity, and independence--the three keys to lasting fulfillment. --A million-and-one sure ways to save money how controlling your spending starts with controlling your thoughts. --How to manage your money so that you have a life you love with the money you have. Whether you're trying to plan for your future, recover from poor choices in the past, or manage your finances better, Your Money or Your Lifeprovides proven tools and powerful teachings to help you get there no matter what financial storm blows your way.goodreads.com

 More than 1 million copies sold

One Up Wall Street

Author: Peter Lynch

304 pages

published: 2000

Bestseller Rankings:

#2 in Mutual Funds Investing (Books)

#8 in Stock Market Investing (Books)

#14 Business Professionals Biograsphies

#44 in Professional Investments & Securities

#58 in Business Economics

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I heard about this book from various places and it seems to be highly recommended for anyone interested in investing. Lynch is well known for his "invest in what you know" mantra, and even though some take it as justification to invest in whatever company they simply "feel good about," Lynch is nowhere near as reckless in his book and even warns against it.His main premise is that individuals, such as me and you, take part in the economy and are well aware of new trends and investing opportunities. By being aware and doing diligent homework before investing, you can find numerous "baggers" - stocks which increase by multiples over time - that can make you quite wealthy. In fact, Lynch points out this gives the average person an edge against professional investors, thus giving the book it's title. Throughout the book he details his ideas and methods for analyzing 

companies and serves as a good foundation to the value oriented investors. The author also seems to have a good sense of humor (like Buffett) which makes the book joyful to read.   BlackHairedGuy on amazon .com

Peter Lynch believes that average investors have advantages over Wall Street experts. Since the best opportunities can be found at the local mall or in their own places of employment, beginners have the chance to learn about potentially successful companies long before before professional analysts discover them. This headstart on the experts is what produces 'tenbaggers', the stocks that appreciate tenfold or more and turn an average stock portfolio into a star performer. In this fully updated edition of his classic bestseller, Lynch explains how to research stocks and offers easy-to-follow directions for sorting out the long shots from the no shots. He also provides valuable advice on how to learn as much as possible from a company's story, and why every investor must ignore the ups and downs of the stock market and focus only on the fundamentals of the company in which they are investing. amazon.com

In easy-to-follow terminology, Lynch offers directions for sorting out the long shots from the no shots by spending just a few minutes with a company's financial statements. His advice for producing "tenbaggers" can turn a stock portfolio into a star performer!   goodreads.com

More than one million copies have been sold of this seminal book on investing in which legendary mutual-fund manager Peter Lynch explains the advantages that average investors have over professionals and how they can use these advantages to achieve financial success.
America's most successful money manager tells how average investors can beat the pros by using what they know. According to Lynch, investment opportunities are everywhere. From the supermarket to the workplace, we encounter products and services all day long. By paying attention to the best ones, we can find companies in which to invest before the professional analysts discover them. When investors get in early, they can find the "tenbaggers," the stocks that appreciate tenfold from the initial investment. A few tenbaggers will turn an average stock portfolio into a star performer.Lynch offers easy-to-follow advice for sorting out the long shots from the no-shots by reviewing a company's financial statements and knowing which numbers really count. He offers guidelines for investing in cyclical, turnaround, and fast-growing companies.
As long as you invest for the long term, Lynch says, your portfolio can reward you. This timeless advice has made One Up on Wall Street a #1 bestseller and a classic book of investment know-how.  National  Library Board Singapore

Fred Profile Picture on About Us.jpg

"When Genius Failed "is another personal favourite of mine, not only because of the interesting and fascinating story of what happened and brought down John Meriwether's Long - Term Capital Management (LTCM), but also because the demise of LTCM has a distinct influence on a top management re-shuffle of my employer, the newly merged Swiss banking giant UBS, which basically put Marcel Ospel as CEO and his lieutenants from  SBC (Swiss Bank Corporation) firmly in charge of the new UBS.I would actually rename this book to something like "When Genius Met The Black Swan and ileaerned that ts probability of happening, no matter how small, cannot be ignored. The statistically close to impossible event for somethging like a hundred or a thousandyears, can actually happen tomorrow. Meriwether was undoubtedly a math genius and his money management strategy held up and produced healthy returns for many years.

Manfred Liechti, stsarted my banking career with Swiss Bank Corporation

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NewsWeek

When Genius Failed: The Rise & Fall Of Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM)

Author: Roger Lowenstein

304 pages

published:2001

Amazon Bestseller Ranking:

#10 in Financial Risk Management (Books)

#27 in Banks &Banking (Books) 

#28 Free Enterprise & Capitalism

In this business classic—now with a new Afterword in which the author draws parallels to the recent financial crisis—Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term’s partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall. When it was founded in 1993, Long-Term was hailed as the most impressive hedge fund in history. But after four years in which the firm dazzled Wall Street as a $100 billion moneymaking juggernaut, it suddenly suffered catastrophic losses that jeopardized not only the biggest banks on Wall Street but the stability of the financial system itself. The dramatic story of Long-Term’s fall is now a chilling harbinger of the crisis that would strike all of Wall Street, from Lehman Brothers to AIG, a decade later. In his new Afterword, Lowenstein shows that LTCM’s implosion should be seen not as a one-off drama but as a

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template for market meltdowns in an age of instability—and as a wake-up call that Wall Street and government alike tragically ignored.

Praise for When Genius Failed

[Roger] Lowenstein has written a squalid and fascinating tale of world-class greed and, above all, hubris.”—BusinessWeek

Compelling . . . The fund was long cloaked in secrecy, making the story of its rise

. . and its ultimate destruction that much more fascinating.”—The Washington Post

“Story-telling journalism at its best.”The Economist.   kobo.com

Picking up where Liar's Poker left off (literally, in the bond dealer's desks of Salomon Brothers) the story of Long-Term Capital Management is of a group of elite investors who believed they could beat the market and, like alchemists, create limitless wealth for themselves and their partners. Founded by John Meriweather, a notoriously confident bond dealer, along with two Nobel prize winners and a floor of Wall Street's brightest and best, Long-Term Captial Management was from the beginning hailed as a new gold standard in investing. It was to be the hedge fund to end all other hedge funds: a discreet private investment club limited to those rich enough to pony up millions. It became the banks' own favourite fund and from its inception achieved a run of dizzyingly spectacular returns. New investors barged each other aside to get their investment money into LTCM's hands. But as competitors began to mimic Meriweather's fund, he altered strategy to maintain the fund's performance, leveraging capital with credit on a scale not fully understood and never seen before. When the markets in Indonesia, South America and Russia crashed in 1998 LCTM's investments crashed with them and mountainous debts accumulated. The fund was in melt-down, and threatening to bring down into its trillion-dollar black hole a host of financial instiutions from New York to Switzerland. It's a tale of vivid characters, overwheening ambition, and perilous drama told, in Roger Lowenstein's hands, with brilliant style and panache. amazon.com

John Meriwether, a famously successful Wall Street trader, spent the 1980s as a partner at Salomon Brothers, establishing the best—and the brainiest—bond arbitrage group in the world. A mysterious and shy midwesterner, he knitted together a group of Ph.D.-certified arbitrageurs who rewarded him with filial devotion and fabulous profits. Then, in 1991, in the wake of a scandal involving one of his traders, Meriwether abruptly resigned. For two years, his fiercely loyal team—convinced that the chief had been unfairly victimized—plotted their boss's return. Then, in 1993, Meriwether made a historic offer. He gathered together his former disciples and a handful of supereconomists from academia and proposed that they become partners in a new hedge fund different from any Wall Street had ever seen. And so Long-Term Capital Management was born. n a decade that had seen the longest and most rewarding bull market in history, hedge funds were the ne plus ultra of investments: discreet, private clubs limited to those rich enough to pony up millions. They promised that the investors' money would be placed in a variety of trades simultaneously—a "hedging" strategy designed to minimize the possibility of loss. At Long-Term, Meriwether & Co. truly believed that their finely tuned computer models had tamed the genie of risk, and would allow them to bet on the future with near mathematical certainty. And thanks to their cast—which included a pair of future Nobel Prize winners—investors believed them.From the moment Long-Term opened their offices in posh Greenwich, Connecticut, miles from the pandemonium of Wall Street, it was clear that this would be a hedge fund apart from all others. Though they viewed the big Wall Street investment banks with disdain, so great was Long-Term's aura that these very banks lined up to provide the firm with financing, and on the very sweetest of terms. So self-certain were Long-Term's traders that they borrowed with little concern about the leverage. At first, Long-Term's models stayed on script, and this new gold standard in hedge funds boasted such incredible returns that private investors and even central banks clamored to invest more money. It seemed the geniuses in Greenwich couldn't lose. Four years later, when a default in Russia set off a global storm that Long-Term's models hadn't anticipated, its supposedly safe portfolios imploded. In five weeks, the professors went from mega-rich geniuses to discredited failures. With the firm about to go under, its staggering $100 billion balance sheet threatened to drag down markets around the world. At the eleventh hour, fearing that the financial system of the world was in peril, the Federal Reserve Bank hastily summoned Wall Street's leading banks to underwrite a bailout.Roger Lowenstein, the bestselling author of Buffett, captures Long-Term's roller-coaster ride in gripping detail. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein crafts a story that reads like a first-rate thriller from beginning to end. He explains not just how the fund made and lost its money, but what it was about the personalities of Long-Term's partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the late-nineties culture of Wall Street that made it all possible. When Genius Failed is the cautionary financial tale of our time, the gripping saga of what happened when an elite group of investors believed they could...   National Library Board Singpore

