Break time is upon us; an ideal time to catch up on reading! The HELIN libraries offer an abundance of great business reads waiting for your selection. The following are my suggestions:
Slapped by the Invisible Hand: the Panic of 2007 by Gary Gorton
Every heard of “securitized banking”? Gary Gorton (Yale School of Management) explains the term, its impact on the economy, and the consequent relevancy to all of our lives. If you need a preview of his essential insights, go to the Social Science Research Network and read Securitized Banking and the Run on Repo, a paper he co-authored with Andrew Metrick.
Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory by Peter Hessler.
Much of what we read on China is given from the distant perspective of factual reporting on the country’s politics and economy. Peter Hessler offers a very different perspective–the cross-country granular view of a driving tourist. Hessler understands the power of roads and automobiles as both symbols and agents of profound cultural change. You will feel as if you’re a passenger with him as he drives you along the Great Wall in Northern China, explores the transition of a family from peasants to entrepreneurs, and spends time in a bra parts factory–all while negotiating other Chinese drivers. Want to learn more about China? Pick up Hessler’s other 2 books on the country–Oracle Bones: a Journey between China’s Past and Present, and River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze.
Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram G. Rajan
Rajan (Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago and former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund) explains the particular effect of U.S. social and political policies in contributing to recent massive quakes in the global economy. Professor Rajan’s experiences in consulting positions for various global organizations contribute to the validity of his observations and his balanced insights.
No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos
Who says financial fraud is boring?? Read as Harry Markopolos, self-confessed proud “quant”, pursues his obsession to bring down his once competitor, Bernie Madoff. The author’s dry humor will make you laugh; his mathematical brilliance will earn your respect. This book will help you understand the increasing role quantitative analysis plays in uncovering financial fraud and the unfortunate consequences when key players in the SEC, the regulatory agency that exists to protect investors, do not possess Markopolos’s quant skills.
Winners Never Cheat: Everyday Values We Learned as Children (But May Have Forgotten) by Jon M. Huntsman
The constant parade of cheaters and wrongdoers in the business press can make us throw up our hands and give in to cynicism. Reading the stories of virtuous, successful men can give us hope. Jon Huntsman (Founder of Huntsman Corporation ) is such a man. Oh, that we would all absorb his wisdom, strive for his success, and emulate his charity!