CIR Advisory Board Reading List

Our top picks for 2011.

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book store2011 might have been a bad year for global markets – but it was a great year for reading according to members of the Canadian Investment Review editorial advisory board of industry experts and academics. They’ve given me their reading list – browse through it and you might just find a few gift ideas for the finance lover in your life.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Nobel Prize-winning economist, Kahneman focuses on understanding the world of behavioural economics and how the mind works. He explains the two systems that drive the way we think – one that is fast and intuitive, the other that is slower and more logical. He also applies his theory to markets and corporate strategies to show how people approach risk and decision-making.

Pension Ponzi: How Public Sector Unions are Bankrupting Canada’s Health Care, Education and Your Retirement by Bill Tufts and Lee Fairbanks

A scathing, fast-reading, detailed and well documented book about the system of “pension apartheid” that has emerged in Canada:   under-priced but high cost public sector pension system, and the lower cost and eroding private sector pension system.  If widely read, it will increase further the already high level of pension envy that exists in Canada.”

Reckless Endangerment: Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner

In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson, the star business columnist of The New York Times, exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy.

Money and Power by William D. Cohan

The bestselling author of the acclaimed House of Cards and The Last Tycoons turns his spotlight on to Goldman Sachs and the controversy behind its success.
From the outside, Goldman Sachs is a perfect company. The Goldman PR machine loudly declares it to be smarter, more ethical, and more profitable than all of its competitors. Behind closed doors, however, the firm constantly straddles the line between conflict of interest and legitimate deal making, wields significant influence over all levels of government, and upholds a culture of power struggles and toxic paranoia.

Crash of the Titans by Greg Farrell

Based on unparalleled sources at both Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Greg Farrell’s Crash of the Titans is a Shakespearean saga of three flawed masters of the universe. E. Stanley O’Neal, whose inspiring rise from the segregated South to the corner office of Merrill Lynch—where he engineered a successful turnaround—was undone by his belief that a smooth-talking salesman could handle one of the most difficult jobs on Wall Street.

When Prime Brokers Fail: The Unheeded Risk to Hedge Funds, Banks, and the Financial Industry by Jon Aikman

Before the recent financial crisis, both regulators and market participants disregarded the complex and dangerous nature of the relationship between prime brokers (the banks) and their clients (the funds). In When Prime Brokers Fail, J. S. Aikman examines the convoluted structure of this relationship, the main participants, and the impact of the near collapse of prime brokerages on the financial world.

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed.

This history of the world economic collapse of the late 1920s offers unforgettable portraits of the four men whose personal and professional actions as heads of their respective central banks changed the course of the twentieth century

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