Financial Reckoning Day: SurvivingThe Soft Deprssion Of the 21st Century

Authors:Willisam Bonner & Addison Wiggin

320 pages

published: 2003

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As Financial Reckoning Day demonstrates, artificially low interest rates and rapid credit creation policies set by Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve caused the bubble in U.S. stocks of the late '90s. . . . Now, policies being pursued at the Fed are making the bubble worse. They are changing it from a stock market bubble to a consumption and housing bubble.
And when those bubbles burst, it's going to be worse than the stock market bubble . . .
No one, of course, wants to hear it. They want the quick fix. They want to buy the stock and watch it go up twenty-five percent because that's what happened last year, and that's what they say on TV."
—Jim Rogers, author of the bestseller Adventure Capitalist from the Foreword to FinancialReckoning Day Advanced praise from bestselling authors

"An investment book that will not only enlarge your investment horizon, but also make you laugh and thoroughly entertain you for a few hours."
Dr. Marc Faber, author of the bestseller Tomorrow's Gold

"Financial Reckoning Day is . . . in the category of scintillating sex or good vision, something to be savored and enjoyed-before it is too late."
James Dale Davidson, author of the bestseller The Great Reckoning and The Sovereign Individual

"A powerful and insightful vision . . . each paragraph stimulates a new rush of thoughts that fills in gaping holes in the investor's understanding of what has happened to their dreams . . . while prepping them to confront any new confusion that may arrive."
Martin D. Weiss, author of the bestseller Crash Profits.  amazon.com

This book is an intellectual tour de force. The breadth of the authors' accomplishment is impressive, drawing on sources from Emerson to Einstein to Freud to Adam Smith and more. Whether their analysis is correct, however, is highly debatable. One could build a small mountain out of books that have declared prematurely that the American economic miracle is over. This volume draws heavily on the Japanese model to predict continued economic doldrums in the U.S., and the comparison seems a poor fit. Its over-reliance on a continental historical perspective - Americans are naïve, overly optimistic fools whose prosperity is the result of dumb luck - seems fairly dubious. None of that takes away from the authors' keen perspective. Right or wrong, they bring intellectual light to the question, 'Just what is going on with the American economy?' Because of this volume's range and insight, getAbstract.com very strongly recommends it, especially to those seeking historical and cross-cultural context for alternative views about the U.S. economy National Library Board Singapore

Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game

Author:  Michael Lewis

356 pages

published: 2004

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Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball. In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Michael Lewis follows the low-budget Oakland A's, visionary general manager Billy Beane, and the strange brotherhood of amateur baseball theorists. They are all in search of new baseball knowledge―insights that will give the little guy who is willing to discard old wisdom the edge over big money.

The Oakland Athletics have reached the post-season playoffs three years in a row, even though they spend just one dollar for every three that the New York Yankees spend. Their secret, as Lewis's lively account demonstrates, is not on the field but in the front office, in the shape of the general manager, Billy Beane. Unable to afford the star hires of his big-spending rivals, Beane disdains the received 

wisdom about what makes a player valuable, and has a passion for neglected statistics that reveal how runs are really scored. Beane's ideas are beginning to attract disciples, most notably at the Boston Red Sox, who nearly lured him away from Oakland over the winter. At the last moment, Beane's loyalty got the better of him; besides, moving to a team with a much larger payroll would have diminished the challenge.The New Yorker

The best book of the year, [Moneyball] already feels like the most influential book on sports ever written. If you're a baseball fan, Moneyball is a must." ― People
"Lewis has hit another one out of the park…You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy and incisiveness of [Lewis's] thoughts about it." -- Janet Maslin ― New York Times
"Moneyball is the best business book Lewis has written. It may be the best business book anyone has written." -- Mark Gerson ― Weekly Standard
"By playing Boswell to Beane's Samuel Johnson, Lewis has given us one of the most enjoyable baseball books in years." -- Lawrence S. Ritter ― New York Times Book Review
"It’s a sports story that’s actually a business story that’s also a story about preconceptions. Plus, Michael Lewis’s writing is so clear, readable, and highly entertaining." -- Charles Yu ― Literary Hu Ebullient, invigorating…Provides plenty of action, both numerical and athletic, on the field and in the draft-day war room." -- Lev Grossman ― Time
"A journalistic tour de force." -- Richard J. Tofel ― Wall Street Journal
Michael Lewis's beautiful obsession with the idea of value has once again yielded gold…Moneyball explains baseball's startling new insight; that for all our dreams of blasts to the bleachers, the sport's hidden glory lies in not getting out." -- Garry Trudeau
I understood about one in four words of Moneyball, and it's still the best and most engrossing sports book I've read in years. If you know anything about baseball, you will enjoy it four times as much as I did, which means that you might explode." -- Nick Hornby ― The Believe

An iconoclastic riot - and a good lesson for the markets I could not possibly know (or, to be honest, care) less about baseball. Nonetheless, I found this to be a fascinating book, and have been recommending it to everyone I meet. It contains a fundamental truth of investing that anyone could use, useful precisely because most people think they know best:

The fact that the Oakland A's never won the World Series is absolutely not the point. If the market was functioning efficiently, on their budget, they should never have got within cooey of it: The buying power of behemoths like the Mets should have ensured that. What is remarkable — and important — is that the A's consistently, massively, exceeded *their own* expectations.

Sport is a business. I mean that figuratively as well as literally: profit can be measured in dollar terms but also in percentage of wins to losses. Fans seem to forget that. In business, consistently exceeding expectations is an even better thing than winning the World Series, because it necessarily means you've made MONEY. If you're the favourite and you win the World Series, you have only met expectations, and you may even have made a loss.

If baseball were a perfect market, it wouldn’t be possible to exceed expectations over a long period. Over a few games, maybe - that could be a fluke. Over two seasons, it almost certainly couldn’t be. That means two things: (a) conventional wisdom about the value of certain baseball players and certain attributes is wrong; and (b) The Oakland A's have worked out what is right, or at any rate their model is better than the conventional wisdom.

This is the sort of thing Billy Beane should have kept as quiet about as possible. Michael Lewis' book ought to be a Eureka moment for everybaseball manager: if it is, then the market mis-pricing will disappear,everyone will acquire players on the strength of the new valuation methodology and the Oakland A's will gradually fall down the rankings to where they should have been in the first place, given their budget. I dare say that has already started to happen.

What it ought to do is open eyes of managers from other codes, and indeed other businesses: The key is in having sufficient data. If you have enough good quality data (like baseball does) then if your analysis of it is better than your competitors, then as long as your approach is disciplined and consistent, you will, over time, turn a virtually risk free profit. It's called arbitrage.

I haven’t even got onto the fact that Michael Lewis is one of the most insightful and witty writers writing in business at the moment, and this book is a pleasure to read from start to finish, notwithstanding my ignorance of its subject. I have read a number of business titles recently, and compared to the rest of the pack Lewis is, if you'll excuse the pun, a major leaguer amongst amateurs.

Highly, highly recommended. jollycontrarian.com

More than 1 million copies sold

The Intelligent Investor

Author: Benjamin Graham

640 pages

published: 1949 9st Edition, published 2006 Current Edition

The Intelligent Investor.jpg

The classic bestseller by Benjamin Graham, "The Intelligent Investor" has taught and inspired hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Since its original publication in 1949, Benjamin Graham's book has remained the most respected guide to investing, due to his timeless philosophy of "value investing", which helps protect investors against the areas of possible substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies with which they will be comfortable down the road. Over the years, market developments have borne out the wisdom of Graham's basic policies, and in today's volatile market, "The Intelligent Investor" is the most important book you will ever read on making the right decisions to protect your investments and make them a success. Featuring new chapter updates - which append every chapter of Graham's book, leaving his original text untouched - from noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, this 

HarperBusiness Essentials edition of the timeless classic offers readers an even clearer understanding of Graham's wisdom as it should be applied today.   amazon.com

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, first published in 1949, is a widely acclaimed book on value investing.

Background and history

The Intelligent Investor is based on value investing, an investment approach Graham began teaching at Columbia Business School in 1928 and subsequently refined with David Dodd.This sentiment was echoed by other Graham disciples such as Irving Kahn and Walter Schloss. Warren Buffett read the book at age 20 and began using the value investing taught by Graham to build his own investment portfolio

The Intelligent Investor also marks a significant deviation to stock selection from Graham's earlier works, such as Security Analysis. He explained the change as:The thing that I have been emphasizing in my own work for the last few years has been the group approach. To try to buy groups of stocks that meet some simple criterion for being undervalued -- regardless of the industry and with very little attention to the individual company... I found the results were very good for 50 years. They certainly did twice as well as the Dow Jones. And so my enthusiasm has been transferred from the selective to the group approach.[3]

Mr. Market

Main article: Mr. Market

Graham's favorite allegory is that of Mr. Market, meant to personify the irrationality and group-think of the stock market. Mr. Market is an obliging fellow who turns up every day at the shareholder's door offering to buy or sell his shares at a different price. Often, the price quoted by Mr. Market seems plausible, but sometimes it is ridiculous. The investor is free to either agree with his quoted price and trade with him, or ignore him completely. Mr. Market doesn't mind this, and will be back the following day to quote another price.

