This holiday reading list started nearly half a year ago when a couple of finance books got passed around The Wall Street Journal’s newsroom.
These were the three books we spent most of our time on:
Holiday reading list – Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator: With New Commentary and Insights on the Life and Times of Jesse Livermore (Annotated Edition) by Edwin Lef?vre, Jon D. Markman
Holiday reading list – Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?: or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street by Fred Schwed
“Once I picked it up I did not put it down until I finished. . . . What Schwed has done is capture fully-in deceptively clean language-the lunacy at the heart of the investment business.” — From the Foreword by Michael Lewis, Bestselling author of Liar’s Poker
“. . . one of the funniest books ever written about Wall Street.” — Jane Bryant Quinn, The Washington Post
“How great to have a reissue of a hilarious classic that proves the more things change the more they stay the same. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” — Michael Bloomberg
“It’s amazing how well Schwed’s book is holding up after fifty-five years. About the only thing that’s changed on Wall Street is that computers have replaced pencils and graph paper. Otherwise, the basics are the same. The investor’s need to believe somebody is matched by the financial advisor’s need to make a nice living. If one of them has to be disappointed, it’s bound to be the former.” m– John Rothchild, Author, A Fool and His Money, Financial Columnist, Time magazine
Humorous and entertaining, this book exposes the folly and hypocrisy of Wall Street. The title refers to a story about a visitor to New York who admired the yachts of the bankers and brokers. Naively, he asked where all the customers’ yachts were? Of course, none of the customers could afford yachts, even though they dutifully followed the advice of their bankers and brokers. Full of wise contrarian advice and offering a true look at the world of investing, in which brokers get rich while their customers go broke, this book continues to open the eyes of investors to the reality of Wall Street.
Holiday reading list – Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis
The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar’s Poker.
Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush.
Liar’s Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years—a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game of bluffing and deception, here is Michael Lewis’s knowing and hilarious insider’s account of an unprecedented era of greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune.
- Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
- The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Raiders by Connie Bruck
- Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart
- Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman by Ken Auletta
- Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street by Herman Melville
- The Go-Go Years: The Drama and Crashing Finale of Wall Street’s Bullish 60s by John Brooks
- Once in Golconda: A True Drama of Wall Street 1920-1938 by John Brooks
- Money Game by Adam Smith
- War and Peace: Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky by Leo Tolstoy
- The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin
- The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession by Peter L. Bernstein
- The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy by Mervyn King
- Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek by Manu Saadia
- The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
We also gathered a few other suggestions from around the newsroom:
- Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
- The Prince of Silicon Valley: Frank Quattrone and the Dot-Com Bubble by Randall Smith
- Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns and Long-Term Investment Strategies by Jeremy J. Siegel
- When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein
By Ben Eisen – Read the full article here.