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The Latest Must-Read Financial Books

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I travel a lot for work all year ‘round and try to keep myiPad stuffed with good reading (and listening) material, both work-related andextracurricular. Seems like every autumn I splurge a little and snap up severalinteresting new books (and audio books) to carry me through travel-time in theensuing months. Here are a few titles I’ve just added to the queue.

Thelist starts with two titles featured in Fortune’sThree important finance books for thisfall: Other People’s Money by John Kay and Phishing for Phools by George A. Akerlofand Robert J. Schiller.

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Kayis a UK-based economist and, by all accounts, thoroughly down on the stockmarket’s broader contributions to the global economy. Here’s how Fortune summarizes it: “The problem, Kay says, is that the industry represents a hugesegment of the world economy, and yet its actual contributions to it areimpossible to discern.” The answer isn’t more regulation as many pundits argue;it’s a full-scale reimagining of the global financial order. As a fan of the“dismal science”, I find economics writing at its best almost mind-boggling inits power to illuminate the world of transactions around us. This one soundsmind-boggling in very interesting, if alarming ways – right up my alley.

Phishing for Phools is anothermind-bender. Fortune describes its premise this way: “Building on rathertraditional economic theory and behavioral finance, Akerlof and Shiller showhow the same market forces that create opportunity also provide an opening (andincentive) for duplicity and fraud.” With the market increasingly dominated byautomated, high-frequency-trade algorithms, frauds and abuse do seemincreasingly rife in the system too. Behavioral finance is a super-interestingfield for me, too – the intersection of human foibles with the worlds of moneyand investing has always fascinated me.

My last book is moreescapist-style fun: Straight to Hellby John Lefevre, a former investment banker and the man behind the Twitterhandle @GSElevator, a witty, scathing and super-popular commentator on thefinancial crisis and Goldman’s uncannily central role in the chaos and the recovery. An insider’s scoopfull of pithy wit, roller-coaster drama and a whistle-blower made good? Yes,please!

What’s on yourbookshelf, actual or virtual, this fall?

Be Good,

Don Montanaro

CEO, TradeKing Group

Follow Don on Twitter and hone your skills at TradeKing All-Stars. You can also followTradeKing on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or YouTube.

[image credit: Straight to Hell via Google Play]

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