Saturday, April 16, 2005

A few more reads

I added a few more books to my done reading list this week.
  • Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis: An entertaining read on the inside working of Salomon Brothers in the 80's. Also, for those who have come to believe that the current housing boom is different, a reminder that housing booms have ended badly in the past, banks have failed miserably, and great one-day market crashes happen. The book is also a great primer on mortgage bonds from its earliest days.

  • The Vital Few vs. the Trivial Many by George Muzea: A thin book on analyzing insider trades. I have always seen open market insider buying, with sufficient dollar volumes, as the best sign for buying a stock. So it was not hard for me to be convinced about what the author has to say. The story on Columbia Pictures is especially important - don't miss it.

  • The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets by Martin Mayer : All that you ever wanted to know about how the Fed/Treasury work. It is not a fun read, but the author has tried his best. Can't blame him - the subject is the culprit. There are some good details on the various crises of the last few decades, including the East Asian currency debacle, the Russian default etc. It is also an eye-opener - makes you realize how lightly regulated the derivates/currency markets are. And those very markets have the potential to bring the entire financial system to its knees!


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