Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bankers Behaving Badly

I heard today that the now-infamous Wikileaks is set to drop a "bombshell" about a large bank in 2011 (story and speculation here). I'm not sure what they have to say that we don't already know (or think we know), but at least it gave me inspiration for today's blog post. I always love to read books on things that interest or impact me, and the "Great Recession" is no exception. 

Dumb Money
Dumb Money by Daniel Gross (Sony, Kobo)
This book came out right when things were really starting to get bad, early in 2009 as an ebook exclusive (since it has come out in paperback as well). It's a short, easy to understand explanation of the borrowing trends that got us into this mess, filled with the author's humor. I found the language easy to follow and it was very informative. As you might expect from the title, the author tosses a lot of blame at people, but I think it's clear today that there is plenty of it to go around.
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

This one is not for the faint of heart. Lewis spends the whole book chronicling those who saw the economic collapse coming and decided to profit on it. On first thought it sounds incredibly distasteful, but after reading I couldn't help but being awed by these people's brilliance (if they were truly gleeful of their possibly ill-gotten riches, it's not shown in the book). I spent a good hour after I finished the book trying to think my own investment strategies.

I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay
I just learned about this book via the 2010 Goodreads Choice Awards (it's a contender in non-fiction) and I'm just itching to buy it. Through the description and the reviews, it looks like it goes over similar information as Dumb Money, but focusing mostly on debt (I'm writing this and thinking, "duh!"). I'm wondering if the presentation of it will be different, as the author is British (UK title is Whoops!). It'll be interesting to get a less US-centric view on the meltdown. If anyone here has read this one, let me know what you thought!

Well back to reading. There are 29 days left in the year, and I still have 34 books to make my goal. Crunchtime!

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