The point of this anecdote is that the investor should not regard the whims of Mr. Market as a determining factor in the value of the shares the investor owns. He should profit from market folly rather than participate in it. The investor is advised to concentrate on the real life performance of his companies and receiving dividends, rather than be too concerned with Mr. Market's often irrational behavior.        Wkipedia

While physicist Sir Isaac Newton is widely viewed as the leading authority on gravity and motion, economist Benjamin Graham (1894-1976) is lauded as a top guru of finance and investment. Known as "the father of value investing," Graham excelled at making money in the stock market without taking big risks, by evaluating companies with surgical precision. His principles of investing safely and successfully continue to influence investors today.1

Graham's Beginnings

After graduating from Columbia University in 1914, Graham went to work on Wall Street, which enabled him to cultivate a sizable personal nest egg over the next 15 years. Sadly, Graham lost most of his money in the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression.

Those experiences taught Graham lessons about minimizing downside risk by investing in companies whose shares traded far below the companies' liquidation value. In simple terms, his goal was to buy a dollar's worth of assets for $0.50. To do this, he utilized market psychology, turning market fears to his advantage. These ideals inspired him to write "Security Analysis" (published in 1934), which chronicled his methods of analyzing securities.2

"Mr. Market" and Margin of Safety

​Graham stressed the importance of looking at the market in the same way one would regard a business partner who offers to buy you out or sell you his interest in a company. Graham referred to this imaginary person as "Mr. Market," who sometimes proposed prices that made sense, and who at other times proposed prices that were off the mark, given current economic realities.

As investors, we have the power to accept or reject Mr. Market's offers, on any given day, giving us a leg up over those who feel compelled to be invested at all times, regardless of the current valuation of securities.

Graham also stressed the importance of maintaining a margin of safety, which refers to the practice of buying into a stock at a price that’s well below a conservative valuation of the business. This allows for profit on the upside, as the market typically eventually recalibrates the stock to its fair value, while simultaneously offering downside protection in the event that a business falters or permanently shutters its doors.2

The Intelligent Investor and Warren Buffett

Arguably Graham’s best-known book, "The Intelligent Investor" (1949), provided additional practical advice to the common investor. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, who Graham famously mentored, called this title "by far the best book on investing ever written.” In fact, after reading it at age 19, Buffett enrolled in Columbia Business School in order to study under Graham, with whom he developed a lifelong friendship. He later worked for Graham at his investment company, the Graham-Newman Corporation.

Buffett ultimately developed his own strategy, which differed from Graham's in that he stressed the importance of a business's quality, and he preached the virtue of holding stocks for the long haul. Even so, Buffett said that no one ever lost money by following Graham's methods.3

The Bottom Line

Although details of Graham's specific investments aren’t readily available, he reportedly averaged an approximate 20% annual return over his many years managing money.2 His method of buying low-risk stocks with high return potential has made him a true pioneer in the financial analysis space.

Graham was also instrumental in drafting elements of the Securities Act of 1933, legislation requiring companies to provide financial statements certified by independent accountants. invetopedia.com

The Black Swan

Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

365 pages 

published: 2007

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The most influential book of the past seventy-five years: a groundbreaking exploration of everything we know about what we don't know, now with a new section called "On Robustness and Fragility."A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate 

on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don't know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the "impossible.For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb will change the way you look at the world, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, "On Robustness and Fragility," which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan is a landmark book--itself a black swan. amazon.com

Black Swan author Nassim Taleb says Covid-19 pandemic not Black Swan event

People familiar with Taleb and 'The Black Swan' book will understand why.

Belmont Lay |  April 01, 2020, 09:02 PM

 The Covid-19 pandemic is not a black swan event.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of the 2007 book, The Black Swan, has come out to say so himself in a Bloomberg live interview.nd the mislabelling of the Covid-19 outbreak as a black swan has got on his nerves, said the philosopher, belletrist and occasional prophet.

"It was not a black swan. It was a white swan. I'm so irritated people would say it is a black swan," Taleb said in the segment he was interviewed.

"We have had black swans, September 11 was definitely a black swan. This was a white swan.""And there is no excuse for companies and corporations not to be prepared for that. And there's definitely no excuse for governments not to be prepared for something like this."

Confusion about what is really a black swa n  The black swan term has been used as a stand-in for any phenomenon people didn't see coming.

This has led to a lot of wonks and otherwise genuine, well-meaning, and intelligent people saying Covid-19 is a black swan.But Covid-19 is not completely a low probability, high impact event that no one saw coming.

Before Covid-19, there was SARS.

Before SARS, there were other known plagues that have enveloped the planet.

Hence, a virus that is a threat to humanity is not completely inconceivable.

Did Taleb predict Covid-19?

An epidemic, or even pandemic, is not entirely inconceivable.Before the fact, it was already spoken and written about prospectively.Because Taleb had written about this possibility in his 2007 book, and now that it has come to pass and his words ring prophetic, he said it was never a prediction, but a mere description:

As we travel more on this planet, epidemics will be more acute -- we will have a germ population dominated by a few numbers, and the successful killer will spread vastly more effectively.

[...]I see risks of a very strange acute virus spreading throughout the planet.

Taleb was just writing based on what came before -- an acute virus was already a threat that was conceivable.

So what is a black swan?

Black swans are events conditional on things that have not existed or made themselves known.This was why Taleb said 9/11 was a black swan.

And by virtue of black swans having the property of being unknown at any point in time before they happen, it is useless to try to say what form a black swan will take in the future.

Because if you are able to put down on pen and paper, or on a word document, what a black swan might be, it would be conceivable, and hence, will not qualify as a black swan.

At most, it will be a grey swan.

Moreover, black swans do not have to reveal themselves instantaneously to compound their impact, such as the dropping of the world's first nuclear bomb in WWII.

The Google search engine has also been described as a black swan technology.

Its existence has been consequential and continues to be so, and it has fundamentally altered how people and businesses function ever since its inception.

Prior to Google search engine's existence, there was simply nothing like it -- a thing which couldn't have existed if there was no internet.

So, yes, a black swan is an unpredictable event, which can persist through time.

It is also a description of an event that has disproportionate outcomes.

And yes, a black swan is a metaphor and a label.Its strength lies in it being an idea that is easily and readily grasped.

Its weakness is that it leads people to assume to know what it is intuitively, only to get it wrong -- since it is a label that can be stuck on many things.

As an intellectual shorthand, it is critically terrible.And casual labels on their own lack technical clarity, unless the body of work that supports that definition is partaken.This has also naturally led many people who subscribe to popular thinking to assume the black swan label can be attached to any event as long as it is something they 1) didn't see coming and 2) hold consequences that has a larger impact than assumed.

What other concept is similar to the black swanThere are many characteristics of a black swan, and these properties have been talked about philosophically or have been known to exist for as long as systems of communication were developed.

Just that it took Taleb to coin the black swan term and make it accessible in 2007.But essentially, a black swan falls into that category called unknown unknowns.This was what former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously called "the ones we don’t know we don’t know".

It is that category that lies outside the realm of knowledge.

A black swan leads to model failure -- a failure of prediction and a failure to predict.

What is one property of Covid-19 that proves it is not a black swan?

Singapore's response in dealing with the novel coronavirus outbreak already shows clearly the pandemic was foreseeable.

Hence, if it was foreseeable, it disqualifies itself as a black swan event.

Those are the rules.

The fact that Singapore has been praised for her defensive and precautionary actions against Covid-19 is testament to how this current pandemic is not a black swan.

Singapore's experience was gained from dealing with SARS.

It would have been a surprise if Singapore was instead willfully blind to it.

Taleb also got the converse covered.

If a singular outcome was predicted to happen, and great resources was spent waiting for the moment it did, but it never materialised, that would be considered an inverse black swan.

To conclude, there are generally three kinds of people in this world:

1. People who have read all four of Taleb's popular books (Fooled By Randomness, The Black Swan, Antifragile and Skin In The Game) from cover to cover, front to back, and back to front, multiple times.

2. People who have never heard of Taleb and have never read his books.

3. People who only read about Taleb's ideas from Wikipedia.

Just don't be the last category of person.

These are the people Taleb attacks all the time, because by assuming they know, they make the world a lot more fragile and dangerous for everyone else.

If you like what you read, follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Telegram to get the latest updates. mothership.sg

 #1  New York Times Bestseller

The New Paradigm For Financial Markets:The Credit Crisis of 2008 And What It Means

Author: George Soros

163 pages

published: 2008

The New Paradigm For Financial Markets.j

In the midst of the most serious financial upheaval since the Great Depression, legendary financier George Soros explores the origins of the crisis and its implications for the future. Soros, whose breadth of experience in financial markets is unrivaled, places the current crisis in the context of decades of study of how individuals and institutions handle the boom and bust cycles that now dominate global economic activity. “This is the worst financial crisis since the 1930s,” writes Soros in characterizing the scale of financial distress spreading across Wall Street and other financial centers around the world. In a concise essay that combines practical insight with philosophical depth, Soros makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the great credit crisis and its implications for our nation and the world. amazon.com

Brilliant…examines a complex problem with both insight and philosophical depth….A much-needed contribution that should help many of us better understand the great credit crisis and what it means, not just for the United States but the entire world.”

