hi! i recently read your tsn fic ‘disentanglement’, and it was really great and made me super interested in economics :D I read ‘the fortunetellers’ like you recommended in your author’s note and I really enjoyed that too, I was wondering if you have any more recommendations of must-read books to do with economics? thank you so much!

Somewhere out there the Dean of my Former College Major is weeping in near-religious ecstasies right now. Let’s do this in chronological order.

  • Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, by Bryan Burrough, is at the top of this must-read pile as an incredibly depressing in retrospect rundown of Wall Street shenaniganry in the 1980s. Incredibly depressing because we have learned, literally, nothing in the interim years.
  • Liar’s Poker, by Michael Lewis, which is another absolute classic of the genre. This is Lewis’s first book, and one of his most enduring. It is about greedy asshole traders at a firm that no longer exists, for reasons that will be obvious in retrospect.
  • The Smartest Guys in the Room, by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. As we’re skipping the late 90s since you already read The Fortunetellers, we can zip right into Enron territory. The bizarre thing to try and keep in mind as you’re reading this is what a sea change, culturally, Enron presented to the American psyche. Prior to this, everybody thought Wall Street was dirty, yes, but we didn’t necessarily believe every corporation was dirty. Insert Enron, stage left, chased by its income statement.
  • Conspiracy of Fools, by Kurt Eichenwald. Of the two Enron books, if you only have time/inclination to read one, I actually prefer this one. It’s another exhaustively reported and jaw-dropping in scope. I think people sort of knew to be outraged by what was happening at Enron while it was being initially disclosed and blown up, but it takes time and this sort of digging to get all the ugliest details out of the woodwork.

These next two I’m recommending blind, because I honestly haven’t had the time and distance from my PTSD to read them yet, but they’re written by reliable people with the chops to do it, so I see no reason they’re not compellingly horrifying.

  • Too Big to Fail, by Andrew Ross Sorkin. This guy now runs the Dealbook for the New York Times, and this book is a brick of horrifying revelations from the credit crisis all bound together in one convenient, chill-inducing package! Yay!
  • The Big Short, by Michael Lewis. Yeah, this guy.

Happy reading! Or I guess unhappy reading? Hope that was helpful.

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abstract

East Coast Gazette has a terrible editorial focus and tends to use a lot of ALL CAPS but TOTALLY NOT BECAUSE OF HARRY POTTER. Stories in progress as well as snapshots will be listed in the "box full of snapshots" below, website archive for stories and assorted tomfoolery is glitterati.

recs (on del.icio.us)


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