Business in Review

Book Review: Short Ain’t Necessarily Simple

07/08/2016

Heinz Kurz’s Economic Thought: A Brief History is the latest attempt to communicate the history of economics to laypeople but like its predecessors, it leaves much to be desired.

The Universal Man Makes a Way Toward Wealth

06/17/2016

What investors can learn from the life of John Maynard Keynes.

Book Review: You Are Not a Gadget

06/04/2012

Jason Lanier’s argument technology is nothing without the humans who built it has many parallels to investing. 

“We’re Not So Different, You and I!” Part II

04/11/2012

Part two covers David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Different book, yet the takeaway is unchanged: Ideology often blinds investors.

Book Review: Endgame—The Problem with Doomsayers

02/03/2012

I’ve reviewed many a doom-and-gloom financial book in this space. Here’s one more for the collection.

The Return of the Unconscious, Part II

01/04/2012

Part II of our survey of recent popular psychology literature.

Think Again!

12/20/2011

Daniel Kahneman’s seminal compilation of his life’s work on the psychology of decision making encourages you to think…and then think again!

Book Review: A Grand, if Wandering, Pursuit

11/22/2011

Bestselling author Sylvia Nasar’s entry on economic history is beautifully written, but too scattered to be a coherent narrative.

Commies!

09/07/2011

A summer’s worth of considering Commies and Libertarians. 

The Economy in Mind

07/27/2011

An unsung classic on free market capitalism from a bygone era that deserves revisiting.

A Drunkard's Walk, a Random Walk, a Fool’s Walk, and…a River!

07/19/2011

Four books on randomness, uncertainty, probability, and how they work in the stock market.

Fisher Investments Book Review: Money ’Magination

07/07/2011

Two books about how prices work turn out to be better primers in behavioral finance.

Food Politics

06/24/2011

Robert Paarlberg’s book on the politics of food is a good primer for investors and those generally interested in the topic.

Hardcore Entrepreneurial Candor

06/02/2011

Two books on the stark realities of what it takes to get rich.

Getting Acquainted with Geopolitics

05/05/2011

Two essential readings in geopolitics, regardless of your ideology.

For Whom Does the Grail Serve?

03/28/2011

Consistent market outperformance is brutally tough, but it’s no Holy Grail.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

02/25/2011

Three books highlight a few problems with expert investing advice.

How to Read the Wall Street Journal

02/10/2011

Did Rupert Murdoch's purchase of the Wall Street Journal improve the paper, or lower its bar further toward the lowest common denominator?

End the Fed

01/27/2011

A political manifesto? Yes, but Ron Paul's book deriding the Fed is also one of the best layperson's primers on central banking in years.

Bull!

01/05/2011

An accessible history of the bull markets spanning the '80s and '90s, but skip the analysis.

Exile on Main Street

12/17/2010

Who knew the keys to consumerism lay in Keith Richards' six string?

Attack of the Indexers!

12/10/2010

John Bogle and William Bernstein re-make their case for passive investing.

Political Turkeys

12/03/2010

A smattering of post-election politics reading.

Overhaul and Crash Course

11/12/2010

Steven Rattner's Overhaul is a fine enough account of the US auto bailout as a financial and political event, but Paul Ingrassia's Crash Course provides the necessary context to see why it happened.

Travel Reading Diary

11/02/2010

After a long business trip, a few reading suggestions.

Choice 2-Pack

10/12/2010

How We Decide proves Jonah Lehrer ranks among the best active science writers, while Sheena Iyengar's The Art of Choosing is a sometimes cluttered but broader meditation on the act of choice in our lives.

The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost?

09/30/2010

Lee Eisenberg's The Number is a surprisingly fresh take on the issues of savings and retirement.

The Shallows and Cognitive Surplus

09/14/2010

Nicholas Carr's The Shallows is spotty, but ultimately an important read for today's investor. Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus often makes the right points, but in tedious fashion.

The Misbehavior of Markets

08/31/2010
Though sometimes clumsy, Benoit Mandelbrot's Misbehavior of Markets is one of the original popular works on market randomness.