BBC Business editor Robert Peston
“Totally compelling”

The London Times “They're wrong about oil, by George: In short, the standard economic assumption that supply and demand drive prices is only a starting point for understanding financial markets. In boom-bust cycles, the textbook theory is not just slightly inaccurate but totally wrong. This is the main argument made by George Soros in his fascinating book on the credit crunch, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets, launched at an LSE lecture last night.”

Reuters
Soros says market rebound a bear-market rally: Billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros said at LSE on Wednesday that the current rebound in stock markets is only a bear-market rally, because monetary authorities are unlikely to be able to handle the credit crisis.”

In the midst of the most serious financial upheaval since the Great Depression, legendary financier George Soros explores the origins of the crisis and its implications for the future. Soros, whose breadth of experience in financial markets is unrivaled, places the current crisis in the context of decades of study of how individuals and institutions handle the boom and bust cycles that now dominate global economic activity. "This is the worst financial crisis since the 1930s," writes Soros in characterizing the scale of financial distress spreading across Wall Street and other financial centers around the world. In a concise essay that combines practical insight with philosophical depth, Soros makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the great credit crisis and its implications for our nation and the world.   goodreads.com

BusinessWeek And Economist Best Book Of The Year

The Partnership:  The Making Of Goldman Sachs

Amazon Bestsellers Ranking:

#9 in Retirement Planning

#13 in Personal Money Management

#224 in Investment Basics

Author:CharlesD. Ellis

753 pages

published: 2008

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Now with a new foreword and final chapter, The Partnership chronicles the most important periods in Goldman Sachs?s history and the individuals who built one of the world's largest investment banks. Charles D. Ellis, who worked as a strategy consultant to Goldman Sachs for more than thirty years, reveals the secrets behind the firm's continued success through many life-threatening changes. Disgraced and nearly destroyed in 1929, Goldman Sachs limped along as a break-even operation through the Depression and WWII. But with only one special service and one improbable banker, it began the stage-by-stage rise that took the firm to global leadership, even in the face of the world-wide credit crisis. amazon.com

In this history of investment bank Goldman Sachs, Ellis (Winning the Loser's Game) covers the same ground as Lisa Endlich's Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success—with notable stylistic differences. From Marcus Goldman's purchase of his first commercial paper in 1869 to the firm's current success, Ellis's account is lively and engaging where Endlich's is accurate but dry. Ellis sheds light on events through dialogue and detailed descriptions of people's thoughts and feelings, embellishments that the author terms recreations in his epilogue. The effect of infusing such narrative techniques into the history of Goldman Sachs is entertaining, but it pushes the envelope of nonfiction, especially since the author appears to have interviewed only former partners of the firm. More damagingly, Ellis fails to report much about actual business, and attempts to do so—such as a chapter on Rockefeller Center financing—require lengthy digressions and are incomprehensible due to the complexities of the transactions. Without links to business, boardroom conflicts take on the air of petty squabbles. More a composite memoir of senior Goldman partners than a traditional history, this book will satisfy readers curious about the philosophies and personalities of the firm. (Oct.).  Publishers Weekly

Rich Bank, Poor Bank

By George Anders Oct. 12, 2008

​SAVVY investors relish “pairs trading.” They pick two companies in similar businesses, like Nike and Reebok. Then they buy shares of the one judged to be a better value, while making an equal-size bet against the weaker one. Get it right, and tidy profits ensue.In recent years, Wall Street’s own destiny has played out like a gigantic pairs trade. Many of the best-known securities firms, including Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, started from comparable backgrounds 80 to 150 years ago. They moved into similar specialties in modern times, earning multibillion-­dollar profits at their apex.Yet as of this autumn, Goldman Sachs was practically alone among its old Wall Street peers as a solvent, independent entity. Goldman survived the credit calamities by redefining itself as a commercial bank and getting a cash infusion from the legendary investor Warren Buffett. Meanwhile, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers have collapsed into oblivion.What happened? When Charles D. Ellis began serious work a decade ago on “The Partnership,” an immense, detailed history of Goldman Sachs, he couldn’t have expected various firms’ fates to diverge so sharply. But as he explains in his preface, he started out believing that Goldman Sachs had become Wall Street’s strongest and most enduring player because it had a better way of doing things.His mission: to figure out Goldman’s edge. Success, he concludes, started with hiring ambitious people from working-class backgrounds. If their parents were postal clerks or groundskeepers, they were likely to work relentlessly to secure a better life — and help Goldman amass profits in the process. Niceness and at least the appearance of humility counted, too. Goldman nearly hired the junk-bond wizard Michael Milken early in his career but backed away when it decided he was demanding too big a slice of future profits for himself.

Teamwork mattered as well. Goldman started splitting top jobs in 1976, when the managing partner, Gus Levy, died without choosing between two possible successors. The heirs apparent shared command, and it worked out well. That arrangement was repeated in many departments, even though management consultants predicted it would fail. Shared command meant Goldman wasn’t always the fastest into a promising new area, but the firm made far fewer blunders tied to any single executive’s hubris.​Tenacious to a fault, Goldman partners didn’t just work long hours; they came to think of the firm as their true family, with spouses and children paying the price. Partners kept most of their money in Goldman for decades, leading them to run the business wisely for the long haul, rather than grabbing huge profits from alluring but risky areas that could lead to collapse.Going short: the Goldman Sachs partner Sidney Weinberg in 1945.

Scandals periodically clipped Goldman, but never fatally. The worst crisis involved some horrid investments just before the 1929 crash; lesser brushes with trouble involved insider trading in the ’80s, unwise ties to the rogue British publisher Robert Maxwell in the early ’90s and overly rosy investment research during the Internet bubble of 1999-2001. Culprits were identified; penalties were paid; and at least by Ellis’s account, Goldman emerged with better controls and procedures each time.

Vast numbers of current and former Goldman executives shared their stories with Ellis, a level of access that both helped and hurt. The book is rich with insider lore, as well as the closed-door dramas of partnership clashes. But outsiders’ voices are disappointingly faint. And some minor episodes, like the buildup of Goldman’s corporate bond business in the ’70s, take far too long to unfold, as each participant gets to reminisce.

Ellis writes as a Wall Street loyalist. He ran Greenwich Associates for 30 years, providing research and consulting to securities firms, including Goldman Sachs. That experience graced him with a sure hand in writing about the world of traders, analysts and deal makers. But it makes it harder for him to put Wall Street’s great moneymaking abilities into a broader context — either as a key part of American progress or just an unwelcome form of profiteering.

The book nods briefly to the ways that Goldman officials shuttle into powerful government jobs. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson used to run Goldman; so, too, did former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and former Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead. More insights on this pathway would have been welcome.Ellis does point out a fascinating quirk in tax law: wealthy political appointees who put their assets into blind trusts needn’t pay capital gains taxes on any sales. So public service isn’t always a low-paying sacrifice; it can also help outwit the tax man. Ellis estimates Paulson could have saved as much as $200 million this way.

The financial crises of 2007-8 win only a few pages of notice at the end of the book. Goldman’s earnings and stock price have sagged, but the firm remains profitable, which is more than some of its now-­extinct rivals can say. Ellis suggests that’s no accident.

As he tells it, Goldman largely cleared its portfolios of mortgage troubles in April 2007, acting far faster than other firms, some of which keep struggling to extricate themselves from ill-advised loans. Instead of suffering helplessly as mortgage values declined, Goldman switched tack and earned as much as $1 billion in a quarter by betting on a further drop in mortgage-index values.

Nimble trading, indeed. New York Times

The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Aythor: Michael Lewis

291 Pages

published: 2011

The Big Short.jpg

"It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading."―Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower--and middle--class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.

Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar's Poker. Out of a handful of unlikely--really unlikely--heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest an

funniest chronicler of our time.

The #1 New York Times bestseller: "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading."—Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair.  amazon.com

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine is a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis about the build-up of the United States housing bubble during the 2000s. The book was released on March 15, 2010, by W. W. Norton & Company. It spent 28 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, and was the basis for the 2015 film of the same name.

