October 14, 2008
News & Opinion: More Meltdown Recommendations from The Wall Street Journal
The Weekend Edition of The Wall Street Journal has a regular feature called Five Best, where the editors ask an expert about the five books that best represent a topic. They have done personal finance and advertising just to name a few.
This past weekend, the subject was financial meltdowns. The column was curated by Martin Mayer, an author of 35 books, many on the financial system. His own bibliography includes The Bankers (1975) and its follow-up The Bankers: The Next Generation (1997), The Fate of the Dollar (1980), Risky Business: The Collapse of Lloyd's of London (1995), and The Fed (2002).
His current recommendations are:
- Manias, Panics, and Crash: A History of Financial Crises by Charles Kindleberger (1978) - "the definitive overview of financial emergencies"
- Bailout: An Insider's Account of Bank Failures and Rescues by Irvine Sprague (1986) - "first person account of the big bank traumas of the 1980's" by then FDIC director
- Beyond Greed by Stephen Fay (1982, out of print) - "a wonderful tale of how Bunker and Herbert Hunt of the Texas oil Hunts, together [with others], tried to corner the silver market in the late 1970's."
- When Genius Failed: The Rise & Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein (2000) - the subtitle says it all.
- The Trouble With Prosperity by James Grant (1996, out of print) - "[B]ooms are followed by busts, and the louder the boom, the more devastating the bust" with the opposite true as well.