More books I've read

Sun, 20 Mar 2016

I've read a few more books since my last post on the subject.

Other People's Money, by John Kay, came recommended by one of my colleagues, and I found it excellent.  The book takes a good look at the banking and finance industry, and how changes in the industry over the past 30 years made the global financial crisis inevitable.  Personality driven stories like 'The Big Short' make for better movies, and are certainly worth reading/watching, but they can give the false impression that the problems are caused by extraordinary criminals, or bizarre anomalies in the market, and the solution is more regulation.

In fact, as this book outlines, the problems are far more endemic and a result of a number of gradual shifts over the past 30 years:

The book successfully steers clear of oversimplification, and is full of valuable insight, whether or not you work in banking:  not only do we all depend on an effective banking system, but the lessons in this book have a lot to teach other industries.

The other main book that I read that I'd recommend was Red Notice, by Michael Brewer, about his adventures (and eventual misadventure) investing in Russia.  It was as well-written as any spy thriller, but hard-hitting because it is a true story - it is a book that I'm not going to forget in a rush.