Summary 

The Big Short describes several of the main players in the creation of the credit default swap market that sought to bet against the collateralized debt obligation (CDO) bubble and thus ended up profiting from the financial crisis of 2007–08. The book also highlights the eccentric nature of the type of person who bets against the market or goes against the grain.The work follows people who believed the bubble was going to burst, like Meredith Whitney, who predicted the demiseof Citigroup and Bear StearnsSteve Eisman, an outspoken hedge fund manager; Greg Lippmann, a Deutsche Bank trader; Eugene Xu, a quantitative analyst who created the first CDO market by matching buyers and sellers; the founders of Cornwall Capital, who started a hedge fund in their garage with $110,000 and built it into $120 million when the market crashed; and Michael Burry, an ex-neurologist who created Scion Capital.[1]

The book also highlights some people involved in the biggest losses created by the market crash: like Merrill's $300 million mezzanine CDO manager Wing Chau; Howie Hubler, known as the person who lost $9 billion in one trade, the second largest single loss in history;[2] and Joseph Cassano's AIG Financial Products, which suffered over $99 billion in losses. Wkipedia

he Big Short is a 2015 Oscar-winning film adaptation of author Michael Lewis’s best-selling book of the same name. The movie, directed by Adam McKay, focuses on the lives of several American financial professionals who predicted and profited from the build-up and subsequent collapse of the housing and credit bubble in 2007 and 2008.

Published in 2010, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine was a loose sequel to Lewis' best-selling book Liar's Poker, a chronicle of his work experiences at Solomon Brothers in the 1980s. Both non-fiction works offer a deep dive into the lives, workplaces and psychology of several Wall Street professionals and the financial world.

This article explores The Big Short, its main characters, and the stylistic tools used by McKay to explain complex financial instruments engineered by the banks during the run-up to the subprime mortgage meltdown.

The Big Short

The Big Short was not the first film adaptation of a successful non-fiction book covering the financial crisis. In 2011, HBO adapted Andrew Ross Sorkin’s crisis tell-all Too Big To Fail, which also had a star-studded cast. That story centered more on the few weeks leading up to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Congressional response to bail out the nation’s largest banks The Big Short, however, is a character-driven piece that focuses not just on the events leading up to the financial crisis but also the conflicted morality of several men who foresaw the crisis well in advance. The film adaptation stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt.

The story chronicles the work of hedge fund manager Michael Burry (portrayed by Christian Bale), who recognizes that the U.S. housing market of the early 21st century is virtually an asset bubble inflated by high-risk loans. In 2005, Burry – the manager of Scion Capital — creates a credit default swap that would allow him to short the housing market. However, his clients grow angry. When banks and creditors argue that housing is stable, and the market in fact does keep on surging, his clients grow angry and fearful as Burry continues his short plays. When they demand their money back, he places a moratorium on withdrawals.Meanwhile, Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) inadvertently discovers Burry’s goal to establish the credit default swap. Hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carrell) joins Burry in investing in the credit default swap market and recognizes that poorly structured loan packages known as collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) have received AAA ratings and are exacerbating the mortgage crisis. After discovering that questionable innovation in the CDO market has fueled massive risk in the markets, Baum concludes that the housing bubble will ultimately lead to the collapse of the U.S. economy and bets big – shorting the financial sector. (Baum was based on real-life hedge fund manager Steve Eisman. Vennett was based on Greg Lippmann, a former bond salesman at Deutsche Bank.)Finally, two investors – Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) – seek the investment advice of retired banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) after they discover a paper written by Vennett. After Shipley and Geller make a series of successful bets against the housing market, Rickert grows angry that they have profited off the downfall of the U.S. economy and Middle America’s financial doom. Geller was based on Cornwell Capital founder Charlie Ledley, while Jamie Shipley was based on Cornwell partner Jamie Mai. Rickert was based on Ben Hockett, a former trader at Deutsche Bank.Though they make a fortune on their trades, the duo is left highly dejected about the amount of risk taken and the moral hazard that ultimately would fuel the bailouts of several banks. Shipley and Geller would later try – and fail – to sue the ratings agencies for their misleading rankings of mortgage-backed securities and mortgages. Burry, meanwhile, ends up producing nearly 500% returns for investors who stay with him through the duration of the housing market's collapse.

Stylistic Approaches

Financial terminology and the chronology of the financial crisis is highly complex and difficult for a traditional audience to comprehend in a two-hour movie. The film production team employs a simple, yet stylistic approach to defining the tools, from collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and tranches to credit-default swaps and mortgage-backed securities, that helped sink the global economy. 

For example, the film explains the origination and complexity of a synthetic CDO in a scene where actress Selena Gomez plays blackjack. Joined by economist Richard Thaler, they explain how increasingly larger side bets on Gomez’s hand of blackjack are great when she is winning – a metaphor for a rising housing market. However, when Gomez loses the hand – or the housing market falls – those increasingly larger side bets set off a domino effect that create larger losses at the table and the economy, respectively.Next, audiences receive a visual aid when learning the definition of a tranche. In one scene, Ryan Gosling pulls blocks from a Jenga tower to display how tranches work in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) such as collateralized mortgage obligations (CMO). By pulling out blocks in the lower part of the tower, Gosling explains that the top-rated securities at the top end of the tower cannot stand when the lower-rated securities fail and are removed from its base.

Other examples of visual cuts and props explain the complexity of financial innovation. One cutaway features actress Margot Robbie in a bubble bath drinking champagne and explaining the frailty of mortgage-backed securities. Meanwhile, TV food personality Anthony Bourdain explains how tossing a two-day-old fish into a stew is similar to the subprime mortgages tossed into CDOs to hide their risky nature from unsuspecting customers.

The Bottom Line

The Big Short received several Academy Award nominations – including "Best Picture" – and won for "Best Adapted Screenplay." Some critics, including Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics Laureate Paul Krugman, have said that the film fails to acknowledge that several people, outside of the characters profiled in the movie, also flagged the issues with subprime mortgages. Others noted that the film failed to fully acknowledge the role that the Federal Reserve played in allowing the crisis to flourish. That said, The Big Short offers a highly engaging exploration into the years preceding the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the housing market, which led to the Great Recession. In the end, it concludes, Wall Street greed sank the global economy for years.   Investopedia.com

The Millionaire Next Door 

Authors: Dr. Thomas J. Stanley & Dr. William D. Danko

272 pages

published: 2010

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The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don't live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue-they live next door. This new edition, the first since 1998, includes a new foreword for the twenty-first century by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley. amazon.com

his book was not at all what I was expecting, but contains some good advice that many would benefit from. For some background, my wife and I are relatively young and have career jobs. I bought this book for information on making the most of any extra income, learning more about investing strategies, options for generating passive income, and improving my personal finances. I did learn a few things, but not on these topics (maybe a bit on the last point). The book primarily focuses on interesting finds and anecdotes from the authors' years of research on millionaires in America.
 

The book is divided into eight chapters:1. Meet the Millionaire Next Door2. Frugal Frugal Frugal3. Time, Energy, and Money4. You Aren't What You Drive5. Economic Outpatient Care6. Affirmative Action, Family Style7. Find Your Niche8. Jobs: Millionaire vs. HeirsThe author essentially splits everyone into two categories: Underaccumulators of Wealth (UAWs) and Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth (PAWs). UAWs have a low net worth relative to income, and the opposite for PAWs and uses these terms throughout the book.His primary argument is that PAWs get to be wealthy by living well below their means - these are people who do not look like millionaires, they live in modest neighborhoods, drive domestic sedans, wear a Timex, and usually have a blue-collar job that does not come with an expensive lifestyle associated and as a result can accumulate a sizeable nest egg. On the other hand, UAWs are typically well-educated professionals with high paying and high profile jobs (doctors, attorneys), but due to societal pressures associated with their social standing are forced to squander all their money living in luxury neighborhoods, driving German cars, and sending their kids to private schools. Their expensive lifestyle means that they spend most of their income and as a result have a low net worth, despite outward appearances.I agree that this is good advice for just about anyone: live below your means and prioritize financial security over social standing. Growing up in a single-income family living in a modest middle class neighborhood, I'm quite used to the live-below-your-means philosophy and I think it gave me at least some sense of good financial discipline. If my parents are any indication, it works great.Where the authors really lost my interest is that the rest of the book is chock full of anecdotes and some rather uninformative statistics to drive a few other points home. While some of these are good points and undoubtedly useful, they always seem to come with caveats or don't draw any real conclusion, which I found frustrating. Most of the points could have been made succinctly in about 1/10 the amount of page space the authors dedicate to them. These include:- Most millionaires in America are self employed business owners, because they run their personal finances like their business finances. However, going into business for yourself is very risky so we don't really recommend that as a viable way to get rich.- Very few millionaires have ever spent much money on a nice suit, pair of shoes, or luxury watch. They usually live in modest neighborhoods or rural areas where the cost of living and social pressures of consumerism are lower.- First generation millionaires (often immigrants) tend to be succeeded by children with financial struggles, since the parent's desire to "give them a better life" pushes them into careers where they become UAWs, and their upbringing in our consumerist culture impedes their ability to live frugally. But even if it turns them into UAWs, encourage them to go to college and aspire to a while-collar professional job.- Parents giving money to their children develops and reinforces poor financial habits. This money is almost always immediately spent, and these children generally have no savings since they are looking to their parents as their safety net and counting on an inheritance. Doing things like buying children a house in an upscale neighborhood or sending grandkids to a private school actually makes the children worse off, since they have to spend more to maintain the associated lifestyle.- The authors spend an inordinate amount of time and space comparing different careers, which I found next to useless since I'm very happy with my chosen career (Engineer) and have no intention of changing. They continually deride pretty much every professional job you can think of, and simultaneously praises how great working for yourself or owning a business is while going on about how difficult and risky it is to actually own a successful business. The author does not recommend changing careers, but again, this is more of a discussion of what their research has shown than any sort of "how to" advice.- Car buyers fall into four categories: whether you buy new or used, and whether you buy from the same place or shop around. The authors devote an entire chapter to this while only coming to the following conclusions: no method of buying a car is the clear winner, but if you own a business you may benefit from your connections with the owners of car dealerships; and most millionaires drive unassuming domestic (and to a lesser extent, Japanese) cars purchased new or lightly used.A final note - curiously, I found no mention of anything real-estate related, which to me is highly unusual in any sort of book about building wealth. The only investment advice found here is in the final chapter and could be summarized as "invest in what you know." That is, if you work in a certain sector, your knowledge of the industry will help you make good investment decisions. Not sure how I feel about this one. For example: not working in technology doesn't mean blue-chip tech stocks are a bad investment. Take it with a grain of salt.One last complaint: most of the financial figures are presented in mid-1990s dollars. I found it frustrating to have to mentally convert to today's dollars to get a relative sense. The authors took the time to update the preface in 2010, it would have been nice to see a revision to the figures quoted throughout the book. (For reference, one 1996 dollar is worth about 1.6 dollars in 2017).In summary, I was surprised about the amount of praise heaped on this book. I would hardly categorize it as a self-help book, it's more a retrospective on the authors' research and a collection of anecdotes and interesting conclusions about the countless Americans leading unglamorous lives while accumulating appreciable amounts of wealth. It's a quick read and I made it through the whole book on a 5-hour flight with time to spare. I would only recommend this book as an interesting overview of some good financial habits, or as an eye-opener for those with luxurious financial tendencies who struggle to save money despite their income level. However, for those who have already developed some discipline and are looking for detailed strategies and advice on personal finance and building wealth via investments and generating passive income, look elsewhere.    unriehl on amazon.com

