13 Must Read Books and Movies for the Financial Mind


” Irrational Exuberance”

by Robert J Shiller – released in 2000 (eight years before the financial meltdown). He warns that poor stock market performance may be in the offing…..

“The shareholder Value Myth”

by Lynn Stout -released in 2015, Stout debunks the myth that corporate law mandates shareholder primacy (!)

“Too big to fail”

by Andrew Ross Sorkin – released in 2009, the book is the inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system.


by Danielle DiMartino Booth- A Federal Reserve insider pulls back the curtain on the secretive institution that controls America’s economy. It also offers a visceral behind the scene view of the financial meltdown of 2008.

“Barbarians At the Gate”
Interested in leveraged buyouts and junk bonds? In 1989, Bryan Burrough and John Helyar wrote the definitive history of these financing types when they recounted the struggle involving the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco, a now-defunct food and cigarette conglomerate. The writers originally covered the story as reporters for the “Wall Street Journal.”

“Security Analysis”
Benjamin Graham and David Dodd wrote the “bible” of fundamental equity investing in this classic, first published in 1934. If you’re interested in the techniques of value investing, an approach favored by Warren Buffett (who was a student of Graham’s at Columbia University), you’re certain to benefit from this book.

“The Intelligent Investor”
Benjamin Graham also wrote this guide to long-term investing approaches. First published in 1949, “The Intelligent Investor” has been updated repeatedly over the past 65 years, including most recently by the financial writer Jason Zweig, as Graham died in 1976. Graham uses his book to map out and advocate for his preferred value approach to investing. (For more on Graham, see: The Intelligent Investor: Benjamin Graham.)

“A Random Walk Down Wall Street”
First published in 1973, Princeton economist Burton Malkiel’s book advises readers on various types of investments. Whether you’re just kicking off your financial professional career, or if you’re looking for advice on managing your 401(k) or if you’re an established professional who wants to expand your investment profile, Malkiel’s tome, which has gone through 11 editions since publication, remains a great source for market fundamentals.

“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”
One constant of financial markets is that they suffer periods of collective greed and fear, which has resulted in such catastrophes as Britain’s South Sea Bubble and the Netherlands’ Tulip Mania of the 1630s. The British journalist Charles Mackay explored these and other crises in his 1841 classic. Don’t believe that Mackay’s book has no relevance to contemporary times, as the manias he documents provide keen insight into recent events like the dot-com boom and bust of the 1990s and early 2000s.

“Liar’s Poker”
Michael Lewis used his experience as a bond salesman in the heyday of Salomon Brothers for this legendary 1989 book. He chronicles his own work experiences and also offers a big-picture take on Wall Street during a boom time when the mortgage-backed security market caught fire. A loose sequel of sorts was Lewis’ “The Big Short,” in which he described the role Wall Street played in the 2000s housing market downturn.

Are you interested in learning how the world really works? This 2005 book by economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner looks beneath the surface of various everyday (and not so everyday) situations and breaks down how things work. For instance, do you believe you’re getting the best deal if you’re a homeowner who hires a real-estate agent to sell your house? You might be surprised. The book also explores the economics of the worlds of drug dealing and Sumo wrestling, among a wide array of topics.

“Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises”
Charles Kindleberger, a former MIT economics professor, explored the nature of financial crises in this 1978 book. Its most recently updated edition, from 2011 (revised by Robert Aliber, as Kindleberger died in 2003), delves into the causes of the 2007-2008 financial crisis that ignited the global economic downturn. I

The wealth of nations – Adam Smith (1776) – The book offers one of the world’s first collected descriptions of what builds nations’ wealth, and is today a fundamental work in classical economics.


IMDb: Margin Call / Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1615147/?ref_=ext_shr_eml_tt (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

IMDb: Too Big to Fail / Chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008 and centers on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1742683/?ref_=ext_shr_eml_tt (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

IMDb: The Big Short / Four denizens in the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596363/?ref_=ext_shr_eml_tt (Links to an external site.)

Author: theuniversityclubpodcast

Finance lecturer Former MD in large Investment Bank Podcast producer MBA Investor

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