The Big Short by Michael Lewis
- Review: 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.
Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb
- Review: A standalone book in Taleb’s landmark incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, rish, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in this series are The Black Swan, Antifragile, and The Bed of Procustes.
- Review: Throughout his legendary career, John C. Bogle-founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund-has helped investors build wealth the right way and led a tireless campaign to restore common sense to the investment world. Along the way, he’s seen how destructive an obsession with financial success can be. Now, with Enough., he puts this dilemma in perspective.
Against the Gods – The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter Bernstein
- 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.
Think Again by Syd Finkelstein
- Decision making is never easy, and few people know this as well as the executives who have made bad decisions while at the tops of their organizations. Mistakes happen, but there are ways for smart people to avoid dumb decisions. While seeking an answer to the question of why capable leaders make bad errors of judgment, the authors of Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep It From Happening to You point out that there is more involved in decision making than a single person’s bad call.
Fortunes Fool by Fred Goodman
- In 1999, when Napster made music available free online, the music industry found itself in a fight for its life. A decade later, the most important and misunderstood story—and the one with the greatest implications for both music lovers and media companies—is how the music industry has failed to remake itself. In Fortune’s Fool, Fred Goodman, the author of The Mansion on the Hill, shows how this happened by presenting the singular history of Edgar M. Bronfman Jr., the controversial heir to Seagram’s, who, after dismantling his family’s empire and fortune, made a high-stakes gamble to remake both the music industry and his own reputation.
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
- A New York Times bestselling author explores cutting-edge brain science to learn where talent comes from, how it grows―and how we can make ourselves smarter. New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists.
Longitudes and Attitudes by Thomas L. Friedman
- As the Foreign Affairs columnist for the The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman is in a unique position to interpret the world for American readers. Twice a week, Friedman’s celebrated commentary provides the most trenchant, pithy,and illuminating perspective in journalism.