Tomorrow's Gold: Asia's Age Of Discovery

Author: Dr. Marc Faber

378 pages

published: 2010

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Renowned investment advisor Marc Faber sets out to find tomorrow s gold the outperforming asset classes of the future. Far from being a sensational reading of the runes, this book delves deep into the past, to chart how old investor trends developed and assess how new patterns might emerge. Change is the thread. As Faber points out, the world is experiencing a transformation as great as Europe s late-15th Century golden age of discovery and the Industrial Revolution of the19th Century events that altered the commercial face of the Earth forever.<P><P>And from this dramatic landscape a world in which economic, social and political conditions are morphing at an alarming rate Faber identifies investment opportunities.<P><P>Asia s three-billion-strong population will have a profound effect on the world, writes Faber, cautioning that today s richest cities and clusters of wealth are unlikely to retain their exalted positions in the future. amazon.com

I read a number of books from various authors that write about the same topic. What makes this very different is its research from history. And it very much helps to provide the pulse for today. What we see today has occurred in the past, and we can learn from it. The data is not all up to date, which I did not like in the beginning, but now that I finished the book I would say, it does not matter. As these are long trends, this book still is current in term of what you get out of it. It helped me to change my approach for investing, and take a less narrow view.
But I would recommend to also read Survival Plus by Charles Hugh Smith, it will make so much more sense of what we are experiencing today.   M. Schoch on amazon.com

he 4th ed. is worth reading just for the intoduction which was written now over a year ago. The advantage of reading a book that is over 10 years old is to see if the author's advice was correct. Well it was. Dr. Farber was spot on about investing in hard asset commodities, the rise of China et. al., the BUST in U.S. housing...etc etc etc. So can a 10 yr+ old book sill help us invest going forward?. The book is very well written. The sections on business cycles is one of the best I've read in one place. And despite how things may come out, that is, the current debate over "inflation/deflation" we all need to ponder "inflation"--the constant increase in MONEY SUPPLY. Mr. Bernanke just testified that his QE2 has NOT caused "inflation". However the price of gasoline is 25% higher than last year, gold and most other commodities are at 30 year highs, and my healthcare premiums have gone up 20% per year each year for the last 12 years! I just read Joseph Mitchell's non-fiction short story, written in 1940, about a movie house in NYC. "For this sum (10cents) a customer sees two features, a newsreel, a cartoon, a short, and a serial episode." Plus "Childern and most women sit in a reserved section under the eyes of a matron." What's the cost of a movie ticket to-day? for one feature? Can we see, over time, how much value the dollar has LOST by this constant expanding of the MONEY SUPPLY? The Fed has an "unstated" goal of 2% "inflation" per year. I thought the Fed was supposed to have a goal of "stable prices"? As Dr. Faber states, it seems that the govt. is often giving us misinformation. Read the book. And inform yourself. Bernanke is one of the guys who didn't see the housing bust coming. Dr. Faber did.    Reader on amazon .com

I used to be a professional investor, and think that most books really aren't very useful, unless you're the author. You either have a style that you have a lot of confidence in, or you will lose money over time. I don't see myself ever reading another investing book.
The book is different - for those who love history and what it can teach us, this book is a goldmine. Marc really puts everything into perspective. For instance, he shows that if someone put money into a bank at the year 0 AD, and got 3%, they'd have more than all the money in the world. His point is that bad things happen to disrupt seemingly endless upturns, whether wars, natural disasters, bubbles/busts, etc. Kind of depressing in a way, but liberating if you are one of those "missing out" on the latest rise of whatever asset class.
Marc's call for a rise in Asia in 2002, which is a large chunk of this book, was incredibly prescient in retrospect, especially since at the time most of us were just recovering from the internet boom. Incredible book.  Mark Tlapak on amazon.com

Money And Power: How Goldman Sachs

Came To Rule The World

Author: William D. Cohan

672 pages

published 2011

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The bestselling author of the acclaimed House of Cards and The Last Tycoons turns his spotlight on to Goldman Sachs and the controversy behind its success.From the outside, Goldman Sachs is a perfect company. The Goldman PR machine loudly declares it to be smarter, more ethical, and more profitable than all of its competitors. Behind closed doors, however, the firm constantly straddles the line between conflict of interest and legitimate deal making, wields significant influence over all levels of government, and upholds a culture of power struggles and toxic paranoia. And its clever bet against the mortgage market in 2007—unknown to its clients—may have made the financial ruin of the Great Recession worse. Money and Power reveals the internal schemes that have guided the bank from its founding through its remarkable windfall 

during the 2008 financial crisis. Through extensive research and interviews with the inside players, including current CEO Lloyd Blankfein, William Cohan constructs a nuanced, timely portrait of Goldman Sachs, the company that was too big—and too ruthless—to fail.

The Definitive Biography of Goldman Sachs

17 August 2017 - Published on Amazon.com

The definitive biography of Goldman. Very well written, very well researched, very well told, if a bit long, and perhaps too detailed in some areas. It is obvious that Goldman supported this book, as the author got broad access to pretty much all of the major figures in Goldman over the last several decades. That said, Mr. Cohan doesn't pull any punches in discussing the many scandals around Goldman, even going back to its earliest days.
My only objection is the almost lavish praise the author places on former Goldman head and US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. He says almost nothing negative about Mr. Paulson and depicts him as a reluctant, country boy, with no ambition, who was brought to the head of Goldman by happenstance. He even depicts Mr. Paulson as reticent and benevolent in wresting control of Goldman from John Corzine. Its a little hard to believe that Mr. Paulson rose through the ranks of the most competitive, testosterone laden, killer investment bank in the world, just by chance, with no ambition. You can make your own judgment.
You can't read this book without ending up with at least a grudging admiration for Goldman Sachs. Having worked in several large bureaucracies, what was most impressive is that despite its size, and resultant bureaucracy, Goldman has managed not to become risk averse and to maintain its edge. Much of this appears to be its ability to hire the best and to compensate thm accordingly.
Time and again, when other investment banks were zigging, Goldman was zagging. At no time was this more evident than the recent 2007-2008 financial crisis, which Mr. Cohan describes in fantastic detail. Mr. Cohan also points out the many conflicts of interest, and very interestingly, how over time Goldman has moved away from being client focused to being profit focused.
All in all, an excellent read, that you will find interesting and informative if you are interested in Wall Street and investing.John Bowen on amazon.com

An evenhanded history, with insight into the unseen hand that drives the Masters of the universe