Think Twice

08/19/2010
Teaser: Think Twice firmly establishes Michael J. Mauboussin's status among the best behavioral finance writers.

High Financier

08/11/2010
Niall Ferguson's biography of Siegmund Warburg is often good literature, but a lesser achievement in biography and financial history.

Squam Lake and Senseless Panic

07/28/2010
William M. Isaac's Senseless Panic is a sensible voice of reason and experience on the 2008 panic, while the ballyhooed Squam Lake Report is just more claptrap.

Capitalism 4.0

07/22/2010

Anatole Kaletsky's Capitalism 4.0 is deft, erudite, and essential reading for those looking to better understand the global macroeconomic future ahead.

Wrong

07/13/2010

David H. Freedman's book about why and how experts are often wrong lacks depth and is probably not worth your time.

Myth of the Rational Market

07/06/2010

Jonathan Fox's Myth of the Rational Market is a great primer into the history of efficient market theory, but doesn't do what the title promises.

13 Bankers

06/28/2010
While its emphasis on the history of concentrated corporate power and the nature of regulation makes it stand out from the pack, 13 Bankers turns out to be just another book about the crisis that misses the mark.

The Rational Optimist

06/21/2010
Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist is timely and, bar none, the best book of the last several years for investors. Too bad most will only see it as a history book.

Crisis, Roubini Style

06/08/2010
Nouriel Roubini's Crisis Economics delivers more Dr. Doom gloom but is of little use for most investors.

The Greatest Trade Ever

06/03/2010
Gregory Zuckerman's The Greatest Trade Ever not only beat Michael Lewis to the punch, but is a better book about those who profited from the bear market.

Getting Off Track

05/25/2010
John Taylor's short but pungent book on the financial crisis is the closest yet to articulating the truth of 2008's panic...but still doesn't quite get there.

The World Is Flat

05/11/2010
Now in its third version, Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat has proven itself the keystone popular analysis on modern globalization.

The Richest Man in Babylon

05/04/2010

The Richest Man in Babylon is a great book for your graduating grandchildren, but probably too hammy for the rest of us.

The Age of the Unthinkable

04/27/2010
Joshua Cooper Ramo's The Age of the Unthinkable, ends up missing the mark, but for the right reasons.

The Big Cynic

04/19/2010

With his newest bestseller, The Big Short, Michael Lewis proves he's still the most entertaining financial journalist around. But his cynicism betrays him too often.

It's Not as Bad as You Think

04/13/2010

Brian S. Wesbury's It's Not as Bad as You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive picks up where Milton Friedman left off.

Capitalism and Freedom

04/06/2010

Capitalism and Freedom is the best entry point into the world of Milton Friedman.

How to Lie With Statistics

03/26/2010
How to Lie With Statistics is still the best book for beginners to enter the world of statistical analysis.

Apocalypse...Now!

03/22/2010

The Wiedemer brothers' Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown is sure to go down in infamy as a landmark of today's pessimism.

Attack of the Quants!

03/16/2010
Books about "quants” are popping up everywhere, but Emmanuel Derman's My Life as a Quant is best for neophytes.

Of Two Minds

03/08/2010
Reading Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff's It's Different This Time is one heck of a frustrating experience, and nearly split my mind in two.

I Am the Walrus (Goo goo g' joob)

03/02/2010
Sean D. Carr's The Panic of 1907 illustrates just how familiar—and also different—the events of 2008 really were. A truly mind-bending trip, man.

The Apologia of Hank Paulson

02/19/2010
Henry Paulson's On the Brink is disappointing and too long, while Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big to Fail might well end up the definitive text of the era.

Geopolitics, Battlestars, and the Next 100 Years

02/11/2010
George Friedman's The Next 100 Years is an ambitious and fascinating glimpse into the future of geopolitics.

Starting With a True Classic

02/03/2010
GC Selden's Psychology of the Stock Market is full of wit and wisdom…and still relevant today.

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