February 25, 2009

Definite books to read in 2009

Having read a few market related economic books of the likes of Tim Harford and Joseph Stiglitz, I longed to read some really good investment books. Here are my new definite reads for anyone in 2009

1. Snowball -

It is surely a bible by any measuring scale. Extremely well documented and so well written, that it hardly takes time to complete the book.If anything, one is just disappointed to have completed the book early. I liked the approach of the author to be as unbiased as possible and critical wherever possible. I was quite surprised to read so many new facts in some of his investments which was starkingly different from Warren Buffett says in his annual meetings. Anyways, this is my current best pick. Buy the book: one would never regret this purchase.

2. The Partnership : The Making of Goldman Sachs
As a reader, there is every chance of getting irritated with the author for his approach of explaining the history. Ideally, the easiest way to explain would be through dates or periods but the author chose to explain through a mix of periods, people, products and geographies making it difficult to be with the author.

I disliked the way he is trying to set right a few facts straight. He picks up Den of Thieves, (which b.t.w. has been mentioned below as a good read), and tries to prove the point of Goldman Sachs facts being horribly misrepresented. I believe that this part was unnecessarily long, uninteresting and most importantly makes me feel that the author is a bit biased to Goldman Sachs. Anyways, read the book as it offers an amazing insights into the company.

3. Den of Thieves
One of the best books of all time. Read this with a few others to offer a much better insight into what happened in the 80s and 90s. Snowball, Den of Thieves, Barbarians at the Gate (somehow could not complete this book despite trying to read it many times), The Partnership, When Genius Failed offer multiple dimensions to the same topic. It is a gripping book, much like a movie. I simply loved the book so much that I would add this as a collectors item.

4. A few other books that I am reading and including as it looks very good from what I have read so far.

Panic: Though not a big fan of Michael Lewis, this is just a collection of articles published in various journals. Considering that so much has been written on every crisis, Michael Lewis has taken a few crisis in the past and looked at how people look at things before, just after and after a crisis. Here, he looks at published journals, which includes a few reputed authors for his reference. Good book, though I don't know why I paid so much to buy this book.

I have just bought this book. Bailouts and Bail-Ins written by Nouriel Roubini, an economist who is credited to have understood the current sub-prime crisis and Brad Setser. I dont know much about this book but hope it is a good one.


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