8 December 2011 - Published on Amazon.com

The book is organized as a history, beginning with Marcus Goldman's arrival in Philadelphia and moveto New York. Cohan offers a convincing description of business in the era of the robber barons. Goldman of course was no robber baron - he was just a clever Jewish guy good at being the middleman - but his shrewdness in buying and selling commercial paper made him a wealthy man. The business also exposed him to the same kinds of moral dilemmas which face the business today. As an agent, did he have any responsibility for bogus promissory notes that he had brokered? It is similar to Goldman's much more recent problems with the ABACUS transactions in the housing meltdown.
The history of Goldman Sachs is a history of strong personalities and extraordinary ability. The story that the author conveys is that Goldman's uniqueness is in its ability to raise up incredibly capable people and to bind them to the company with an unusual degree of loyalty. It has done this by establishing ethical principles - sometimes honored in the breach, a very elaborate hiring process and a similarly rigorous system for pushing deadwood aside, partners included, and a system for providing outsized rewards.
Although Goldman and Sachs were Jewish, the firm was headed by ambitious Gentiles as early as the 1920s. The author speaks of the firm's DNA, which would seem to reflect Jewish cultural values, but it is clear that the firm is quick to recognize those values in people regardless of background. Recent presidents Jon Corzine and Hank Paulson were Gentiles from the middle West; Bob Rubin and Lloyd Blankfein happen to be Jewish. Blankfein is an archetype - a kid from a hardscrabble background who found his way into Goldman via the back door, but his talent could not be denied.
The book analyzes the tensions and moral issues facing Goldman itself and any Goldman employee. People are attracted to the firm by ego and ambition - it is known to be a place where you can make a great deal of money quickly. It is a crab pot of alpha males, ego confronting ego on a daily basis. The money becomes a marker, and this is the problem. Once one achieves a certain level of success, enough money to live well is no longer an issue. It is generally a competition in acquiring the trappings of great wealth, though there are exceptions. According to Cohan, Hank Paulson is one of those exceptions, and he spends a lot of effort analyzing Paulson's motivations, especially in contrast with John Thane and John Thornton
In this era of Occupy Wall Street and other similar movements, this book should be a valuable background. The key players that Goldman are not born evil, but rather prisoners of the system, or you might even stretch to say victims of the system. There is no doubt that much of what they did is morally questionable, and certainly damaging to the economy. In writing legislation to attempt to right the situation one should understand the motivations of the players. Cohan analyzes them very well.
As an afterthought, Cohan's description of the way Jon Corzine ran Goldman should have made anybody wary of investing with him. Apparently history repeated itself in a spectacular way, as Corzine's lack of oversight led to the bankruptcy of MF Global, with $1.2 billion of client funds unaccounted for.  Graham H. Seibert on amzon.com

See No Evil

Author: Erik Banks

245 pages

published: 2011

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The story of the recent global economic crisis is told in the words of the main players in the drama. Including quotes from bankers, rating agencies, housing agencies, regulators, politicians and media figures. Erik Banks' latest book shows why we are doomed to experience further financial crises in the future.   amazon.com

ERIK BANKS is a Senior Risk Advisor for a European universal bank. Over the past 23 years, he has held senior risk positions in the investment banking and hedge fund sector in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London and Munich. He is the author of more than 20 books on risk, derivatives, emerging markets and governance, including the Palgrave titles Failure of Wall Street, (2004), Dictionary of Finance, Investment and Banking (2009) and Dark Pools (2010). amazon.com

Market Wizards

Author: Jack D. Schwager

512 pages

published: 2013

Amazon Bestseller Ranking:

#2 in Futures Trading (Books)

#3 in Options Trading (Books)

#4 in Commodities Trading (Books)

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The world's top trader's reveal the secrets of their phenomenal success! How do the world's most successful traders amass tens, hundreds of millions of dollars a year? Are they masters of an occult knowledge, lucky winners in a random market lottery, natural-born virtuosi Mozarts of the markets? In search of an answer, bestselling author Jack D. Schwager interviewed dozens of top traders across most financial markets. While their responses differed in the details, all of them could be boiled down to the same essential formula: solid methodology + proper mental attitude = trading success. In Market Wizards Schwager lets you hear, in their own words, what those super-traders had to say about their unprecedented successes, and he distils their responses down into a set of guiding principles you can use to become a trading star in your own right.
* Features interviews with superstar money-makers including Bruce Kovner, Richard Dennis, Paul Tudor Jones, Michel Steinhardt, Ed Seykota, Marty Schwartz, Tom Baldwin, and more * Tells the true stories behind 

sensational trading coups, including the one about the trader who turned $30,000 into $80 million, the hedge fund manager who's averaged 30% returns every year for the past twenty-one years, and the T-bond futures trader who parlayed $25,000 into $2 billion in a single day! "Market Wizards is one of the most fascinating books ever written about Wall Street. A few of the 'Wizards' are my friends and Jack Schwager has nailed their modus operandi on the head." --Martin W. Zweig, Ph.D., Editor, The Zweig Forecast.    bookdepository.,com

The world's top trader's reveal the secrets of their phenomenal success!

How do the world's most successful traders amass tens, hundreds of millions of dollars a year? Are they masters of an occult knowledge, lucky winners in a random market lottery, natural-born virtuosi—Mozarts of the markets? In search of an answer, bestselling author Jack D. Schwager interviewed dozens of top traders across most financial markets. While their responses differed in the details, all of them could be boiled down to the same essential formula: solid methodology + proper mental attitude = trading success. In Market Wizards Schwager lets you hear, in their own words, what those super-traders had to say about their unprecedented successes, and he distils their responses down into a set of guiding principles you can use to become a trading star in your own right.   kobo.com

What separates the world's top traders from the vast majority of unsuccessful investors? Jack Schwager sets out to answer tis question in his interviews with superstar money-makers including Bruce Kovner, Richard Dennis, Paul Tudor Jones, Michel Steinhardt, Ed Seykota, Marty Schwartz, Tom Baldwin, and more in "Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders," now in paperback and ebook.This classic interview-style investment text from a financial expert is a must-read for traders and professional financiers alike, as well as anyone interested in gaining insight into how the world of finance really works.Filled with anecdotes about market experiences, including the story of a trader who after wiping out several times, turned $30,000 into $80 million and an electrical engineer from MIT whose computerized trading has earned returns of 250,000 percent over sixteen yearsIdentifies the factors that define a successful traderNow availabe as in digital formats.
One of the most insightful, bestselling trading books of all time.   goodreads.com

Over 5 million copies sold!

#1 New York Times Bestseller

The Total Money Makeover

Author: Dave Ramsey

272 pages

published: 2013

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You CAN take control of your money. Build up your money muscles with America’s favorite finance coach.Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition.By now, you’ve heard all the nutty get-rich-quick schemes, the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of kooky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. Hey, if you’re tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, take a look at this―it’s the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it’s based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies. With The Total Money

Makeover: Classic Edition, you’ll be able to: 

  • Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt―meaning cars, houses, everything

  • Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you)

  • Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!

Includes new, expanded “Dave Rants” sidebars tackle marriage conflict, college debt, and more. All-new forms and back-of-the-book resources to make Total Money Makeover a reality.Dive deeper into Dave's game plan with The Total Money Makeover Workbook: Classic Edition. The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition is also available in Spanish, transformación total de su dinero. amazon.com

If you will live like no one else, later you can "live" like no one else.
Build up your money muscles with America's favorite finance coach.
Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There's one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that's with "The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition".By now, you've heard all the nutty get-rich-quick schemes, the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of kooky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. Hey, if you're tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, take a look at this--it's the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it's based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.With "The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition," you'll be able to:
Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt--meaning cars, houses, everything
Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you)
Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!   goodreads.com

The Alchemy Of Finance: Reading The Mind Of The Market

2nd Edition

Author: George Soros

391 pages

published 1st Edition: 2005, published 2nd edition: 2015

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New chapter by Soros on the secrets to his success along with a new Preface and Introduction. New Foreword by renowned economist Paul Volcker "An extraordinary ...inside look into the decision-making process of the most successful money manager of our time. Fantastic." -The Wall Street Journal George Soros is unquestionably one of the most powerful and profitable investors in the world today. Dubbed by BusinessWeek as "the Man who Moves Markets," Soros made a fortune competing with the British pound and remains active today in the global financial community. Now, in this special edition of the classic investment book, The Alchemy of Finance, Soros presents a theoretical and practical account of current financial trends and a new paradigm by which to understand the financial market today. This edition's expanded and revised Introduction details Soros's innovative investment practices along with his views of the world and world order. 

He also describes a new paradigm for the "theory of reflexivity" which underlies his unique investment strategies. Filled with expert advice and valuable business lessons, The Alchemy of Finance reveals the timeless principles of an investing legend. This special edition will feature a new chapter by Soros on the secrets of his success and a new Foreword by the Honorable Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. George Soros (New York, NY) is President of Soros Fund Management and Chief Investment Advisor to Quantum Fund N.V., a $12 billion international investment fund. Besides his numerous ventures in finance, Soros is also extremely active in the worlds of education, culture, and economic aid and development through his Open Society Fund and the Soros Foundation.   amazon.com

George Soros is unquestionably one of the most powerful and profitable investors in the world today, and his investment principles have only grown in popularity. In Alchemy of Finance, Soros reveals his innovative investment philosophies and his views of the world and world order. President of the phenomenally successful Quantum Fund, which has 4.  kinokuniya.com

Soros reveals the investment strategies that have made him the most powerful and profitable investor in the world today. He provides an excellent guide of the marketplace, along with the specific economic and political history of recent times. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.   Google Books

Number One Personal Finance Book Of All Times

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Author: Robert T. Kiyosaki

336 pages

published:1St Edition: 1997, current Edition: 2017

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Amazon Bestseller Ranking:

#16 in Parenting (Books)

#24 in Personal Finance (Books)

April 2017 marks 20 years since Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad first made waves in the Personal Finance arena. It has since become the #1 Personal Finance book of all time... translated into dozens of languages and sold around the world. Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert's story of growing up with two dads his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you. 20 Years... 20/20 Hindsight In the 20th Anniversary Edition of this classic, Robert offers an update on what we've seen over the past 20 years related to money, investing, and the global economy. Sidebars throughout the book will take readers "fast forward" from 1997 to today 

as Robert assesses how the principles taught by his rich dad have stood the test of time. In many ways, the messages of Rich Dad Poor Dad, messages that were criticized and challenged two decades ago, are more meaningful, relevant and important today than they were 20 years ago. As always, readers can expect that Robert will be candid, insightful... and continue to rock more than a few boats in his retrospective. Will there be a few surprises? Count on it. Rich Dad Poor Dad... Explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to become rich Challenges the belief that your house is an asset Shows parents why they can't rely on the school system to teach their kids about money Defines once and for all an asset and a liability Teaches you what to teach your kids about money for their future financial success.  amazon.com

This is an enhanced reprint of the original, with additional study questions/ discussion and review added at the end of every chapter. I bought the original about 18 years ago and it changed my families destiny for the better. I am glad the reprint came out as it prompted me to reread it and deepen my understanding.
Some people complain that this book does not give a step by step process for change. I would counter that one size shoe does not fit all feet. There are many individual paths to wealth, and Kiyosaki sets the guiding stars to navigate by, but you have to walk your own individual road.

Some key concepts of this book are: 1) Assets put money in your pocket even when you are on vacation. Liabilities take money out of your pocket, therefore your house is a liability [unless you rent out rooms and the garage as one person I know did while rebuilding his asset base].
2) Wealthy people buy assets first, and then let their assets buy their luxuries from the surplus cash flow.
3) Wealthy people continuously increase their assets by reinvesting their surplus cash flow in more assets.
4) There are 3 primary asset classes: Real Estate, Businesses, and Paper assets (stocks bonds notes, etc)
5) Cash Flow is more important than Net Worth. Net Worth is similar to potential energy, to use it you have to spend it, then it is gone. Cash Flow is like power from a hydroelectric dam, constantly replenished.
The rich don't work for money, they work for assets.
The tax laws are fair from the standpoint that the laws that the rich spent billions of dollars to have modified and interpreted apply to everyone who learns how to use them.

A great foundation book for beginning to improve your financial intelligence so that you don't work 4 or more month's of every year for the Tax man, more months for the banks that hold your mortgage and credit cards, and whatever is left making the company you work for wealthy. Good luck on your journey to being Rich, poor, or middle class. Eiugene C. on amazon.com

#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Shortlisted For The Financial Times Business Book Of The Year

The Spider Network:The Wild Story Of A A Math Genius , A Gang Of Backstabbing Bankers,  And Of The Greatest Financial Scams Scams In History

Author:David Enrich

528 pages

published: 2018

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The Wall Street Journal's award-winning business reporter unveils the bizarre and sinister story of how a math genius named Tom Hayes, a handful of outrageous confederates, and a deeply corrupt banking system ignited one of the greatest financial scandals in history. The paperback edition includes a new chapter discussing further fallout from the scandal.

In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the world's largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor--the London interbank offered rate, which determines interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide--was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of shadowy team that used hook and crook to take over the process and

set rates that made them a fortune, no matter the cost to others. Among the motley crew was a French trader nicknamed "Gollum"; the broker "Abbo," who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a Kazakh chicken farmer turned something short of financial whiz kid; an executive called "Clumpy" because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed "Big Nose." Eventually known as the "Spider Network," Hayes's circle generated untold riches --until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion.

Praised as reading "like a fast-paced John le Carré thriller" (New York Times), "compelling" (Washington Post) and "jaw-dropping" (Financial Times), The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but a provocative examination of a financial system that was warped and shady throughout.    amazon.com

In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor—the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide—was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated administrators, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it fractions of a percent to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of a wild alliance that included a prickly French trader nicknamed “Gollum”; the broker “Abbo,” who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a nervous Kazakh chicken farmer known as “Derka Derka”; a broker known as “Village” (short for “Village Idiot”) who racked up huge expense account bills; an executive called “Clumpy” because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed “Big Nose” who had once been a semi-professional boxer. This group generated incredible riches —until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion.With exclusive access to key characters and evidence, The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but also a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout.     goodreads.com

The Spider Network is the almost-unbelievable and darkly entertaining inside account of the Libor scandal – one of history’s biggest, farthest-reaching scams to hit Wall Street since the global financial crisis, written by the only journalist with access to Tom Hayes before he was imprisoned for 14 years.

Revealing never-before-seen details into the inner-workings and private lives of those involved, and with ramifications that reach across the British establishment – from the Labour Party to the Bank of England – The Spider Network is a gripping, thriller-esque story with a host of unusual characters and financial excess that will draw comparisons to bestsellers The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short, but with its roots in Canary Wharf.

A culmination of years of investigative journalism by David Enrich, using emails, text messages and his secret relationship with Tom Hayes – a brilliant but troubled mathematician with Asperger’s syndrome – The Spider Network follows Tom and a group of British bankers as they stumble on a way to manipulate the obscure number responsible for the interest rates of trillions in loans worldwide (Libor).

Featuring a mismatched cast – including a prickly French trader ‘Gollum’, a broker nicknamed ‘Abbo’ who likes to publicly strip naked when drinking, a nervous former Kazakh chicken farmer known as ‘Derka Derka’, and a karaoke-loving executive who falsely claimed to be a member of 1990s pop group Ocean Colour Scene – this group generated incredible riches. Then it all unravelled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion.

With unparalleled access to key characters and evidence, The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scandal, but also a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout, the consequences of which are still rippling through the world today.   The Financial Times

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Named Best Book Of The 2018 By The Financial Times And Fortune

Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street,  Hollywood And The World

Authors:Tom Wright & Bradley Hope

416 pages

published: 2019

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Named a Best Book of 2018 by the Financial Times and Fortune, this "thrilling" (Bill Gates) New York Times best seller exposes how a "modern Gatsby" swindled over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs in "the heist of the century" (Axios).

Now a number-one international best seller, Billion Dollar Whale is "an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale" (Publishers Weekly), revealing how a young social climber from Malaysia pulled off one of the biggest heists in history. 

In 2009, a chubby, mild-mannered graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business named Jho Low set in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude - one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. Over a decade, Low, with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others, siphoned billions

of dollars from an investment fund - right under the nose of global financial industry watchdogs. Low used the money to finance elections, purchase luxury real estate, throw champagne-drenched parties, and even to finance Hollywood films like The Wolf of Wall Street. By early 2019, with his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing criminal charges in Malaysia and in the United States, Low had become an international fugitive, even as the US Department of Justice continued its investigation. Billion Dollar Whale has joined the ranks of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood as a classic harrowing parable of hubris and greed in the financial world. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  amazon.com

of dollars from an investment fund - right under the nose of global financial industry watchdogs. Low used the money to finance elections, purchase luxury real estate, throw champagne-drenched parties, and even to finance Hollywood films like The Wolf of Wall Street. By early 2019, with his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing criminal charges in Malaysia and in the United States, Low had become an international fugitive, even as the US Department of Justice continued its investigation. Billion Dollar Whale has joined the ranks of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood as a classic harrowing parable of hubris and greed in the financial world. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. kinokuniya.com

Malaysian businessman Jho Low is considered the mastermind of a multi-billion dollar financial scandal that involves a complex web of offshore shell companies, A-list celebrities, the Middle East and Wall Street.

For three years, investigators have examined how funds were stolen from Malaysia’s quasi-sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and used to purchase international real-estate, super-yachts and even finance Hollywood films. Money even flowed to the personal bank account of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was recently arrested and slapped with charges of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and abuse of power.

Low, now 36 years old, is widely believed to have controlled 1MDB’s capital. His rise to power and financial exploits have been documented in a new book called “Billion Dollar Whale” that calls Low’s fraud one of history’s greatest financial heists.    cnbc

The 1MDB fund was supposed to invest in green energy and tourism to create high-quality jobs for all Malaysians, whether of Malay, Indian, or Chinese heritage, hence the slogan “1Malaysia.” The fund, Low promised the prime minister, would suck in money from the Middle East and borrow more from global markets. But he had another selling point, one which Najib, who was ambitious, found extremely attractive: Why not also use the fund as a political-financing vehicle? Profits from 1MDB would fill a war chest that Najib could use to pay off political supporters and voters, restoring UMNO’s popularity, Low promised.

On the surface, such spending by 1MDB would be packaged as “corporate social responsibility,” to borrow a phrase from the corporate world. The fund’s charitable arm would award scholarships and build affordable housing in areas where UMNO needed votes. On top of that, Low told Najib that Middle Eastern nations, through their investments in the fund, would come to see Malaysia as a coveted ally in Asia, and also back Najib’s administration with a flow of political donations.

Was this young businessman, barely out of school and with a pretty short track record, really able to deliver Arab investment? He seemed well connected, but would these powerful Middle Eastern kingdoms pour billions of dollars into the 1MDB fund just because Low wanted it to be so? Why did they need him as a broker? Low was doing his all to give the impression that he was indispensable, and the meeting with Prince Turki on the Alfa Nero in August was meant to deepen that feeling. cnbc